Meet the Escalante Family

El Hemi has been a big part of the lives of three generations of the Escalante family. Meet them all here, and click on the pictures for more photos.

Jose: Jose's love for cars started when he was a small child riding shotgun with his taxi driver dad. Several cars later he was able to move to the driver seat of his dream, a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger. Jose passed on November 11, 2003.

The passing of our beloved Jose coincidentally fell on the same day and month, 11-11, of the birth of his Dodge Challenger, 11-11, thirty-four years later.

Here is a note we found inside of the No. 1 cylinder when the car made it back to the US from Venezuela in February, 1996. The note was inside of a plastic bag with some traces of grease. It was written by Jose as if he was Piston No. 1.

Juan Jose: Jose's first son. At age 4, he saw the arrival of EL HEMI to the Escalante family. His huge passion for "the elephant machine" never waned. Now 40 years later, his dream of resurrecting this musclecar has become a reality.

Besides enjoying the car, Juan wants to pass on his father's wishes by preserving the car for future generations.

Gus: Jose's second son. Gus was too little to remember when the car was acquired. He quickly felt the thrill of the ride as he grew older and accompanied his dad to work. Upon restoration of EL HEMI, he was able to kick it into high gear by test driving it for the first time in his life.
Caylor Jose: Jose's first grandson. Caylor Jose's love for cars was at the onset of his birth. From early on, Caylor carried pictures of EL HEMI and heard stories from his father Juan and grandfather Jose about the car.

At age 16, he was finally able to get behind the wheel of EL HEMI and into the staging lines of the next generation of caregiver of this wonderful car.

Luis: Jose's second grandson. Even though Luis was very young when his grandfather Jose passed on, he was fortunate enough to have attended several racing events with his dad Gus and grandfather. Now at every opportunity he scrambles for his place in the back seat of the Challenger. Luis is excited about being old enough to move to the front seat and be the next in line to drive EL HEMI.
Diego: Jose's third grandson. The youngest of the Escalante boys. Diego never met his grandfather Jose but no one could be more like him. This toddler chooses to wear car t-shirts over Mickey Mouse's. When placed behind the steering wheel of EL HEMI, no amount of coaxing can convince him to step out.

There is no doubt this child will carry on the legacy!!