A modern take on the iconic Mustang Mach 1

The Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL is a one-of-a-kind restomod project created by Ringbrothers and showcased at the 2019 SEMA Show. The company’s first Mach 1-based project, UNKL joins a long list of cool Mustang restomods built by the company in recent years. The apparently weird UNKL name has a simple meaning, as this build was made for a customer "who enjoys a close relationship with his uncle" and "pays tribute to his uncle’s influence on his passion for cars." It’s nice to see a meaningful message behind a car name. Well, let’s find out more about this interesting project in the review below.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Exterior

  • Based on original 1969 Mach 1
  • Massive front splitter
  • New front grille
  • Bulged engine hood
  • Wider fenders
  • Custom HRE wheels
  • Clean rear fascia
  • No chrome around back
  • Sits lower than usual
  • Custom blue paint
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Exterior
- image 869947
The 1969 Mach 1 is one of the most beautiful and aggressive-looking Mustangs ever, but Ringbrothers managed to take things to a new level.

Up front, the layout if pretty much the same as the standard model, but the bumper now includes a big race-inspired diffuser at the bottom. The grille now features yellow inner lights and the already iconic Ringbrothers logo. The engine hood features a massive bulge to let air into the supercharger and quick-release pins like full-fledged race cars.

The profile remains pretty much unchanged compared to the regular 1969 Mach 1. Ringbrothers redesigned the fenders to make them one inch wider on each side, but that’s not very obvious. The wider fenders help make room for the wider performance tires and the custom multi-spoke HRE wheels. The car also sits a lower, so the upper sections of the tires are hidden under the fender flares. This is a common look for restomod cars.

left right

The Big Boss Blue paint from BASF is contrasted by black stripes and lettering that showcase two companies that provide components and fluids for this car, Flowmaster and Motul. The doors display racing numbers, with the no. 7 decal also featuring small "UNKL" lettering. The front fenders sport the traditional Mach 1 "429" print, which stands for engine displacement. However, this car features a larger mill under the hood, so it’s there just to preserve the vintage vibe.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Exterior
- image 870023

The rear of the UNKL boasts a simpler design compared to the original car. The taillights no longer feature chrome trim, while the bumper was cleaned up and lacks the usual chrome inserts. There are no badges here, but Ringbrothers added "Ford" graphics on the fascia between the lights. Despite the simpler design, the UNKL looks rather menacing from behind thanks to its massively wide wheels.

left right
Not visible but equally important, the UNKL features some body panels made from carbon-fiber instead of all-steel construction.

Ringbrothers doesn’t say which are made from this light composite, but I’m betting it’s the engine hood, the trunk lid, and the reshaped fenders.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Interior

  • Combines classic and modern features
  • Recaro seats
  • Momo steering wheel
  • Modern gauges
  • Aluminum switches
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Lightweight door panels
  • Race-spec shifter
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Interior
- image 870003
The instrument panel was redesigned and fitted with billet components and modern gauges by Classic Instruments

Like other Ringbrothers creations, the UNKL retains the overall layout of the original car, but it looks downright modern thanks to reworked details and new materials. The interior was crafted by Upholstery Unlimited and it also boasts a race-inspired vibe, mainly because it includes Recaro seats, an Ididit steering column, and racing Momo steering wheel with carbon-fiber accents.

The instrument panel was also redesigned and fitted with billet components, modern gauges by Classic Instruments, and new switches on the right-side of the steering wheel. Unlike the original Mach 1, UNKL also features a small display in the dashboard.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Interior
- image 870081

Other highlights include:

  • A vintage Air Gen IV Magnum EVAP kit
  • An aluminum plate as a dashboard fascia
  • Polished and red-painted switches
  • Carbon-fiber trim on the lightweight door panels
  • Sports pedals
  • A race-spec shifter
  • Ringbrothers logos on the dashboard and the pedals.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Drivetrain

  • Supercharged, 8.5-liter V-8
  • Six-speed manual gearbox
  • 700 horsepower!
  • carbon-fiber driveshaft
  • Custom exhaust system
  • Bespoke suspension
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Drivetrain
- image 870017
The UNKL is endowed with a massive, supercharged, 8.5-liter V-8 engine that's good for 700 horsepower, twice as much as the original that was rated at just 375 horses.

