OPTIMA® Faceoff Preview- Ryan Krayer's 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback


The stories behind the entrants in OPTIMA┬« Faceoff events are always different and the uniqueness of each journey makes them all special. Ryan Krayer's journey started 25 years ago, when he bought this 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback from his great uncle, who had been letting it sit in his shed for many years prior, after the previous owner parked it in a telephone pole.

The car was pretty much trashed and not at all roadworthy, so it sat in Ryan's barn until about five years ago, when he finally decided to do something with it. Ryan had ambitious goals, but he reached a point where he didn't feel comfortable that the work he was doing himself would match with his vision of the final outcome. Work was halted again for another year or two.

Ryan then became motivated to move forward with the project again and during a conversation with his friend, "Meat," he was referred to the legendary Ring Brothers of Spring Green, Wisconsin, except Ryan had never heard of them before. Ryan made his way over to their shop and had a sit-down with Mike Ring. The next thing he knew, his Fastback was at their shop and it was game-on! One year later and 24 years after first acquiring the pony car, Krayer drove it for the first time, an experience he characterizes as "surreal."

As one would expect, the Mustang has a full compliment of Ring Bros. equipment, but the foundation comes in the form of a 331 cubic-inch carbureted stroker motor from Keith Craft, which produces a solid 440 horsepower and a matching 440 lb.-ft. of torque, with Royal Purple Synthetic Oil pumping through it's veins.

The engine is mated to a T5 transmission and a nine-inch rearend. The suspension components were sourced from Mustangs Plus and for those wanting to know the hoops and rubber, they would be Tenzo wheels wrapped in Nitto rubber.

Even though Ryan is just getting to know his Mustang, he's already taken it to an autocross driving school last month, in preparation for his entry into the OPTIMA Faceoff. The experience left him very satisfied with the outcome of the car and Ryan wants to extend a special "thank you" to the Ring Brothers for making it far better than he could've ever imagined

Ryan would also like to extend an even bigger "THANK YOU" to his awesome wife, Lisa, who tolerated all the time he spent on the car, while still working 40 hours a week and training up to 12 hours a week on his bike, while still trying to be the best husband and father he could be. We know exactly where he's coming from and exactly where he's headed!

If you'd like to see Ryan hit the track at Road America with his incredible Mustang, you can get into Road America for free with a ticket stub from the NASCAR Nationwide race from the day before. Otherwise, advance tickets are just $10 each and you can order them here.