Al Nelson of Al's Window Tinting, who has worked with high-profile customers such as Whitney Houston and Dennis Rodman, dispatches his team of technicians to cover cars' two front-door windows in professional-grade film. Vehicles can lounge lazily in their own familiar driveway, parking spot, or traffic jam as the traveling technicians neatly lay tinted film across the glass. The film—which filters out 56% of incoming heat and 75% of glare—maintains cool, comfortable interior temperatures while protecting seat upholstery from sun damage and preventing drivers from being distracted by solar rays or lunar conspiracies. Originally from California, Al Nelson has plastered his expertise across an admirable collection of windows, from Disneyland's tourist trolleys to the rides of professional sluggers.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
In business since 1969, Ice Cold Air pioneered automotive air conditioning in the Florida area and today provides repair and maintenance services at more than a dozen locations across central Florida. In addition to comprehensive car care, the staff at each facility is committed to providing superior customer service, a fact that is evident from a 97.3% customer-satisfaction rating based on customer-submitted surveys. The team achieves this rating by going above and beyond friendly service, offering intermittently scheduled seminars on vehicular maintenance, free AC and brake checks, and, at some locations, the opportunity for customers to provide their own car parts and gremlin-repellant air fresheners.
What began in 1978 as a self-service wash center is today a three-pronged attack on auto grime. There’s still the 24-hour self-service wash with its foaming-brush and sealant-wax options, but now car owners can roll through the automatic, touch-free wash or put the buggy in the capable hands of The Stage Stop Car Wash’s detailing team. They take care of everything from hand washing and waxing to chip and scratch repair while customers relax in the lounge with complimentary coffee and free WiFi. The family-owned-and-run shop has installed do-it-yourself pet-wash equipment at the detail center, where owners can scrub their canine friends with vet-grade shampoos and conditioners before teaching them how to drive.
To earn the title of ASE Master Certified Technician, one must be a Renaissance man of auto repair. Applicants must prove their talents in all areas of auto science, from engine repair and transaxles to suspension, electronics, and air conditioning. At Peterson Auto & Truck, a technician of this rank oversees repairs on visiting vehicles, exercising his ASE-certified arts on countless autos. Experts also tailor treatments to the customer's goals, expediting simple oil changes or taking on a complete overhaul of the engine, axles, or electronics.
Auto Styles' factory-trained and certified technicians embellish cars and boats with the help of top-grade window tint, audio, and upholstery products, all covered by warranties against defects. They computer-cut window films, integrate iPods into audio systems, and repair dents without using paint. Each year, the technicians perform hundreds of upholstery jobs for local dealerships using Katzkin leather, and can even customize interiors with ostrich and crocodile skin so that every drive is a safari.