Tucked in the rear of a large parking lot off the beaten path of South Lamar, Austin Speed Shop is a place for car gearheads to embrace works of art on display. A peek inside the shop reveals a museum of vintage cars and parts, as well as their own custom apparel and accessories. Next to the shop, a big yellow Texas-shaped sign guards a grassy yard with old car bodies and other parts, inviting car enthusiasts in to chat while they wait for their latest project to come to life. Each job at the speed shop is customized to keep the owner’s original vision for the car in mind, which means restored versions of old classics like a 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, a 1934 Ford Coupe and a 1960 Cadillac get the treatment they deserve.
Handling more than just the swap-out of your car's oily core, the Jiffy Lube Signature Service oil change comes standard with a fresh-from-the-box filter; a checking and filling of transmission, differential, power-steering, and windshield-washer fluids; and a detailed inspection of the antifreeze and coolant reservoirs, engine air-filtration system, serpentine belts, wiper blades, and exterior lights.
H2O Car Wash and Detail's staff keeps cars in showroom condition with an emphasis on attentiveness and high-quality products. Meticulous hand washes are the team members' hallmark, and they perform each scrub down with soft, wool mitts instead of relying on machines or enormous carnival dunk tanks. To keep every vehicle looking its best, washes incorporate 100% carnauba wax to baby paint jobs and Lexol conditioners to gently maintain inside upholstery. The technicians rid interior and exterior dirt with a suite of washing and detailing services that leaves finishes glowing and interior fabrics looking freshly laundered. While the team does its work, motorists stay entertained in a lounge furnished with free WiFi and cable TV, and a kids' play area complete with video games works even better than hiring the GPS navigator to babysit.
At Genie, nearly a half-century of business success lends an air of wizened experience to locations recently upgraded with $500,000 in renovations. A large staff efficiently shuttles vehicles through a wash tunnel cushioned with foam pads designed to leave exteriors unscratched. Patrons can choose between one of six multistep car washes, or cherry-pick à la Carte services such as leather conditioning, engine cleaning, and headlight restoration. Detailing packages assemble extra touches that subject disheveled cars to white-glove once-overs including trunk cleanings and carpet steam cleanings.
Barton Springs Bike Rental outfits fun seekers for bike rides across Austin's historic pathways and scenic landscapes. The shop dispenses single-speed beach cruisers to riders along with lights, baskets, locks, and access to roadside assistance in the event of a flat tire or never-ending parade of ducklings crossing the road. The crew's routes include the 90-minute Peace, Love & Zilker Tour—an easy jaunt past sights such as the Auditorium Shores, the old railroad bridge, and Barton Springs Pool—and the Congress Avenue Bat Tour, an evening trek to witness the world's largest colony of urban bats. Guides narrate the history and significance of local sights, giving guests plenty of opportunities to stop and snap pictures or refill their bicycle’s feedbag.
Each of the mechanics at Accent Auto has spent a minimum of 10 years in the field. That experience enables the full-service dealership to take on any job from all makes and models of vehicle, including those by American and Japanese manufacturers and European brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Accent specializes in major repairs, including the rebuilding of engines and transmissions. In its body shop, the company also spruces up rides by replacing windshields, refreshing paint, and repairing damage from golf ball?sized hail or that day when golf balls actually fell from the sky.
The Texas Detail team shares anecdotes collected over 40 years of shared experience as they ramble through town, polishing autos at homes and offices with hand-washing and detail services. After arriving at their destination, they lather exteriors and apply wax to protect paint jobs and turn cars into statues of themselves. They also purge interiors by pre-treating stains, vacuuming carpets, and coating sun-kissed regions with UV protectant.