County’s DeMartini talks cars in Modesto with Japanese travel show crew

etracy@modbee.comFebruary 26, 2014 

Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini will make his Asian television debut this spring as talent in a Japanese travel show.

The crew of “World’s Superb View (Sekai no Zekkei)” taped an episode featuring a journey from San Francisco to Yosemite, and chose to stop in Modesto along the way.

The show is filmed from the audience’s perspective so viewers feel as if they are the traveler, with production coordinator Yakiko Ide providing voice-over dialogue. The traveler meets DeMartini at Velvet Grill & Creamery on McHenry Avenue after noticing him drive into the parking lot in a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner.

Modesto Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Mullen said the crew asked her to help feature Modesto’s classic-car culture, so she arranged for DeMartini to bring one of his 23 vintage cars to the restaurant.

Ide said she also chose Modesto “because it is one of the Amtrak stops and we wanted our audience to get the feel of a journey. When we were looking at which city to stop in – we were looking at quite a bit of different cities – Modesto is a family town and also a farming town, so we thought it was very interesting. Japan is big on agriculture as well, but here, you guys do it on a grand scale.”

After chatting with DeMartini in the diner, the traveler is invited for a ride in the Plymouth to DeMartini’s farm between Ceres and Patterson. The farm where he grows walnuts, grapes and peaches, and it also features a large garage, where he keeps his classic cars.

DeMartini enjoyed showing off his cars, a passion he’s had since he was a teenager.

“I’ve always liked cars; I’ve never got it out of my system. I had a certain amount of cars that I just loved in high school but couldn’t afford to buy, so 40 years later, I bought them all, and this was one of the muscle cars that I liked since high school,” DeMartini said of the Plymouth.

The San Francisco-to-Yosemite episode of “World’s Superb View” will air in April on the Tokyo Broadcasting System, a major network in Japan.

Ide said she’d share the episode with Mullen after it airs so locals can see what Modesto looks like with a Japanese twist.

Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at or (209) 578-2366. Follow her on Twitter @ModestoBeeCrime.

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