Before diving into this droolworthy beast, I must confess my connection and love for this particular year, make, and model of car. Growing up on Long Island and steeped in the world of muscle cars, watching Figure-8's at the Freeport Racetrack, and nut runs with friends and family, I was determined to get my own hot rod and build it up how I liked. It was over 30 years ago that my love affair began with a particular 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. And while it never quite approached the beauty, polish, and raw agility of what the Wisconsin brothers crank out on a routine basis, it still resonates with me deeply to this day. Sigh.
The latest build from the Ringbrothers is a stunner in BASF Big Boss Blue and its at the Flowmaster/Holley tent at SEMA ... right ... now! It started its life as a rather common 1969 Mustang, but like my own affection for the car, it is a tribute to the customer's uncle who inspired their love of cars. Hence the moniker, UNKL. As is to be expected, and never content to leave well enough alone, the Brothers Ring replaced the body with a bespoke carbon-fiber unit with just a little extra room here and there, widening the stance, and amping up the classic Mach 1 lines. Reshaped bumpers, trick spoilers, custom door handles, mirrors, taillights, gas cap, and grommets complete the transformation.
On the inside, the driver is greeted by a tasteful blending of the old and the new satisfying any purist who also likes his or her modern amenities. Classic industries gauges are a smart and clean choice displaying essential functions, Vintage Air A/C is there to keep you cool while burning rubber, and Recaro seats and custom upholstery will get you there in style.
But it's what's under the hood that makes this car truly special. Where many aftermarket builders might have been content to dump in a modern Ford Coyote motor, that didn't seem appropriate ... or powerful enough.
Enter John Kaase and his modern take on the legendary BOSS 429. The Ford "Semi-Hemi" or "Shotgun" motor was Ford's answer to the Chrysler 426 Hemi. It achieved near cult status on the high banks of Talladega and the quarter mile strips of Englishtown. But blocks got more limited as the years went on, so Kaase decided to make his own. Under the hood of UNKL is a 520 cubic inch BOSS 9 with a Holley Dominator carb and Flowmaster exhaust producing over 700 naturally aspirated hp at the rear wheels.
A Bowler massaged Tremec 6 speed carries all that grunt to a John's Industries 9-inch rear with 3.55 gears. The suspension is all Detroit Speed with Ridetech coilovers, Baer brakes, HRE staggered wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber.
Well, I'm not blue anymore but, God, do I wanna drive this thing! Buckle up.