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Car Wash Guys find place to park

From Lewiston Morning Tribune
May 7, 2000
by Elaine Williams

A movable car wash service that started two years ago with a single truck has started a drive-in location in Clarkston.

Kerry and Phil Hasenoehrl, the owners of the Car Wash Guys, a mobile detailing business, have teken over the former Annie's Auto Wash Building on Diagonal Street in Clarkston.The Car Wash Guys opened at 206 Diagonal April 17.  The building has a fresh coat of paint in the franchise's colors of yellow with blue trim.  The hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The owners, Philip S. and Kerry L. Hasenoehrl, decided to expand on the site after they were approached by its owner.

They've converted the automatic car wash to a mostly hand-wash operation, leaving only rinsing and conveyor belt equipment.   They've also added a children's playroom to the waiting area.

Car Wash Guys crews will wash any type of vehicle including boats, recreational vehicles, tractors, airplanes and horse trailers.

The prices range from $7 for a car wash to about $125 for a complete car detailing of the interior and exterior.  The costs are the same at the Clarkston location or with a mobile unit.

All of the work is done with environmentally friendly products such as a soap made from cow tongue enzymes.   Workers use only two gallons of water when they wash vehicles.

The method was created by the franchise owner, Lance Winslow, who started the business in southern California where water is scarce.

The franchise has 138 locations.  It is the only brick and mortar service center of the franchise, which is based in Agoura Hills, California.

Hasenoehrl, who farms with his wife in Culdesac, discovered the chain when he was seeking ways to diversify his income.  He thought a mobile car wash would be good because Lewiston didn't have one.

One of his requirements was that the chain be one where the proprietors had enough experience to know what pitfalls to avoid.   Winslow, who got his start in his teens washing airplanes, has written a 3,000-page manual explaining how to run the business and detailing all his mistakes.

Owning the car wash business is part of Hasenoehrl's strategy to maintain a business that can be passed down to the next generation.

He has a 2-year-old son shows shows early signs of liking farming.  Hasenoehrl's son rides with his dad in the tractor and his favorite toy is a miniature version of the machine.

Great as farming is, the financial challenges are tough, Hasenoehrl said.  "My grandpa sold wheat at the same price I'm selling wheat.   My grandpa never paid $220,000 for a combine.  He never paid $160,000 for a tractor."

Hasenoehrl opposes breaching the dams because it will make farming even harder, but figures he can make a living washing the thousands of semis that will hit the roads to fill the void.

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