In 1950, a man named Ernest Ellis started a car wash in Grand Rapids. There were no motorized brushes or automated sprays back then; instead, cars would drive through the building as staffers positioned along the route used steam guns, wash tanks, and hand mitts to wipe away dirt and Dewey for President fliers from automotive exteriors. After a name change, a panoply of new locations, and many upgrades to what was often the most cutting-edge wash technology in the country, today's Southland Auto Wash maintains its high-tech approach to cleaning with automated wash tunnels, in-depth detailing, and luxurious extras including its own signature tire protectant. This passion for meticulous care, along with the wash's extensive water-conservation projects, earned the sudsatorium a nod as Grand Rapids Magazine's Best Car Wash for more than 14 years straight.
At Victory Lane Full Service Car Wash, an automatic conveyor system works together with good old-fashioned elbow grease. After mild detergents and fresh water rinse away dirt in the wash tunnel, the staff treats cars to the soft caress of a towel dry and an interior vacuum. The list of services ventures beyond the realm of basic washes to include three levels of detailing and à la carte options such as a triple-foam wax, rim cleaning, tire dressing, and headrest massage.
AutoRenew's vehicle revampers treat cars to makeovers with interior and exterior detailing and repair services. Technicians kick off multistep cleaning sessions by soaping up the car's hide by hand, sealing in its new resplendence with hand applications of carnauba wax that leave auto bodies sparkling. A hot-water extraction digs deep into carpet fibers to remove stains and impacted grime, and nitrogen turns dust lingering on all surfaces and crevices into freeze-dried ice cream. A bacteria-removal system helps quash odors from the source, and staffers treat and condition leather and scrub down windows to fashion smudge-free vistas.
AutoRenew also coats exteriors in a synthetic polymer sealant, whose chemical bond to body paint wards off signs of dirt and wear more effectively than traditional carnauba wax. Wet sanding techniques refresh headlights and fog lamps for brighter beams, and windshield repairs rein in small and medium chips lest they splinter into larger cracks.
Kyle Bigford’s love of car care began in college, when a summer job tinkering with Corvettes awakened what would become his lifelong calling. The passion never went away, even in the face of postcollege employment: wanting to build an honest auto company for like-minded friends, Kyle quit his job as a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investments to create Hamilton Speed Shop. Now, his multipurpose shop helps customers customize humdrum vehicles, find their ideal auto, or sell their car at a fair market price. Techs at the full-service detail shop wield professional-grade cleaning products along with the knowledge to install deluxe stereo systems, rims, or GPS systems with the personality of Noel Coward. Staff will also locate, ship, and inspect autos based on a customer's wants and needs or spearhead the sale process using Internet merchants and their own database of buyers.
Since 1986, the knowledgeable staff at Crown Motors has been selling new Mazdas, Buicks, Hondas, and Cadillacs—as well as pre-owned vehicles of all makes and models—to equip American drivers with safe, reliable, and fun-to-drive transportation. Their factory-trained technicians also provide service and maintenance on vehicles of every make and model.