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About

Since 1989,  The Car Wash Guys® has been providing the ultimate in on site vehicle care services across the country.

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A VISUAL HISTORY OF THE CAR WASH GUYS

 

Lance Winslow with The Bicentennial TruckThis is Lance Winslow III, our founder next to the bicentennial car wash truck.  The truck was built in conjunction with our countries 200th birthday and the Olympic Games.

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This is one of the many car wash fundraisers which are sponsored each week by Car Wash Guys Franchisees, in their local area.  On scene are 3 Car Wash Guys Teams, working in conjunction on this mega car wash fundraiser.  They washed 503 cars in 6 hours & raised just over $10,000.

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This is one of the original Car Wash Guys trucks before we started franchising.  Today this truck serves as our mascot.  This truck is also still in service in LaFayette, California.

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This 1955 Chevy truck can be seen daily up and down LaFayette Boulevard in Northern California and has become a permanent fixture in the town.

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This is Kim Ackroyd, mother of two, in her car wash truck on top of a 7 story parking structure in Woodland Hills California.  This was taken 8 years ago, while she was still an independent contractor before we began franchising.  Today she is still going strong.

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This is Ingrid Boyce in Camarillo California.  She is working late with one of her truck managers.   Ingrids older brother and younger sister both work with Car Wash Guys and Gals.   The majority of her team are alumni of BYU University.  

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This is Lance Winslow III, washing the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Van, hours before 5 former heads of state met in Simi Valley California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  This is the only time in US history, where 5 former US Presidents were all in the same room.  The Van had to be washed on an emergency basis, so they called The Car Wash Guys.

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This is one of many Car Wash Gals, which make up our team of franchisees.  Jennifer Kennedy has been with The Car Wash Gals for 7 years,  and is loved by all of her customers in Westlake Village California.  She recently converted her Independent contracting business to a full fledged Car Wash Gals Franchise. 

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It all started when Lance Winslow was 12 years old.   he rode his bicycle to the airport everyday because he wanted to be a pilot when he grew-up like his Dad.  Here is an article of young Lance in 1979, 2 years after he started.

Boy, 14, cleans, waxes planes

Lance at age 14, cleaning an airplane.
His business is soaring
by SANDY SMITH RYDER
Assistant News Editor

“Washing and waxing is what we do, and if you want it done, we’ll do it for you!  It looks mighty fine with our brilliant magnificent shine!”

So the service of speedy Waxers, a company run by Camarillan Lance Winslow, is publicized at its base of operations at Camarillo Airport.

Speedy Waxers is well-known to those who own airplanes at the airport.  Many of them rely on Lance and his four-person crew to wash, wax, degrease, and polish their airplanes.

Since going into business last September, he has waxed many of the planes at the airport and currently is booked a month in advance between regular customers and special wax jobs.

It’s not unusual – except that Lance is 14 years old and already has a branch operation and six employees.

“He’s just terrific,” says Janie Oberman, office manager at Channel Islands Aviation which relies on Speedy Waxers for wax jobs for its planes.  “He’s such a nice responsible young man and he’s such a pleasure to have around.  Nowadays it’s hard to run across someone with a lot of drive and ambition.  he’s polite and works really hard, even has his own business cards.”

“We’re all inn love with him around here,” admits Karen Schneider, receptionist at Channel Islands.

“He’s here way before I am.  He works from dawn to dusk on the weekends.  He’s unbelievable…he’s got more money than I have,” Teresa Brabec, another Channel Islands employee, pointed out. “For such a young kid he’s got so much ambition.  He’s going to go far.”

Lance, a student at Monte Vista Intermediate School, hasn’t had organizational business problems because his 12 year-old sister, Carrie, acts as his secretary, typing his reports, making receipts and designing advertising.

Lance said he used to do yardwork and wash cars for extra money, but through his membership in Civil Air Patrol (“Its purpose is to develop dynamic aerospace and leadership individuals for the future,” he says), found himself spending his Wednesday nights at the airport.

that led to bumming rides from people who park planes at the airport – until his parents objected to him going for rides “with every tom, Dick and Harry,” as he explains it. “My mom and dad told me if I was going to be out here so much, why didn’t I find something to do at the airport,” Lance said.

Lance has been in love with planes all his life.  His father, ray, is a continental airlines pilot and the family owns its own plane (“a Piper Colt – it’s like a TriPacer only with two seats,” he explains).

At first airplane owners told him to stay away from their planes.   “They said the didn’t want a little kid around,” explains Lance, who is short and therefore doesn’t look 14.  “But soon they got to know me better and I started getting jobs.”

He estimates he has taken care of about 50 planes at the airport with the aid of his current partners, mark Daily and Andrew Rice.  He has four regular customers during the week and six planes in line for a wax job.  He pays his employees a minimum of $1.25 an hour to start to a maximum of $2.50 0 if they’re dependable.

