An arresting display: 7th Montecito Motor Classic

A look at the people and the cars who support police-sponsored youth activities

The event was a celebration of two different automotive milestones — the 70th anniversary of the creation of an automobile called Porsche and the 90th anniversary of the introduction of a Ford called the Model A. 

But we think it an important component of the event story to recognize the league of visionaries and devoted volunteers who made the free-to-see Montecito Motor Classic fundraiser happen, and made it successful.

Monte Wilson and Dana Newquist

Monte Wilson, a legend (near deity) in the world of computer analytics and creativity, assembling an international cadre of brilliant disruptors for Adobe, EMC and Oracle, created Santa Barbara Cars & Coffee on Coast Village Road in Montecito, California, in 2010. It was free. Just park your car along several blocks of cafes, boutiques — and purveyors of high-test caffeine — and find new friends with cool cars. ClassicCars.com introduced the fully developed event to you on June 13, 2016.

Montecito is a community of high achievers and believers in the metrics of excellence — there should be a show with awards — it should also celebrate young people who have demonstrated both of those qualities. 

The Santa Barbara Police Department had already created a program for such kids, PAL (Police Activities League). It had goals to be accomplished and success required a growing scramble for resources. Even Santa Barbara’s famously altruistic community had limits at the edges of its full plate. The networks that accompanied the management team’s awe-inspiring credentials offered access to corporate sponsorships and fabulous car collections as launch support. 

Dolores Johnson

Dolores Johnson, a co-founder of the event and management group member, reflecting the Montecito group’s astonishing record of international leadership, is director of sales for the constantly expanding Million Air international group of FBO (Fixed Base Operations) for private, corporate and contract aviation support.  She was involved everywhere. Her genteel directives could not be misconstrued as lacking strength of purpose — or focus on a clear vision for the event’s underlying purpose.

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Honored guest, Dana Newquist, has also been involved since the beginning; first as a consultant to Johnson and co-founder Monika Draggoo, and then as co-chair with Johnson for the next five years. One wonders at the time-management skills of these remarkable people. Both had very big business responsibilities as they undertook the challenges of a mostly-local car show — with a friendly grace disguising a fierce devotion to excellence in all elements of the task. 

Newquist was a well-known serial entrepreneur from the very beginning of the computer age — Santa Barbara’s Computer Plaza in 1980! Along with establishing an elegantly friendly cottage-like facility for the care of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, he is a board member of several important philanthropic organizations, admits some pride in his position of archivist/protector of the Montecito Foundation archive, once the library of celebrated historian/author David Myrick. And he has a fascinating collection of early automobiles. 

1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal draws attention

A key member of the Montecito Motor Classic support team is Michael Armand Hammer, the presenting sponsor for 2018. He has served with many charitable, professional, and civic organizations, among them the Starbright Foundation, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the Boy Scouts of America and by his help with the Montecito Motor Classic, a direct involvement with Santa Barbara Police Department focus on youth programs. He, too, is a genuine car guy with another great collection in the neighborhood.

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And there was another Montecito tradition — an eclectic mix of hardware much enjoyed by a complete street full of fans.

Mark your calendar: The 2019 Montecito Motor Classic will be held on Sunday, September 22. It’s free and there will be people you’d like to know. 

In the meantime, Santa Barbara Cars and Coffee is every Sunday from 8 a.m. (but be there by 7) to 10 a.m at La Cumbre Plaza at the top end of State Street.  Peet’s Coffee, Starbucks and Alegro Coffee would all love to see you.

Larry Crane
CONTRIBUTOR
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