Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 90


wash
ideas

Ivan Barber
A giant among legends
INTERVIEW BY PERRY POWELL
IVAN BARBER IS in his early 90s and is
as sharp as a tack. Ivan was a farm boy who
moved to the city and started out working
in service stations and then worked four
years as a police officer. He entered the
car wash industry as an owner-operator in
1957 after owning and operating a service
station in Toronto from 1955.
His value was soon felt as he began selling
- and then inventing - car wash equipment and competing with the big boys of the
day. In 1973, his company, which also sold
to the service station industry in Canada,
would gross more than $9 million in one
year with a $1 million pretax profit.
I met Ivan in Las Vegas and we became
fast friends. He was kind enough to provide
WashIdeas.com with documentation on a
variety of companies selling in the late 50s
and early 60s. My favorite is a brochure for
a company producing bumper hooks for
pulling cars through conveyors.
When I called Ivan for the audio interview, it took place in front of one of his cars
wash locations, while sitting in his car. The
following is an excerpt from that interview.
Perry: What was it like to wash cars in
the 1950s?
Ivan: Well, my original equipment
was Rocket Equipment, out of Chicago.
Probably the finest equipment at that time.
That was before wrap-around brushes.
We had sitting troughs and we had two
men in pits at the entrance, on each side
of the car. They were in pits about three
feet deep. They hooked the chains on the
front of the car, washed the wheels and the
bottom section of the car.
Then the car went through a three-brush
unit - a top brush and two side brushes.
From there, the car went into a sitting area
where we had two mitter troughs, sitting

90

down the car and then the rinse and blowers.
That is what we had until the wraparound brushes came out. Maybe you
could look up what year that was.
Perry: I show your patent for your wraparound unit was filed in 1968 and granted
in 1971. Were you motivated to invent the
wrap-around because you saw deficiencies
in the systems at that time or were you
improving what existed?
Ivan: We had the third patent for wraparound brushes. I guess you could say we
were improving what was there. Up until
this point, we had men washing the grille
and the back of the car. This unit consisted
of two brushes. Each washed half of the
front of the car, the side of the car and the
rear of the car.
Some of the older operators did not like
the wrap-around brush when it first came
out and felt it did not do a good enough
job, but it was soon proven that at 5 o'clock
in the afternoon, the brush did a better job
that the men.
Perry: What kind of material were you
using? Was it cloth?
Ivan: Bristle. That was before the days
of cloth.
[Later in the interview.]
Perry: How does a farm boy learn to sell
$9 million worth of equipment in one year?
Ivan: Ha! My main competitor in
Canada was Sherman, and I assume they
were doing as well as we were. They [service station industry] were determined to
get into the business and were ordering
everything we could build. We weren't
having to sell anymore!
Perry: You're almost 90, are you still
active [in the industry]?
Ivan: I am sitting in my car at one of
the washes right now.

CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG |

FALL 2016

Ivan Barber, now in his early 90s, entered
the car wash industry as an owner-operator
in 1957. In effort to improve the car was
process, Barber became a successful
inventor of car wash equipment.

Provided by Barber, pictured is a brochure
for a company producing bumper hooks for
pulling cars through conveyors, circa late
50s or early 60s.
Listen to the full interview with Ivan
Barber at www.washideas.com.


http://www.WashIdeas.com http://www.washideas.com http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Fall 2016

Letter from the ICA
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Shifting gears: Predictions in a growing industry
7 business trends to leverage in 2017
First ever full-service fueling
Coming clean on property taxes
3 global talentmanagement trends every manager should understand
The psychology behind purchasing
Are on-vehicle cameras a concern for car washes?
Working overtime
Randy Shick finds perfect fit in the car wash industry
Creating and cultivating loyalty
Inspiring people to shine
Women in Car Washing
Take a Tour
Wash Ideas
Focus on a Member
Blast from the Past
Download It!
Marketing Minute
Ask Champ
Top Tweets
Index of Advertisers
5 Things
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - bellyband1
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - bellyband2
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - cover1
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - cover2
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 3
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 4
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 5
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 6
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 7
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 8
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 9
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 10
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Letter from the ICA
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 12
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 13
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - By the Numbers
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 15
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 16
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Overheard Online
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Shifting gears: Predictions in a growing industry
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 19
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 20
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 21
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 22
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 23
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 24
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 25
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 26
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 27
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 7 business trends to leverage in 2017
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 29
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 30
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 31
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 32
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 33
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 34
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - First ever full-service fueling
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 36
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 37
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 38
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 39
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 40
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 41
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 42
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Coming clean on property taxes
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 44
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 45
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 3 global talentmanagement trends every manager should understand
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 47
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 48
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 49
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 50
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 51
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 52
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 53
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - The psychology behind purchasing
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 55
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 56
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 57
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 58
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 59
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 60
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 61
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 62
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Are on-vehicle cameras a concern for car washes?
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 64
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 65
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Working overtime
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 67
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 68
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 69
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 70
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 71
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 72
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Randy Shick finds perfect fit in the car wash industry
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 74
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 75
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Creating and cultivating loyalty
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 77
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 78
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 79
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 80
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 81
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 82
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Inspiring people to shine
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 84
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Women in Car Washing
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Take a Tour
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 87
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 88
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 89
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Wash Ideas
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Focus on a Member
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Blast from the Past
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 93
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Download It!
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Marketing Minute
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 96
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Ask Champ
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Top Tweets
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 100
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 101
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - 5 Things
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - cover3
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - cover4
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert1
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert2
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert3
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert4
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert5
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert6
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert7
Car Wash - Fall 2016 - outsert8
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