“Kids aren’t reliable,” he said.  “You can’t trust them at all (to show up on time).  You just can’t find kids who are reliable and responsible and nice.”  He recently fired two of them.

His maintenance jobs typically include washing the plane, mirror glazing the windows, removing grease and bugs, greasing flap tracks, cleaning oleo struts, checking to make sure there is no grease under the seals, and shining the prop.

Speedy Waxers’ Oxnard Airport operation is run by Chris Bell and Bill Sherman, who pay him 10 percent of their gross revenues for use of his name and advertising.  “They’re using my name and reputation and I don’t want them to mess anything up,” Lance says.

Lance says he’s making a lot of money, how much, he doesn’t know, because his mother, Sue makes him put it in the bank.  He once offered to pay his mother rent, but she refused.

He knows he has enough money for new equipment, like a $20 equipment box and $20 ladder.  he carries over $100 worth of wax in his equipment box and leases space from Channel Islands Aviation to store his equipment.

Lance spends every day after school and every weekend at the airport, commuting from Las Posas Estates on his bicycle.  His large plans for his company include the purchase of a portable generator to permit him to use his buffer on the flight line and a golf cart or industrial flatbed truck to aid him in towing planes to the wash rack.

He’s looking forward to the purchase of a steam cleaner, which he will rent out until it is paid for.  He is placing hopes for making a lot of money on bringing electricity to the portable hangers the city is planning to install at the airport.

Lance, who has racked up 34 hours of flying time already, hopes for a career as an airline pilot or as an owner of his own business.

By the way, there’s a special percent offer on now on all Cessa 182’s and Bonanzas.  If you’re interested, you’d better take advantage of the offer.  Speedy Waxers is planning to raise its prices soon, there’s just too much business these days.

Article reprinted from The Daily News, April 30, 1979.

About The Founder

The Car Wash Guys® in 2022

As we prepare to embark on our journey into year 33 of The Car Wash Guys® we are reminded of the significant role that our high level of customer service has played in our longevity.  In 2023 The Car Wash Guys® will be implementing a number of new ideas such as….

1. Maintaining our low prices for fleet customers through increases in our efficiency using a multilateral approach.

2. Filtering POTW discharge water and ultra purifying it to be used for services, this environmentally friendly action helps us achieve a zero net usage on water.

3. The Car Wash Guys® is also actively working on better devices and best management practices to protect the environment, by improving our collection and fully preventing wash water runoff.

4. We are also working on perfecting our directional spray process, so that we can wash convertibles with the tops down or fleets of trucks with windows down, without water reaching the interior. This  also allows us to wash vehicles in parking stalls with vehicles adjacent, without getting a drop of water on the vehicle next to them.

5. Improvement of routing to keep schedules met, and services timely.

NEWS ARTICLES

Featuring The Car Wash Guys®

Car Wash on Wheels Cleans up in Conejo

by JANINE SACKS
Daily News Staff Writer

THOUSAND OAKS – All Lance Winslow wanted when, as a youngster, he bartered his washing skills at the airport, was a free airplane ride – what he got was a livelihood.

Now 24, Winslow was 12 when he launched – inadvertently – AeroAuto Wash by cleaning airplanes for free rides and tips.  He has since graduated from planes to cars, although he says he will wash any vehicle.

Towing a trailer with a generator, two 100-gallon tanks of water, hoses, towels and soap, the Thousand Oaks man goes each workday from parking lot to parking lot in search of business.

Winslow says he usually finds it.

“There are 16 million cars in California,” he said.  “All I’m doing is getting people used to letting somebody else wash their car.”

Today, Winslow employs sever people, who with four traveling car wash rigs, scrub about 100 cars a day – at $5 per wash.

Maureen Androski, a customer representative for a Thousand Oaks insurance company, said that she appreciates the convenience of not having to move her car or wait at a more conventional car wash.

“The last time I had my car done at a normal car wash, they only cleaned half the car,” Androski said.  “These guys are terrific and they do a wonderful job.”

Over the din of the portable generator, the young entrepreneur said, recently that he once sold his AeroAuto Wash business because of school commitments but bought it back when he was 18.

To expand his operation, Winslow solicited investors in 1985 and eventually bought them out.  In all, Winslow owns six car wash set-ups – two of which are leased out to local automobile detailers.

Winslow said that he plans to franchise his operation at $25,000 a piece.

“It’s a terrific deal,” David Sirotti, 21, one of Winslow’s employees shouted, as he continued drying a customer’s blue Toyota.   “I’m gonna buy one, no question about it.”

Winslow said the secret of his success is simple: keep prices low, show up on time and do good work.

