By Ken de la Bastide
There are not many Cadillac’s that are converted into race cars, but back in the 1980s there was one raced by Jack Neal.
Neal has since returned from active competition but his involvement in racing remains as strong as ever through Motion Motors.
When Anderson Speedway brought late model racing back to the track in 2013, Neal was one of the driving forces.
This past weekend Neal received a gift of a 1983 Cadillac, a replica of his race car from Jack Dossey.
Dossey’s son Jack Dossey III was crowned the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model champion on Sunday.
“Jack Neal ran a car similar to the Cadillac in the 1980s, competing in the outlaw division,” Dossey said. “We were there racing and I always liked Cadillac’s. He pulled into the race track with a black Cadillac with “Outlaw” written down the side of it. I thought that was the neatest thing.”
Dossey said the Neal family has been involved in racing for many years in central Indiana. Tim Neal is the crew chief for Dossey’s son and Scott Neal is involved in Champion Racing Association events.
“His whole family has helped a lot of racers, helped a lot of racers at Anderson Speedway,” Dossey said. “After I bought this car, thought it would be neat to just do a nostalgia car for Jack Neal. It was just something to say thanks, more sentimental than anything.”
Dossey said basically the car looked like the 1983 model.
“It was a pretty neat car,” he said. “I don’t remember if the car was real fast, but it was unique.”
The 1983 Cadillac with 93,000 miles on it has “Outlaw” painted on the side, “Motion Motors” on the hood and “Anderson Speedway” on the rear deck.
“I could have sold the car, but I figured he would get more appreciation out of it,” Dossey said.
Neal said when he was called to the front straightaway by track owner Rick Dawson he was trying to figure out what went wrong.
As the Cadillac made its way to the front straight, Neal’s wife Kathy, brushed back a tear.
“That’s been a long time ago,” Neal said of the gift. “Bob Ratliffe actually owned the car; we cut the body all up to make it work”
Neal said the car was featured in Stock Car magazine.
“I don’t know how they kept this a secret, normally I can get stuff out of them,” he said.
With Kathy in the passenger seat, Neal drove the Cadillac down the front straight.
Tim Neal said the gift of the Cadillac was a big surprise, because his father is not used to that.
“There were only two Cadillac’s built back in the day, one in Indiana and the other in California,” he said. “It took a long time to make the car work.”
Neal said his father would be dumbfounded by the gift.
“He helps people race, which is what he loved to do,” he said of his father.