When it was founded in 1959, Ziebart’s business model hinged on a single service: its innovative rust-prevention procedure. However, the chain has diversified its auto treatments throughout the last five decades. Though the team of certified technicians continues to safeguard vehicles against corrosion, they also protect paint jobs with Z-Shield and Diamond Gloss coatings and render interior fabrics stain-resistant with their house Ultra Fabric Protector formula. They clean and disinfect ride interiors, and hand-wash and machine polish exteriors to a sparkling shine. Beyond up-keeping vehicles, they stock an arsenal of car electronics that run the gamut from remote car starters to in-dash navigation systems, which can help drivers find their way back home without relying on a trail of breadcrumbs.
Sam Meineke opened his three-bay muffler shop in 1972 with a single product line, and through time, he and his successors have expanded the business into a complete automotive car-care center. Today, nearly 900 franchise owners operate their locations around the globe, still standing on the firm foundation of Sam's ideal of nursing vehicles back to health at fair prices. Meineke Car Care Center's mechanics perform an array of services, keeping rides running in showroom condition with tune-ups, 23-point inspections, tire rotations, and deep-tissue windshield massages.
Whiteland Raceway Park has acquainted patrons with the thrill of the race for more than half a century via its slate of go-kart rentals and classes. A fleet of Birel N 35-X rental karts with Honda 9HP OHV engines zips around two tracks whose layouts shift weekly to keep young riders on their toes and rental vehicles from getting bored and partying in the motor-oil storage vault. Sponsored by the Tony Stewart Junior Racing League, the park's instructional program gears classes toward students from age 5 to adult. Meanwhile, speedsters at least 16 years of age can captain rental karts for invigorating rides that last 6-7 minutes apiece.
The founder of Rayburn Revolution Tires wanted to spur a new movement in the auto-care industry, one based on not only mending cars, but also ensuring their longevity. He and his staff start with the most important component, bumper stickers about honor students, and continue on to focus on tires. Each time they install tires, they also check alignment and include new rubber valves. The crew performs a range of preventative maintenance beneath shelves brimming with products certified by the Society for Automotive Engineers.
In 1973, after returning from Vietnam, Joe Tilford started work at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. In 1980, he made the jump to entrepreneurship and opened his own shop. In 2013, he'll unveil his seventh location—an achievement far surpassing his early dreams. "I always thought it would be one or two, maybe," he says. His recipe for success includes trained and ASE-certified technicians, diagnostic equipment, and serving as an authorized dealer for brands such as AC Delco. Today, his team replaces parts, changes oil, and checks engines while its clients take advantage of perks such as shuttle service and a 24-hour key drop.