In 1945, R.D. Beck, a small-town gas-station owner, started scrubbing patrons’ cars with his son, Lamar. At first, the service was a way to score a little extra business, but before long, throngs of eager customers circled the tiny shop. Unable to meet the demand, they built a conveyor-belt system that washed cars just as well as they could. As their business grew, they purchased a Columbus, Georgia, car wash with a strange but memorable moniker: GooGoo. Though the name stems from a famous duck on a 1930s radio show, it now stands for the goo-goo eyes that Lamar makes when a clean, shiny car drives by.
GooGoo’s also short for GooGoo 3 Minute Express Wash, the modern incarnation of the Beck family business. Here, staffers dressed in bright-red ties prep cars for baths and guide drivers to the washing tunnel’s conveyor belt. Drivers kick back as gentle machines scrub their autos with Neoglide foam and microfiber cloths as soft as a baby chick wearing a lamb's-wool sweater. Biodegradable soaps and house-label waxes imbue exteriors with shine and sparkle, and a stable of free-to-use vacuums helps drivers extract dirt and debris from seats, mats, and floors.
Taxi's BBQ & Catering’s chefs slow-smoke tender Texas-style brisket, ribs, and chicken on-location to spice up parties and special events. Homestyle sides complement barbecue entrees and range from potato salad to baked beans to Taxi's taters—chive mashed potatoes crowned with cheddar cheese and bacon. Taxi’s hickory-smoked cuisine is also available for carryout and delivery for those incapable of using forks in the presence of others.
The storefront of Vaughan's Mobile Electronics is not flashy. The owner, Erik, prefers it this way. The focus of his electronics shop isn't glitz and glamour, but rather genuine customer service and quality products. It’s also, says Erik, "Texas owned and operated, and we take extreme pride in that." To uphold their mission, Erik—a graduate of The Installer Institute and longtime electronics sales associate—and his crew outfit cars, boats, and fleet trucks with the latest gear. They install everything from booming Sony audio systems and window tints that protect cars from UV rays to Clifford remote starters and car horns that play the entirety of “Stairway To Heaven.” Erik and his team also create an enjoyable experience for clients by providing them with complimentary WiFi while they wait.
The cleaning staff at Shine Express Carwash grooms begrimed autos with a full-service car wash, which eases autos through the bathing tunnel before the staff vacuums away lingering internal debris, cleans out cup holders, and performs an interpretive hand waxing. During the Platinum Works detail package, cleaners slip into their most meticulous personas while tending to both interiors and exteriors. Unkempt carpets regain their fluffy disposition with a sudsy shampooing, and a hand wax leaves hoods as shiny and reflective as a freshly minted introspective penny.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Signature Service Oil Change package, which promotes the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and prevents moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) nurse vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, Jiffy Lube's savants perform air-filtration, electricity, and windshield services, among others. The technicians' quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, only complete a service after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Since 1988, Auto Care Super Saver has been helping car owners save cash with maintenance punch cards redeemable at local auto shops throughout the course of a full year. These cards come loaded with all kinds of prepaid services, including at least three full-service oil changes with up to 5 quarts of oil, lube, and a new filter. Depending on the location, punch cards may also feature tire rotations, brake inspections, engine-light readings, air-conditioning performance tests, and other repairs and inspections essential to a car's well-being. Customers can transfer the punch card's benefits to any ride, ranging from station wagons to sports cars to feral merry-go-round mounts.