The Story Behind the World’s Fastest Winnebago
An auction setting can be a tricky thing. You go in hoping to spend a little and end up spending a lot. From gross miscalculations can grow great ideas. A serious overbid for a rusting Winnebago resulted in one of the coolest RVs ever that is billed as the world’s fastest. Dubbed the Blown Ringabago, it’s the ugly stepchild — so to speak — of the Ringbrothers, the oft awarded American car builders who routinely blow away SEMA with their builds. Their 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Recoil had people stopping dead in their tracks. Frankly, the Ringabago looks like it should be left for dead on the railroad tracks. But then you hear the performance numbers and how tricked out it is. Suddenly, you want to be at the Ringbrothers Hot Rod Power Tour Kickoff Party on June 5. RELATED: Check Out the Ringbrother's Stunning 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Recoil Before packing my bags, I called and spoke with Jim and Mike Ring about the Blown Ringabgo and its history and performance. They had seen the 1971 Winnebago Brave up for sale at Barrett-Jackson. It passed through the auction lane the day before they arrived. So, they asked their buddy Bob Johnson, who knows his way around auctions, to pick up the RV if went cheap. They planned to park it on some property they own as a fishing hut. Well, apparently Johnson missed the part about bidding cheap. When the Mike and Jim landed at the auction the next day they were met with this distressing news: for $13,000, they had bought a rusting hulk of a 42-year-old Winnebago. RELATED: See Photos of the Iconic GM Futurliner RV Just to add insult to injury, after trying to cut their losses and sell it to anybody for $1,000, they paid $3,000 to ship it back to Wisconsin. Some scotch had fueled the idea of restoring it. Jim Ring said, “Let’s just put a big powertrain in it and have some fun.” The first powertrain kind of disappointed them. They shamed Wagner Motorsports into providing a better one. It was a $27,000 LS1 engine. Suddenly they had an RV that still looked like crap on the outside, but could do 0-60 the brothers claim in 3.5 seconds thanks to its 750-800 horsepower engine. (With some tweaks they could see it hitting 1,000 horsepower soon.) RELATED: See the World’s Most Expensive RV The brothers enjoy the reaction to their RV. “That engine can lift the front wheel off the ground,” Jim said. “It’s like trying to hold a 4x8 piece of plywood in a tornado. It’s meant to go 35.” Mike Ring has dreams of breaking a land speed record with the Blown Ringabago. “I’ve had it up to 95 and the tuner had it over 100. It’s capable of more but you need some with bigger cajones than me,” he said. Apparently the land speed record is about 120 mph in a traditional RV. A German company took a Sprinter RV to 136 mph but surely that can’t count. RELATED: See 7 Awesome Roadtrip RVs The interior is completely tricked out— the brothers call it their mobile man cave. It has a flat screen TV and a couple bars. But why the ugly ass exterior? It just adds to the character of it. “Which is why people are afraid to go in it. But when people see it on the highway, they just want to get around it,” said Mike Ring, comparing it to Cousin Eddie’s ride in the National Lampoon’s Vacation. Jim Ring adds, “We’d ruin it by doing the exterior. It has the perfect patina on it. It would make a great chalkboard."
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