Every once in a while we find something that is just different enough to be cool, and cool enough to be different. When we find it, we do our best bring it to our pages to share with all of our gearhead fans. This time we not only saw it, we had a couple of them sent to us so we could see them up close.
We saw some cool engine-based barbecue grills a couple years ago, and cool gearhead furniture. Another favorite was the Snap-On steak knives, and it was an instant hit with our Facebook fans, too.
There’s always some great stuff out there for the automotive enthusiast, some are a little over the top and more of a novelty, and others make you want to put up the car posters, neon beer signs, and add some cool decor to set up the man cave.
When we shared another cool item while we were out looking for cool gearhead stuff, we posted it to our Facebook page and it became a big hit. We got quite a few messages about them, so we contacted Bob the Ring Guy at V8Rings and we flat out told him, “Bob, we want to get our grubby hands on those engine rings!”
Well, it’s obvious that Bob the Ring Guy is a gearhead, too, and he totally understood our incessant need to get our hands on a couple of these bad ass engine rings, so he put together a little care package for us and he sent us three rings to check out.
These rings are made to replicate popular big- and small-block engines from Chevrolet and Mopar, and many of them are adorned with the coolest and most detailed tiny little carburetors and eight-stacks you’ve ever seen. It’s like he yanked the engine out of a 1/24 scale model kit and attached it to your finger. Wait. Why didn’t we think of that?
These rings have cool parts like dual quads, six packs, dual snorkels, and tunnel rams; big names from yesterday and today like Hilborn, Offenhauser, and Moroso are represented on this collection of rings. The detail on these is pretty incredible; it’s easy to see that a lot of time was spent getting the scale and dimensions just right on them.
Making The Engine Rings
So what does it take to make these rings? We talked with Bob and asked him about the time invested, and it’s definitely a labor of love with these. To make a mold, it might take about 40 hours or more, depending on the detail (and the detail is evident).
Once all of the molds are done, each ring can take up to 15 hours to make. This is a small operation and they don’t churn out hundreds of rings per week, they said they’d be pushing it if they could turn out more than a dozen. If someone wants something completely custom, however, Bob warns us that the cost can increase exponentially.
If they don’t have the molds for whatever is being requested, they have to get pictures and make sure they get the scale right, then create those new molds for each part of the ring. The process is not much different from what any performance parts company goes through to create a new intake manifold, or cast valve covers.
Each ring is made 100% in the USA; the rings are cast in Cincinnati, Ohio, with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, being their home base. Each part of this team has a regular job, along with their hobbies of building engines and attending car shows. They’re always on the lookout for what’s new and exciting, too.
Bob said that this business is more his passion, and he said he was thrilled to have us feature some of his rings. We felt the same, because just taking a closer look at these we can tell that he knows engines and does his best to put distributors in the right place, include cylinder head markings – even the headers are correct for big-block and small-block engines. If you look closely at the detailed carburetors, you can even tell the difference between the carburetor manufacturers. The gallery below shows some of the steps taken to create these unique gearhead gifts.
To mix things up, you won’t just find one metal poured into a single mold, nosiree. There’s occasionally a mix of metals poured into the molds to give each ring a unique look. How about a big-block Chevy engine in sterling silver with brass Moroso valve covers?
Or you can have a Mopar 440 Wedge with a brass six pack and sterling silver valve covers. For you Blue Oval fans, Bob told us that he’s working on some Ford engines and wants to hear from you.
He gave us a list of engines they’d like to do in the future, including: the Coyote; the 427 FE – in Boss 429, 2×4, and AC Cobra; 302/351 Windsor; the Flathead V8; and the 455 Buick. So you Ford guys have something to look forward to and now is the time to get in touch with them.
We told Bob we would rib him a little here about not having any Fords currently, so be sure to drop him a line and let him know which Ford engines you want to see. But be nice to him, Bob’s a great guy with a no BS approach and he will tell you straight up if he can get it made or if it’s going to be a while. They created the 440 Mopar engines after a few requests, so there’s no telling what you might see next. We told him we would like to see a twin turbo setup. We laughed, Bob said, “Send me some pictures.” Did we tell you he was a no BS kinda guy?
So if you want to see that dual quad 302, a Boss 429, or even a Coyote, hit him up and let him know that Street Muscle Magazine sent you to plead with him for more engines and configurations! Remember: you might have missed Father’s Day, but Christmas is not that far away and you have plenty of time to save up.
The rings all sell for just under $300 up to a little over $400, much of it depending on the materials used. If you want some red rubies in your blower scoop, or red butterflies in your shotgun scoop, let him know.
They’ve got quite a collection of over 120 rings to choose from, and you will likely spend a couple hours checking them out and making a decision. Head on over to V8Rings and get yourself something that will definitely be a conversation starter the next car cruise you attend.
Check out the gallery below, we had some fun with these rings and some of our other gearhead toys. By the way, if you can’t figure out which one to get, they also have gift certificates so the gearhead on your list can’t blame you for getting small-block instead of the big-block. So many to choose from.
UPDATE: We told Bob the Ring Guy, “Bob, you MUST make some Ford rings for our Ford fans.” Well, Bob came through and he just sent us these pictures of the Ford rings that they just completed. We told you he’s a no BS kinda guy!