Car Enthusiasts gathered at the Montecito Event Center last Friday, September 2, for a private preview screening of an exciting new car lifestyle show, Car Life on the 101.
Monte Wilson, founder of Santa Barbara Cars and Coffee and a race car driver for 20 years, is the host of the show. He and his wife, Maria Wilson, are the executive producers of this “car lifestyle show.” Rather than being a hardcore car show, Monte explains, it is “more about the people behind the cars and the stories behind those cars.” The show also features segments on fun car adventures.
Monte is no stranger to taking on challenges. For years he was a software executive, most recently with Adobe Systems as Head of Operations for North and South America. He is thrilled to now be focusing on his passion for cars.
After the cocktail hour, Wilson welcomed the crowd and enthusiastically shared that he “really feels a sense of community through the car community here,“ and noted that the inspiration for the segments was “all of you guys because of the stories, the people, the adventures that we have through cars and coffee.”
He introduced the key players and then introduced the season premier before the lights dimmed and the show began. Among the show’s segments was a history of Santa Barbara road racing and an interview with Michael Hammer about two of his Rolls- Royces. After the show concluded, Wilson asked for sincere feedback in the form of questionnaire responses from the guests. Judging from the level of applause, the responses will be very high on praise.
Future segments will profile local car legends and some of the folks from Cars & Coffee. There will also be a fun segment on Car Wives on the 101, and segments showcasing day trips to various spots.
Elijah Allan-Blitz will appear as a co-host in various segments, and there will be other guest co-hosts as well. Allan-Blitz is best known for his many independent and short films, and the Peter Bogdanovich feature film She’s Funny That Way. He is also the lead in the new pilot, New Dawn. He confessed to not having much of a car background but said that when he offered to cram study, Monte explained there was no need because he wanted Allan-Blitz to be the guy who asks the questions that everyone will want to be asked.
Maria Wilson, the owner of The Painted Cabernet, is on scene for each episode in her role as one of the executive producers. To ensure that the show holds strong appeal to females as well as males, one part of her job is to offer the female perspective during the production process.
The idea for the show came from the show’s producers, the Conlin family at YTS Productions who have always wanted to do a car show: Will Conlin, director/editor; his mother, Harlene Conlin, the producer and videographer; and his father, Gary Conlin, also a videographer and sound engineer. YTS also produces The Inn Crowd, Design Santa Barbara and Wine Country with Archie MacLaren, all of which air on KEYT on Saturday nights.
Car Life on the 101 will typically air at 7:30 pm on Saturdays, though in the near term it is being shifted to a later time because of college football. The show is set to run for at least two seasons, with the next episode airing on Saturday, September 10 at 10:30 pm. Viewers can also watch behind-the-scenes segments on the website. For more information, go to carlifeonthe101.com.
By Gail Arnold