Hi! I’m Emile, and cars are my life.
Sounds like a confessional, right? Well, it’s true. I’ve been enamored with cars for as long as I can remember.
In fact, my entire life has revolved around cars, and somehow, I’ve made it work. That means I often find myself playing with cars and, craziest thing ever, getting paid to do so. I know, right? Let’s keep that on the DL, though, lest my secret gets out.
All kidding aside, specifically, I’m a professional driver and driving instructor, a SAG stunt driver for TV and films, a former car designer, a car show presenter, an automotive fine artist and an all-around automotive ninja. Yeah, I know... I’m a lucky guy.
My earliest childhood memories are all about cars. I remember cruising in my father’s Toyota 2000GT (yeah, you have to click here), spotting a white Jaguar E-Type across the intersection and listening as my dad told me all about it and how we would fare against it.
I mean, with that kind of introduction, how could I have done anything else with my life except devote it to all things automotive?
The love affair went supernova when I received as a gift a book about racecars. Flipping through the pages, I came across a thing that stopped me instantly and accelerated my heart like nothing had ever done before; a Ferrari 330 P4 (go ahead, click here, I’ll wait). How on earth did man create something so magnificent? Forget that I had no idea the sound of its engine would have probably melted my brain like a V12-powered flame-thrower. Someone had actually drawn those shapes. And even more amazingly, it was someone’s job to drive it!
At that very moment I knew what I wanted to do with my life: race cars. Little did I know that decision would lead me to another car-based career along the way.
While I did eventually race professionally (you can read about that here), this is a good place to make the connection to this website, and probably, to the reason you’re here.
While racing motorcycles professionally as a teenager, my strong-willed, Latin mother (love you, mom!) forced me to take a break from racing and go off to study something. Since I’d spent most of my waking hours as a kid drawing cars – day dreaming and visualizing my life as a racing driver – I’d gotten pretty good at it. And so, in a roundabout way, I found myself at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where I studied transportation design – or car design to you and me.
It was while at Art Center that I picked up paint brushes for the first time, and to no one’s surprise started painting... what else, racing cars. After graduating, and while balancing work as a car designer and a racing driver, I continued to paint for several years before moving away from it when I became a parent to two beautiful canines. Yeah, you read that correctly; not kids, but dogs. Long story slightly less long, since the passing of my last pup in 2017, I began to think about painting again, mainly as a distraction from a too-quiet, dog-less home. I picked up the brushes, struggled a bit to get my brush strokes and hand skills back, but with some perseverance, the skills returned little by little, and here we are, all caught up.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been extremely fortunate to create a life that revolves around cars. Whether designing cars, driving or racing cars, coaching aspiring racing drivers, driving as a stunt driver or creating paintings of cars for other car crazy people, I’m always playing with cars – just as I did as a kid. So you see, as I told you at the beginning of this story, cars really are my life.