Friday, March 14, 2003

Jenn Boneza and Dale Payson will co-host "Ohana Road," a locally produced television show about all things automotive. It will debut at 6 p.m. tomorrow on KITV.

New TV show lets you
cruise the car industry
from your couch

Locally produced automotive television magazine show "Ohana Road" will debut tomorrow evening for car buffs, poseurs and dreamers.

"We're going to entertain you with cars of the future, classic cars of the past, personalities and people who've done great things in the car world," said Executive Producer Bill Maloney.

The Cutter Automotive Group is the title sponsor, but "the show is not a half-hour commercial," Maloney said.

The show will profile various cars, those available locally and the sexy concept vehicles created by various manufacturers. Among the model names that rolled off the top of Maloney's head were the Dodge Tomahawk, with its four wheels, V-10 engine and 500 horsepower.

"A 500 horsepower motorcycle!" Maloney exclaimed. A Harley-Davidson has about 100 horsepower, he said.

The Ford 49er, a lowered, chopped answer to the PT Cruiser, will be displayed at the First Hawaiian Bank International Auto Show at the Hawaii Convention Center this month, said Maloney. "Ohana Road's" production crew from LeSea Broadcasting Corp. will tape segments during the March 20-23 event.

Segments are produced here and on the mainland.

"Ohana Road" has obtained rights to use portions of a show called "Car Crazy" hosted by Barry Meguiar, president and chief executive officer of the 102-year-old car polish company bearing his name. "Ohana Road" viewers will see Meguiar's interviews with car nuts including Tonight Show host Jay Leno, ZZ Top band member Billy Gibbons and motorsports legend Carroll Shelby.

A similar segment done locally is called Cars and Stars Hawaii. One of the first stars will be Hawaii Elvis impersonator Jonathan Von Brana, who owns a vintage Stutz Blackhawk formerly owned by the late Dean Martin. Other collectors of rare -- read expensive -- cars will appear in future shows; the local motorsports community will also gain some profile on the show.

The TV show "Ohana Road" will debut tomorrow with features on local automobiles.

Maloney hopes to feature the work of University of Hawaii engineering students, who are preparing for the Society of Automotive Engineers' Mini Baja West design contest in Utah.

The show's co-hosts are veteran broadcaster Dale Payson and Jenn Boneza, cast member of the Blue Hawaii show at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. Star-Bulletin automotive section writer Ed Kemper is also involved with some of the show's elements, but Maloney is the driving force behind the show -- every pun intended.

Maloney's career includes auto racing, automotive advertising and television production. From beginnings on WCIU-TV in Chicago he went on to the television division of Motor Trend magazine, the Speed Channel, ABC and ESPN.

His main on-camera contribution to "Ohana Road" will be called, "A Bunch of Maloney," an Andy Rooney-esque collection of Maloney's observations on "stuff I get teed off about, motorcycle noise, car horns, loud car ads," he said.

He arrived in Hawaii from Corona Del Mar eight months ago when his wife persuaded him to move to the islands where she has owned a condo for years.

"I'm not just going to lay on the beach," he warned her.

He was soon hired as the automotive consultant for BBiTV, the interactive advertising venue on Oceanic Time Warner Cable of Hawaii.

Still dangerously close to having time to lie on the beach, Maloney decided to pitch an idea for a TV show around town and Cutter Management Co. took him up on it. Cutter carries every domestic car brand and five import brands and has 11 dealerships on Oahu and Maui.

"We're the title sponsor of the show but we want to appeal to a pretty wide audience," said Jon Rasmussen, general manager and creative director of Octane, Cutter's in-house marketing division.

The target audience is male and female, 18-54. "Basically anybody who has any interest in cars, whether it's the looks, the performance or the function," he said. Cutter increased its advertising budget for the special project, initially slated for a 13-week run with an option for more.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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