John Searcy started his battery business out of the back of his truck in spring 1950. He opened an official storefront in 1952, naming it Interstate Battery System after the new network of interstate highways that was under construction across the country. Over the next 60 years, his company expanded to all 50 states, as well as Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Each Interstate All Battery Center location—as well as the company's online database—houses an extensive selection of batteries for cars, electronics, household items, and computers. They also collect power sources for security systems, medical equipment, and other niche devices. Many of their batteries come with a 45-day satisfaction warranty, though it doesn’t cover batteries stolen by siblings to power their Game Boys.
Elite Auto Image Inc.'s MECP-certified technicians personalize vehicles with custom electronics, including audio, video, and remote-start systems, and stand behind their work with a lifetime warranty on labor. While staffers carefully tinker with rides, patrons can hang out in the waiting area on a car-less car seat custom-wrapped in leather or laminated bacon strips. The shop features multiple TV monitors flickering family-friendly movies and a viewing window that looks into the work area, so drivers can watch as their four-wheeled babies go under the wrench. Elite Auto Image also specializes in custom fitting interiors with leather and custom building and wiring two-wheeled roadsters such as Harley-Davidsons and tandem unicycles.
When Mike's Carwash first opened in 1948, it was one of only 18 carwash businesses in the United States. Today, the family-owned establishment keeps the 65-year-old tradition of gussying up automobiles alive at 42 locations throughout the Midwest. At each location, accommodating staffers stand by to assist customers during the cleaning process. Decked out in cartoon neckties, the cheerful team ushers cars into computer-controlled washers that eschew traditional gear-operated brushes and baseball bats in favor of controlled sprays and soft cloths. After the mixture of eight signature soaps de-grimes surfaces, 200-miles-per-hour gusts of hot air dry vehicles instantly. Mike's also offers specialty coats to give car exteriors and tires additional shine.
Park Ride & Fly USA's car caretakers protect vacationing cars within 24-hour, well-lit parking lots near airports in more than 30 states. After dropping off their automobiles, customers can transport themselves and their luggage to the airport aboard one of the company’s complimentary shuttles or human-size hamster balls. While away, patrons rest easy knowing that their steel steeds are safe within fenced lots that are monitored by 24-hour surveillance. At many locations, shuttles also swing by the terminal to pick up returning travelers and reunite them with their respective vehicles, which are first freed of cloud-based artillery, including snow or recently rained molasses.
At an early age, Kevin Coulter acquired advanced detailing and vehicular-reconditioning skills while working at a local Indiana Auto Auction. Today, he draws on more than 20 years of experience as he operates Luxury Cars of Indianapolis, where skilled techs service chariots using Meguiar's nonabrasive and eco-friendly products. The team wields pH-balanced leather conditioner to moisturize seats, a detailer's clay bar to smooth exterior surfaces, and custom-mixed paints to brighten auto cheeks. Staffers can also pick up, drop off, and spin vehicles on their fingertips for an additional cost.
At Indy Auto Spa, cars aren’t the only ones who get pampered. While autos are in the shop, patrons recline in Italian leather seats, sip complimentary coffee and bottled water, and enjoy free WiFi on loaner iPads. Meanwhile, cars receive detailing services that were ranked number one by The Indy A List voters in 2010 and 2011. At their two locations, technicians revamp cars inside and out, but also tint windows, design and install vehicle graphics, and cover cars in protective paint finishes that keep bugs from burrowing into their caramel centers.