Jim Eli's auto shop in the Electric City is being showcased across the world in a new t.v. series 'Pick, Flip, and Drive' on A&E. Eli has been in the auto industry for over 40 years. He says Montana is the perfect location for the show.
"It's not your normal car show, it's just not. It's got some meaning to it, some heart to it. It shows the local body shops, it isn't just 'Here's a car, here's a $50,000 buyer.' We build the cars and then we're looking for somebody to buy them. We put it on Facebook Watch, anybody can buy 'em," said Eli.
The series started filming in May and lasted through last summer.
Eli adds, "We were clear up in Helena, we were in Dutton, we were in Fort Benton. We loved all the places we filmed, and they're beautiful. It spotlights Montana, it shows rivers, it shows scenery, it shows my crazy wife driving her 1970 Chevelle. It brought in a lot of money into Great Falls. It was a tremendous budget, it was a $2-3 million budget. They had people here from the first of May clear into November, I mean 15-20 of them at a time. Staying in motels, eating here, back and forth, shipping cars, they spent a lot of money in this town. It was quite extensive."
His whole family is featured on the show. Together they pick, flip, and sell classic cars.
Jim's son Jason says, "It's a family show, it's not just a car show. I'm fond of saying it's a half a car show and 3/4 Duck Dynasty -and I know what I just said."
Eli added, "It got a lot more popular than they ever imagined."
You can watch the show on Facebook Watch or catch it at 8 p.m. on A&E's FYI channel on Saturday nights.
"We want everybody to watch, because the more ratings we get, the better chance we get to do another one right here."