Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
Ron The Restomod Bramlett - The Restomod Guy
Ron Bramlett Loves All Mustangs, But He's Made His Mark With Restomods
We have people who say, "I bet you could take your catalog and build a car." With the Dynacorn body, you can. We built a replica of the '68 Bullitt fastback and I'm going to say that 98 percent of the parts are aftermarket or from our catalog. I hesitate to say that we have everything because there's always some little piece we don't have. On our Bullitt car, the only things that are original Ford are the engine block and crank, rear end housing, a couple of interior pieces, a bracket under the dash, and things like that. Most of the components are aftermarket - Ford licensed, of course, which ties it to Ford, but it's not a Ford production car in that sense.
Guys who want to build a track car can start with a Dynacorn body. At $15,000-16,000 by the time you get it shipped, it's a lot cheaper than finding a '67-'68 fastback that's been wrecked and neglected and having to bring it back to reusable condition. That's what our Project Reclaim was about. We started with a little '66 fastback that I bought as a parts car for $50 back in 1986. It had been hit in the front. The floor and cowl were buckled and one of the shock towers was completed folded over. We repaired the car to the point where it was like a Dynacorn body. Our best estimation is that we had well over $20,000 in parts and labor. That's just to get it to the point where we could start building. So the Dynacorn bodies are very reasonably priced.
MM: You mentioned the Dynacorn cars as part of the restomod Mustang future. Do you see anything else in your crystal ball?
Ron: A project I would like to do or see someone else do is to put a late-model 4.0L V-6 into a '65-'70. And come up with a kit or a blueprint to follow so others can do it. Those motors put out quite a bit of torque. I've got one in my Explorer Sport Trak and if it will move that thing down the road the way it does, then in a little Mustang it would make a nice driver. The longevity is definitely there and the fuel mileage in a light car is good. It's a project I would like to see, especially if gas prices go back up again.
MM: Do you see more kits coming to help people do major restomod-type swaps, like putting a 4.6L in an early Mustang?
Ron: In my mind, the 4.6L hasn't been good for the vintage Mustang hobby because it isn't easy to transplant into older cars without a lot of modifications. A lot of people want to upgrade their cars, but they don't want to cut them up. That's one of the reasons the fuel-injected 5.0Ls, or in some cases the 351Ws, are good choices because they fit between the shock towers. You can put them in without having to chop up the cars. When Ford switched to the 4.6L, they kind of took that away because of its massage size. In my mind, it kind of hurt the hobby because now we don't have a pool of (modern) motors to put in these cars. Ford Racing, though, has combated that by putting a wide choice of motors together for sale through their catalog. You can buy a crate motor, short-block, or whatever you want so Ford has created an industry for themselves.
MM: You've helped bring a lot of restomod products to market.
Ron: Part of the challenge is helping manufacturers, and people who have the skills and knowledge to build cars, bring their products to the public. We try as hard as we can to promote that. You have people like Ron Morris who started out as a highly-trained Ford technician. Now he's started his own business, Ron Morris Performance, where he makes parts. Mustangs Plus helped make that possible by advertising his products and getting them out to people. From there, he's been able to go to other vendors, such as National Parts Depot and CJ Pony Parts, to sell his products. We understand that everybody in the Mustang marketplace isn't going to buy parts from Mustangs Plus. It's just the way it is. So the more people we have selling those parts, the more demand there will be, which is good for the whole hobby and businesses.
A lot of the stuff we've done ourselves by taking cars out to see what works and what doesn't. There are all kinds of behind-the-scenes things we've done over the years. We've worked with American Racing on wheel back-spacing so you can fit up to 18-inch wheels on a '65-'66 and not have to chop up the fenderwells. Stainless Steel Brakes will create a brake kit and ask us to install it on a car for feedback. I've done that many times in my garage at home. We helped bring Total Control to the marketplace. Today, Chris Alston owns that and they've done really well. These are all things where Mustangs Plus has been there in the background.
MM: Obviously, you still enjoy the Mustang hobby and business.
Ron: I'm very glad to be in a business that I enjoy, one that allows me to make enough money to do some of the things I enjoy. If I worked for the phone company or something I probably wouldn't have this outlet. The entire hobby is what I enjoy. It's really the thing that drives me. My wife, Cindy, and I travel all over the U.S. to shows and events, and that's what we enjoy. Our lives revolve around the Mustang.