I get asked often how I got my start into building race cars so here's my story;
It all started when I was a 15 year old High School student living in Cape Coral, FL.
We use to have a neighbor that lived a couple blocks away in the same subdivision
as us that would drive by our house every Friday and Saturday night and also most
Sunday afternoons with his modified 1970 Nova, on his way to somewhere. The
sound of that car would just make my heart race and finally curiosity got the best of
me and my brother so we finally decided to follow them one night to where they
would go which turned out to be a remote location in North Cape Coral where they
and several hundred other local people would street race their cars.
I was hooked on this "street racing" and decided I needed to get myself a car. I
managed to purchase, with help from my father, a 12 second '75 Camaro from a
local racer and my brother also bought an '80 Z-28 Camaro that ran some high 13's.
Over time we needed to do things to the cars that required welding and fabrication so
at 17 I enrolled myself into a welding class at a local vocational school and bought a
used MIG welder so I could do things to our cars like install a roll bar, amongst other
things. It wasn't long before I was performing work on other peoples cars including
that guy who got me hooked on this obsession.
My family eventually moved to the Ocala area and I took a job as a welder for a local
fire truck manufacturer (E-One). I had sold my Camaro right before the move but my
brother still had his so we teamed up on his and started modifying it for "Heads up"
racing at the Drag Strips.
I ended up quitting my job of 6 1/2 years at E-One to take a job at Suncoast Race
Cars as their head welder. I worked there for 5 months which don't seem like a long
time but I learned a ton on the In's and Out's of building a professional race car. I left
mainly due to travel distance and other issues I had at that time.
I ended up taking a job at a local company (Flair Corporation) as a welder and while
there obtained ASME certifications in MIG, TIG, Stick, Flux Core and Sub Arc welding.
After 3 years there they were bought out by a much larger company and layoffs
ensued. 100 employees were laid off, myself included.
In October of 2002 after spending 8 months on unemployment trying to find a job
with decent wages I decided to take a shot in the dark and open my own chassis
shop after being coaxed by two of my dearest friends to give it a shot. They said to
me, "you have the knowledge and skills, why not?" So while obviously being scared
to death, I took the $5000 my wife and I had left in savings and sunk it all into
opening up "Dan Neumann Race Cars LLC".
Nearly 9 years later I can proudly say we're going strong and have many satisfied
customers who I cannot thank enough for giving me the opportunity to show them
what I can do for their racing programs. We may not be the fastest at getting a job
done but we will do our best to give you the most bang for your buck.
Just remember one thing.
It's not how much you spend,
but how well you spend it.