In the spirit of taking high-performance luxury to the next level, New York-based Dina Parise Racing (DPR) would like to present and welcome “Stella,” their brand-new Cadillac CTS-V built by Matheis Race Cars Inc. in Missouri.
“This build has certainly taken a bit longer than we had planned,” team co-owner and driver Dina Parise says. “This was not the fault of anyone, we just ran into a few snags along the way. And besides, perfection takes time, right?”
Take the term ‘luxury’ out of it for a moment and frankly, you are left with a bad-ass, classy looking Pro Mod; there’s just no other way to define Stella than that. In putting the pieces of the Pro Mod puzzle together, her naming became the final piece. “Stella is perfect! We gave her that name after my Nanny Stella,” Parise explains. “She was a tough, independent, a fiery (in every sense of the word) red-headed Italian! It just works!”
From the Cadillac CTS-V body selection to the chassis assembly through to the safety equipment, as well as paint and finishing touches, the car has been nothing short of a labor of love covered in a veil of secrecy for all involved. In the initial stages, DPR showed a few build photos and that turned to ‘sneak peek’ photos soon thereafter.
“Keeping her a bit of a mystery was fun for us and the fans,” Parise says. “It was a great way to pass the time, as well as recognize our marketing partners during the process. We made the absolute best of the situation. That’s what we are best at.”
Keeping Stella under wraps was especially tough for chassis builder Rob Matheis. “I have said before that I have been a fan of the Parises for a long time. So, when the opportunity arose to build the Cadillac for Dina we were all in,” he says. “The fact that this car looks so close to the actual CTS-V will keep the fans wanting more. Admittedly keeping this build a secret was not easy. But in the end we are extremely proud of the product we have built for them.”
To complement the work by Matheis Race Cars inc., the new DPR supercharged Pro Mod sports a pair of headers fabricated by Stainless Works. A powerful race car such as this also needs the best safety equipment around, so DPR turned to DJ Safety for everything from fire suit to boots, to seat belts and chutes. Parise also says not to forget Bell Racing “for the best melon protection around!”
“ Safety and comfort makes for a great race day,” she adds.
The final stage leading to the reveal of course was making Stella look as beautiful as she should. That was left to Paint by Bruce Mullins with materials provided by USA Auto Supply.
“Anyone who knows me knows I have a crazy attention to detail.” Parise admits. “Bruce was a partner in my insanity. From the headlights and the grill to the personalized license plate as well as the emblems, Bruce nailed it! Stella is a stunner!”
Not only was the paint on Cadillac executed perfectly, but husband Andrew Parise and Mullins had a surprise in store for Dina. That surprise came in the form of a handwritten note inside the driver’s door from none other than IHRA Funny Car champion Bunny Burkett. ‘Set your goals high, don’t settle for less. Do it one run at a time. Be safe and win…..Your friend, Bunny Burkett.’
“How cool is that?” Parise asks.
Dina Parise Racing thanks NGK, LAT Racing Oils, CRC Industries, Bell Helmets, DJ Safety, Stainless Works, Speedwire Systems, USA Auto Supply, Matheis Race Cars Inc., Hoosier Racing Tire, Browell Bell Housing, Axcel Sports,Trailer Valet and Coast 2 Coast Cuisine TV for their support throughout the season and beyond.
(Photos courtesy DPR; Click to enlarge)