“The overhead is pretty low and if I franchise it, I would supply everything and train all the franchisees,” he said.

Calling the cars he washes “units,” Winslow said that it costs him 17 cents for soap, 11 cents for towels and about 2.5 cents for the deionized water he uses to wash each car.

“The water doesn’t leave spots – especially noticeable on black cars – and should any of it get on an adjacently parked car, it won’t show,” Winslow said.

Because of the maneuverability of the car wash, Winslow said this clients don’t have to move their cars.

Although cars are Winslow’s bread and butter, he noted that he washes trains, trucks and airplanes.  Winslow also will do graffiti removal or anything else that can be cleaned by steam, or soap and water.

“We charge $700 to clean a Caterpillar after it’s been in the mud,” he said.  “They have to be steam cleaned.  Cement trucks need an acid solution.”…

Car Wash Guys have thriving business despite drought

By LAURIE KOCH THROWER
SCCN staff writer

They’ve discovered that not everyone really thinks having a dirty car is fashionable – a preference that has the profits pouring in for some enterprising young men.

They call themselves The Car Wash Guys, and boast “The World’s First Portable Car Wash.”

The concept is simple.  The portable car wash arrives at your place of business, a friendly and efficient young person washes your vehicle right there in the parking lot for a reasonable $5 and drives off – having expended a mere 2-3 gallons on the job.

The Guys purchase their own water from private sources – water companies and private well owners who run the wells for profit.

The Car wash Guys for the Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria area are Lance Winslow and Chris Scherle, tow men who obviously love their jobs and have big plans for the operation.

Lance Winslow, 25, the owner of the business, is the main Car Wash Guy.  Winslow insets he is not just a drought entrepreneur.  He actually started the business five years ago in Southern California, polishing the vehicles of utility companies, postal service and the like, eventually stacking up nearly 150 accounts.

But his dream was to develop “the people’s car wash.”  He wanted all cars, from Mercedes to 25-year-old Volkswagens to get equal treatment.  So he developed routes centered around business districts.

The business grew and eventually Winslow needed to hire partners and franchise the locations out to other Car Wash Guys.  Wither the success the Guys had elsewhere, Winslow decided to try out the portable was in thirsty Santa Barbara.

And they say the response to what was started out as just an experimental run in Santa Barbara is unbelievable.

“It’s so insane, but it’s so real,” marveled Winslow.

“Business has been phenomenal,” agreed Scherle, who along with Winslow washes, on average, 100 cars a day, spending an average of 5 cents a gallon for water.   Even if that’s just the basic $5 was job, it amounts to a tidy profit at the end of the week.

“Every time we sop the truck, we get more business than we planned,” said Scherle.

“The drought certainly hasn’t hurt us,” Scherle said, but maintained that if the skies opened and rain fell tomorrow, the Guys would still be in business.  The business is custom-designed for people of the ’90s.  No waiting in line, no relinquishing the car to a washer for half an hour.  A basic wash takes a mere five minutes.

Winslow and Scherle tackle a car together, expending five minutes on a basic job and half an hour on a deluxe $22 was and wash.  They promise the job is extremely water efficient, they hardly leave a drop on the ground under the car.

“We are so efficient, we’ve got this thing down to a science,” insists Winslow.

So far, their advertising has been minimal, their popularity mostly spreading by word of mouth and a few fliers they have circulating around town.  Winslow said people are passing those fliers through the area.

After a day of intense washing, the Guys come home to their answering machine, listen to the messages, return the calls and set up appointments.  “That’s always my project in the evening,” said Scherle.

The straightforward name was a matter of necessity, said Winslow.  He used to have a corporation sounding name for the business, but people had a hard time remembering it.   He noticed that whenever the Guys arrived somewhere, everyone would always say, “the car wash guys are here.” So, why not, he thought.

The Guys get around by routes.  On Mondays and Wednesdays they clean the vehicles of Montecito.  Tuesdays are devoted to Carpinteria.  The lower State Street area of Santa Barbara is Thursday’s challenge; the upper portion belongs to Friday.

Right now, there are not enough trucks or Guys for regular residential routes; they do cars at home for customers, but only after hours and by appointment.

But that will soon change, insists the Guys.  Winslow envisions a time when getting a car wash will be as simple as dialing out for a pizza.  Besides the success from a business angle, Winslow says a great thrill is that they are liked nearly everywhere the go.

Part of that is the kind of Guys Winslow hires.  He said the turns away about a dozen would be Car Wash Guys a day.  It’s tough, but he’s looking for a certain type.

A Car Wash Guy must be athletic to handle the vigorous pace; and clean-cut and friendly to get along with the customers.

And, the formula seems to be working.  “Wherever we go, we’re treated like heroes,” Winslow said.

Article reprinted from Montecito Life, June 28, 1990.

