Car Wash - Summer 2016 - (Page 84)
F R O M
T H E
car wash history
We occasionally provide excerpts from The Great American Car Wash Story.
Former ICA Executive Director Gus Trantham and veteran commercial writer John
Beck wrote this book in 1994. It represents the most complete history we have found
of the industry in North America. Enjoy.
THE FUN OF CARWASHING
IN THE BEGINNING, getting your car washed
was something of an adventure. Sort of like taking
a ride through the tunnel of love at the amusement
park, except the cars had the pleasure of the ride
while the owners gawked as best they could at their
pride-and-joy's being massaged by foamy brushes.
It was fun to get out of your car and watch the
vacuum man leap in with his hose which inhaled
grit and gravel as easily as you might smell a rose.
It was fun to see the rubber-attired steam man
clunk around in boots re-releasing clouds of vapor
as he worked over your headlights, grille, wheels and
trim with his wand like a magician skilled at the art
of exorcising tough dirt.
It was fun to see your car disappearing into curtains
of water, foam and bristles as it rolled as though mesmerized without a driver into that tunnel of mystery.
It was fun to stroll along the walkway and peer
through windows to observe your car being washed
by a maze of mechanisms abetted by crews of mitters who occasionally glanced up at you and waved
with a grin.
It was fun to see the skill of the attendant at the
exit as he would catch the car as it rolled clear of
the blower and conveyor to climb in and drive it
out to the detailing area where teams of attendants
waited with white towels in each hand and would
wipe the car dry with long sweeping passes, and
then detail the windshield and windows inside
It was fun to get behind the wheel of your sparkling car and drive off with a vehicle that sounded
quieter and felt more powerful as though rejuvenated in a kind of mechanical health spa that
turned tired, dirty old cars into eager, shining
It is no exaggeration to say that when the word
got around that there was a new automatic car
wash opening up in an area, car owners flocked
to them for a new experience.
From the standpoint of the operators, it was a
great business to be in, because nobody seemed to
enjoy the chore of washing their cars, but watching
somebody else do it was fun.
CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG |
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Summer 2016
Letter from the ICA
By the Numbers
Along for the Ride
Employee Training Is Critical to Success
New & Improved
Funding Your Big Idea
Be Prepared to Stop
The Car Wash Show 2016
ICA Unveils New Strategic Plan
Take a Tour
Blast from the Past
Car Wash - Summer 2016