Popular Northeast Pro Mod racer Dina Parise will be taking to the track in style in 2014 when she debuts her swoopy new Cadillac CTS-V-bodied machine this spring. Parise, who competes alongside her husband, Andrew, in the Extreme Outlaw Pro Mod series and other events near their New York state home, commissioned Matheis Race Cars to construct the new car, which will replace the familiar patriotic-themed 1963 split-window Corvette that she campaigned in recent seasons.
“We had a conversation with Rob [Matheis, of Matheis Race Cars] last year, and he told us he was a big fan of our team and had been following us, and indicated that he really wanted to build a new car for us,” Parise shared with us. “We’d been running the Corvette for a while and felt it was time for a change, and it all just came about at the right time. so we thought, ‘yeah, let’s do it.’
“We talked about how it was a Cadillac and I’m an italian girl, and it’s just the perfect combination. It was a little bit of a perk to the new car.”
The Parise’s revealed the plans for the new car just before the new year, and already the new chassis is progressing right along toward its completion and, ultimately, its debut. Parise was test-fitted in the cockpit during the last two weeks, and that alone gave the former competitive figure skater reason to be excited.
“It’s really got a different feeling than the Corvette had. The ‘Vette was a little more compact, but this one seems like a real Cadillac — it’s just so roomy and spacious inside,” she said.
Parise indicated that the team is in the midst of hanging the body on the chassis, with all of the sight-lines laid out based on her fitting. “We’re moving right along with it, and it should be done shortly,” said Parise.
In a departure from the incredible patriotic theme that Dina and Andrew’s machines have been known for in recent years, the new Caddy will take on a more simple, yet elegant look, befitting of the luxury car that it’s based upon.
“We’ll of course continue what our team has always done, and that’s to give back. Whether it’s our military or children’s charities, being thankful for what we have and giving back is what our racing program has been all about. But we are going to change the look up a little bit with this car. As many know, I was a professional figure skater in my other life, and I guess I’ve got a ‘showgirl’ quality about me, and so I tend to do things with a ‘glitter in my veins’ approach. So we’re going to kind of carry that over into the new car. It’s sleek, and it’s sexy, and it’s classy — I think this car wants that.”
The Parise’s plan to continue running both cars — Dina’s Cadillac and Andrew’s 1953 Corvette — as funding allows, with plans to contest the EOPM series, PDRA events, and perhaps even an NMCA race or two.
“We’re in need of some funding, so if anyone out there would like to hop onboard with the team, we would of course love that,” says Dina.
The team’s current marketing partners include CRC Industries, NGK Spark Plugs, USA Auto Supply, LAT Racing Oils, Speedwire, Hoosier Tires, Browell Bellhousing, and Neal Chance Racing Converters. Troy Critchley of Hammer Superchargers has also been assisting the team.
“At this point, everything is a little up in the air, but once the build is complete and we get everything together and tested, then we’ll be able to map our season out a little better. But this car is going to be fast, and we’ll be right in the mix, so I’m just really looking forward to it.”