This 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Is the Definition of a Family Car | Harold Zeigler Newsletter Kalamazoo MI
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Date posted: January 4, 2016

This 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Is the Definition of a Family Car

Out of the nearly 77,000 Dodge Challengers built in 1970, only 137 of them had both the 426 Hemi engine and a manual transmission. One of those 137 examples belonged to Juan Escalante’s father.

He ordered the car of his dreams exactly the way he wanted it, and when he imported it to Venezuela, it was the only Hemi-powered Challenger in the country. Sadly, finding parts for the car proved difficult in Venezuela, and it fell into disrepair.

After 24 years sitting parked in South America, Escalante and his brother convinced their father to let them begin the long process of restoring their family Challenger. Unfortunately, the restoration took nearly 10 years, and their father didn’t live to see it brought back to its former glory.

Their father always insisted that the car was for driving and should be used, not simply looked at, so that’s what they do now—they drive it, letting new generations of car fans experience what muscle cars were like in their golden age.

As a result, the love for the car has been passed down one more generation.

“As long as there’s Escalantes, this car is going to remain in the Escalante family. I can promise you that. I know I speak for my dad that this thing is never going to be sold. This thing means way too much,” says the newest Escalante, Juan’s son.

When you’re talking about a car that’s been in the family going on 50 years, that’s about the best thing you can hear your son say.

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