Since 1942, Leete Tire & Auto Center, Inc. has been fitting autos with new tires by brands including Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Continental, Toyo, and Goodyear. Though the family-owned tire shop's been around for well over half a century, it stays up-to-date by equipping its 10-bay garage with modern technologies, such as the Space Needle, which sews up cars or the moon after meteor collisions. In 1995, Leete Tire & Auto Center spawned another location in Richmond that features six bays capable of servicing passenger vehicles as well as light trucks. As NAPA AutoCare centers, both tire shops also enlist ASE-certified technicians trained to keep rides healthy. These skilled pros render maintenance services including state inspections, computerized alignments, and brake inspections.
Readers of Richmond magazine have voted Car Pool Car Wash the Best Car Washing/Detailing business in the city multiple times over the last decade. Stepping into one of its facilities, it?s easy to see why. In addition to making autos look and feel like royalty, Car Pool Car Wash also cultivates a stress-free environment with sleek waiting rooms that resemble modern hotel lobbies and emit free WiFi. After grabbing a complimentary cup of coffee and receding into plush leather chairs, visitors are served a visual feast that may include floor-to-ceiling windows or a stone fireplace. Rocking chairs outside of the car wash enable car owners to wait under the open sky while flipping through a book or magazine.
Locally owned and operated since 1977, the automotive salon company has focused on advanced car-cleaning methods while expanding its outreach to include six full-service wash facilities, two exterior-only wash facilities, and a full-service detail shop. Many of the car wash's specialty packages cater to specific vehicle needs such as comprehensive interior cleaning or professional exterior waxing, services that enlist products from Simoniz and Rain-X to safeguard paint jobs.
Car Pool Car Wash strengthens its bond with repeat customers through its frequency rewards program, which makes participants eligible for future discounts after they sign up online or in person. The shop also carries Duck Bucks gift cards that allow recipients to prepay for regular car washes. In their efforts to foster a tightly knit community, the owners of Car Pool Car Wash regularly support local charities and organizations in their initiatives.
Call me Oldie.
Rusted and beaten, hard-boiled but soft under the hood. An '89 Oldsmobile—full of dirt, grit, and not much else. My paint job’s got more holes in it than an amnesiac’s alibi.
He keeps me tucked away in some out-of-sight garage while his new prize—a Chevy that still stinks of the assembly line—glistens in the driveway like she owns the place. I'm washed up. Broken. Just one more casualty of that cruel mistress, Time.
That's what he thinks, at least.
In my day, I could turn a stoplight green with one blink of a headlight. I could hustle a quarter from a stingy tollbooth. I was good. But ol’ Oldie, well, he ain’t nothing now. Just a hunk of steel one sputter away from the local junkyard.
Hmph. What’s this? Sunlight floods the joint. I can’t remember the last time I saw him, but here he is. He looks older—though who am I to talk? The years ain’t exactly done me well, either. He climbs in, turns the key. I feel that old warmth of his khakis on my upholstery. I had forgotten. Well, off we go: no doubt one last joyride, a final lap for the old man and his busted wheels. If he wants to squeeze this old boat for one last drop of nostalgia, I’ll let him have it. It was good while it lasted, anyway.
SeCar Auto Wash. Hm. Seems too clean a place for a dirty car like me.
Must be some kind of sting, I think, as I feel my fuel gauge fall like a wino’s hopes at last call. I'm being sold off—cleaned up before they peddle me to some poor chump who couldn’t tell an odometer from a hood ornament. I'm through. Sayonara.
Who’s this guy? Hm. A technician. His coveralls are as clean as his hands are calloused. That smile—it stirs something in me. Something deep. It’s all I can do to stop my engine from purring.
"What will it be?" he asks my owner. I feel my brakes tighten in anticipation.
"Let's go with the bumper-to-bumper. This one's still got a whole lot of life to live."
Mr. Smiley pulls out a sponge as silky as the mane of a '65 Mustang. I succumb to its soapy embrace, but there’s no time for romance. The kinetic swirl of a buffer soon follows, then the soft purr of a vacuum, the jacuzzi kiss of shampoo. That filth that sat on my hood like an albatross for so long—it falls away so easily now, like meat off the bone.
Well, I’ll be a Stingray’s tailpipe. Look at me now! The glow of my paint could light up a prison hole. We pull out of the lot and turn onto the street. Ah, here she is, that old stoplight. Her red light claps shut, and the green eye invites me through with a wink.
With his foot on the pedal, he asks for gas. I give it to him.
That's right, Oldie, you dog. You still got it.
Like the cars that roll through its suds, Wash-n-Roll’s staff members come to the facility scuffed by a long road but leave in better shape than when they arrived. That’s because Wash-n-Roll is a 100% charitable facility operated by people participating in New Life For Youth’s recovery program.
NLFY began in 1971 when Victor and Carmen, a husband-and-wife team, began lodging teens struggling with addiction in their own home to help them get back on track. Today, the outreach organization uses the Wash-n-Roll site as a vocational training center. Each dollar spent on washes—some of which sport rock ‘n’ roll-themed names, such as The Twist or Blue Suede Shoes—goes directly back into NLFY to be used for such programs as helping feed families in need through the Central Virginia Food Bank. Furthering its philanthropic motif, Wash-n-Roll limits its ecological impact by using reclamation tanks to recycle 94% of its water and by repurposing clouds as sponges.
The techs behind Eagle Eye Detail started out as a home business with a lone mobile unit. Over time, they expanded to an external location, and today they offer both mobile and onsite services along with four levels of detailing intensity. Techs hand wash exteriors during the express detail; the economy detail includes a waxing and wipe-down of interiors. By contrast, the executive detail takes place inside Eagle Eye's enclosed garage so techs can purify exteriors and purge the dark recesses of interiors without the sun?s judgmental glares. They shampoo carpets, seal paint jobs, and polish chrome accents. They also offer a nonabrasive clay-bar treatment that safely removes surface contaminants such as paint overspray.
The ASE-certified technicians at The Car Shop of Richmond refer to themselves as "the car guys," modestly masking the fact they tune up racecars in their spare time. In addition to servicing high-performance vehicles, the crew repairs electrical and mechanical components, and soups up the aesthetics of 44 makes from the globe's four corners and three slimming pin tucks. Out of respect for their work and those who fund it, they make sure to keep their unassuming brick-and-cinderblock garage tidy and WiFi enabled. Pickup and dropoff services represent another nicety, as does the option of a complimentary online profile that aggregates your car's service history, manufacturer recalls, and maintenance reminders.