It was built by Jon Kaase, and is obviously a big departure from the original 7.0-liter V-8. All that oomph from the custom engine travels to the rear wheels through a six-speed Tremec manual transmission modified by Bowler and a carbon-fiber driveshaft. The V-8 exhales through a custom stainless-steel exhaust system provided by Flowmaster.

It's safe to say that this restomod Mustang hits 60 mph in less than four seconds and completes the quarter-mile in less than 12.
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Exterior
- image 869926

The suspension bespoke as well, with the front end featuring an Aluma-Frame unit from Detroit Speed Engineering. It includes:

  • A cast-aluminum cradle
  • A custom-tuned steering rack
  • Tubular suspension arms
  • Adjustable coilovers from RideTech

The rear is equipped with a QUADRALink suspension system from QUADRALink and RideTech shocks. Front and rear sway bars are also made by Detroit Speed, while stopping power is provided by Baer brakes with big 6S Extreme calipers.

It if weren’t for the really low suspension, the UNKL would have made a great race car. Still, it’s probably a solid option on any race track as long as the course isn’t too bumpy.

Final Thoughts

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 UNKL by Ringbrothers Exterior
- image 870069

I’ll admit from the very beginning that I’m a big fan of the Ringbrothers. It has been building excellent restomods since forever, and its Mustangs are among the best on the market. Every single project combines old-school designs with modern features in the best way possible and it seems that the company’s inspiration hasn’t faded over time. The UNKL looks aggressive, it’s powerful and quick, and combines modern appointment with classic features inside the cabin. It’s the perfect example of how a restomod should look like and you can analyze it in detail at the 2019 SEMA Show.

  • Leave it
    • One-of-a-kind
    • Probably very expensive
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

World-famous custom car builder and high-quality billet parts manufacturer Ringbrothers unveiled its newest, one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang, the 1969 Mach 1 known as “UNKL” in the Flowmaster (Holley) booth at the 2019 SEMA Show. “UNKL” is the first Mach 1 to leave the Spring Green, Wisconsin, shop after a series of memorable Mustang builds. The widened body and unique race-inspired theme make the most of road and race technology in one car.

“UNKL” is powered by a 520-cubic-inch Jon Kaase Boss engine making 700 horsepower. A reworked Bowler six-speed Tremec transmission backs the high-powered engine, and a QA1 carbon-fiber driveshaft transfers power to the rear wheels. The Mach 1’s growl comes from a custom stainless-steel Flowmaster exhaust. Prestone coolant keeps the engine at an even operating temperature, while Motul engine oil and gear oil keeps things running smoothly. Custom BASF paint called Big Boss Blue has been laid over a smooth body, which was shaped with 3M products.

Ringbrothers extended the Mach 1’s body by an inch on each side, which gives it a slightly more aggressive stance than stock without compromising the classic look. The car’s body is a mixture of carbon-fiber and steel panels reshaped by Ringbrothers. Other custom details include billet taillights, reshaped bumpers and trim and engine-bay accessories that were custom machined at the Ringbrothers facility.

The name for the build comes from the Ringbrothers owner who enjoyed a close relationship with his uncle. The build pays tribute to his uncle’s influence on his passion for cars. The race-inspired livery continues that theme and will also serve a practical purpose when the car is used on track.

“UNKL” uses Detroit Speed Engineering’s Aluma-Frame front suspension system with a cast aluminum cradle, custom-tuned steering rack, tubular suspension arms, and custom adjustable RideTech coilovers. The rear is equipped with Detroit Speed’s QUADRALink suspension system and RideTech shocks. Front and rear sway bars are also from Detroit Speed. Stopping power is provided by Baer with huge 6S Extreme calipers. “UNKL” rides on bespoke set of forged HRE Wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires sized 295/35R-19 in the front and 345/30R-20 in the rear.

The custom interior of UNKL by Upholstery Unlimited feels as race-inspired as the exterior with supportive Recaro seats, Ringbrothers billet components, an Ididit steering column, gauges by Classic Instruments and a cabin kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to a Vintage Air Gen IV Magnum evap kit.

For more information on Ringbrothers, the “UNKL” Mustang, and Ringbrothers billet parts, visit www.ringbrothers.com or stay connected with the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

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