Once the chopper lifts off from the Hook Pier Heliport and rises above New York Harbor, the Big Apple's sprawling metropolis fills passengers' sightlines. Rotors spinning, the copter flies past the Statue of Liberty and toward the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and other looming examples of urban architecture. During these tours, sightseers sit comfortably within one of the company's five Bell 407 helicopters, which boast giant windows and enough legroom to roundhouse kick roving bands of skydivers looking to freeload their way onto the aircraft. The helicopter pilots also charter their aircraft on trips to cities including Boston and Atlantic City.
In 1981, lifelong Greenwich residents Mark Curtis and Chris Fisher traded in their business suits for sudsy sponges when they purchased Greenwich Car Wash. 13 years later, they renamed their business Splash to coincide with an innovative idea developed by the duo: wash the cars by hand while also using a conveyor to keep them moving rather than trying to coax them forward with candy. That approach was a huge hit, and soon, Splash began spinning off into additional locations.
Today, more than 15 Splash locations are peppered across the East Coast. What started as a humble two-man operation has grown into a franchise that employs more than 500 people and washes more than a million cars per year. At each location, cars receive the ultimate in pampering thanks to a list of services that includes hand washes, express washes, detailings, and oil changes. Despite such impressive growth, though, Splash remains true to its community-driven roots, working with more than 400 charitable organizations on an annual basis.
The solar panels positioned on the roof of Greenwich Avenue Solar Car Wash are responsible for the facility’s warm water, which ably pries dirt and smears off cars. The solar photovoltaic panels, likewise, produce electricity that powers the car wash, making this spot an earth-friendly facility as well as a place where cars can recapture their cosmetic luster through wash packages and detailing. As cars move through the wash tunnels, kids can take aim with a spray gun and participate in the experience.
Andrew Goldstein saw the first Volkswagen Beetle roll onto his school's parking lot in 1958. He was in sixth grade, and his family's dealership was the town's main gateway for foreign cars. As Andrew grew, so did his love of the car industry. During high school, he took a job in a used car lot to gain experience before going to college, where he majored in automotive marketing. With a freshly printed degree in hand, he set to work at Riverbank Volkswagen under the watchful eye of his father, Seymour. According to Kara O'Connor of the Hour Online, Goldstein admitted that, though working for his father was difficult, "In the end it was better because now I run the business and I learned to do everything the right way." Today, Andrew is president of Riverbank Volkswagen, and two of his sons—Seth and Eric—work by his side. Much like his father, Seth started out at a young age, cleaning up grease and eventually landing a job as a technician before ascending the ladder to service manager. Eric, the Internet manager, learned the value of hard work by cleaning gutters and cars before finding his niche online. Both sons strive, along with their father, to maintain the reputation earned by their grandfather. For an auto dealership, surviving the past 50 years is either a sign that what they're doing is right or just the result of making three left turns.
Whether it's a routine detailing or a complete vehicle transformation, the automotive experts at After FX Customs aren't shy about their work. The team hosts auto shows, posts galleries of past projects online, and even converts some of its most eye-catching rides into free desktop wallpapers, which also work as real wallpaper if you print enough copies.
Of course, their tinted windows and custom paint jobs are on display throughout the streets of Connecticut, too. Clients come to the shop for everything from remote starters to exterior overhauls. As for car interiors, After FX Customs can create custom leather and suede upholstery for Corvettes, Lamborghinis, and Porsches, among other models.
Lube N' Go Express can turn any driveway or parking space into a makeshift mechanic's garage. The mobile auto technicians have two goals: to make sure cars are performing properly, and to save clients gas money by offering mobile maintenance services. They'll show up at your home or office to administer oil changes, tune-ups, and inspections, and can even perform minor repairs and computerized diagnostics onsite. Other services including tire rotations, headlight replacements, flat repair, and wiper replacement are also available, and save customers the hassle of driving down to the shop or convincing the car that it's old enough to drive itself.