Camarillo Inc./The Car Wash Guys/Gals

by PATTI SMITH
Camarillo Daily News staff

The owner of this $3.6 million a year company doesn’t don a silk suit when he works.  He doesn’t sit behind a solid oak desk with his feet up either.

He gets in his truck every morning and makes rounds to parking lots, where he washes cars.

He has 48 other teams from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara who pay him daily to rent his equipment.  He could make a decent living just from what he makes in renting.  So why does he indulge in physical labor?

“I’m out there every day.  It’s the only way to understand what the customer needs,” said Lance Winslow III, president of The Car Wash Guys.

“The 28-year-old entrepreneur has been in business since age 12.

He started out by washing airplanes for free rides.   By the time he was 14, with a little help from mom and dad, he started his own airplane-washing company, later combining it with car washing.

Now he’s strictly car washing and loving it.

He has an interesting story about how his company was named.

“It’s really neat because my customers named my company,” said Winslow.  He and his teams travel to different car lots and let people inside know they are there.  The person told will then announce the car wash guys here!”

For two and a half years Winslow has been building his business.

He owns three of 48 company trucks.  He originally bought all the trucks, then discovered the high cost of insurance and sold most of them to those who wanted to work in the business.

Winslow said he is proud of many aspects of his business. For instance, he has created 96 jobs in the county and counting.  Winslow has his sights set big for his company.  He wants to spread his service throughout the country, creating more jobs.

He said the car washers make about $200 to $300 dollars a day and out of that, Winslow gets $25 for use of his equipment and name.  He doesn’t want people to think this is a get-rich-quick scheme – car washers work hard.

Winslow said he is not even rich, but awaits the day.   “Right now, everything goes back into the business,” he said.   “If I ever stop growing, then I’ll be rich.”  And he plans to make his current teams 1 percent partners in the business.  He wants to take everyone who helped him get started straight “to the top.”

Winslow ever has some car wash gals.  The Car Wash Guys/Gals is an official trademark.  No other company can use that name.  And according to Winslow, no other company has ever washed 4,800 cars a day.

In addition to dedication to customers, Winslow also is dedicated to the environment. Only 2.5 gallons of wastewater is used to wash a car.   Winslow said he holds the only wastewater permit in the state.

In addition to a five gallon bucket used at home, 12 gallons of water per minute pours from a garden hose.

“We’re really helping the water shortage,” smiled Winslow.

He said he has had a couple of run-ins with cities who think The Car Wash Guys/Gals are taking business away from car wash stations in towns.   Winslow said he has been told a certain area is not zoned for a car wash.   “Well, the food truck comes by too, and you’re not zoned for a restaurant either,” was Winslow’s comeback.

He said comments like that upset him because of the fact that he has created so many jobs and can offer people a chance to make a good living.

Winslow doesn’t hire just anybody.  He wants clean-cut, drug-free workers who care about customers.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” said Winslow.  “We did it.  We’re No. 1.  We give a damn and we hustle.  It’s just got to be that way.”

Student-run business washes up SMC autos

By KIM PAPPAS
staff writer for The Collegian

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own your own business, or better yet, to have it already established before you’ve graduated from college?  For two St. Mary’s students their dreams turned into reality.

Twenty-one year old Rob Giuffre and his 20 year-old partner John Porter, are taking the car washing industry by storm.  These young business entrepreneurs better know as The Car Wash Guys are the owners of a fast growing car washing business that they have brought to the Bay Area from Los Angeles.

“The Car Wash Guys” is a seventeen year old company that was started in L.A. by Lance Winslow and has since branched out into forty cities across three states.   Giuffre became involved in such an unusual business by accident.  “I was coming out of a store one day and this guy was washing a car in the middle of the parking lot.  When I asked him what he was doing, he explained to me how the company worked.”

One might think it a little strange to be washing a car in the middle of a parking lot, but the unique thing about “The Car Wash Guys” is that they come to you.   Unlike the car wash at many gas stations, this is a mobile car washing service that travels to residential and business park areas in Moraga, Orinda, Lafayette, and Rheem.   Some of their clients include the post offices, rent-a-car companies, and GTE Mobile Net.

Giuffre’s initial introduction to this company was about five years ago.  Since then he and his partner have brought their own franchise and are revolutionizing the car washing industry to fit today’s fast paced busy lifestyle.

Seriously, with all of the homework, parties, and football games, no one even has time to clean their rooms, let alone wash their cars.  Well, SMC, your problems are solved.  On Fridays, “The Car Wash Guys” will be on campus for all of your car washing needs.

Aside from being extremely convenient, their prices are very reasonable.  Prices range anywhere from just $5.00 for an exterior wash to $32.50 for the super deluxe, which includes a wash, a coat of wax, tires, any rubber trim, vacuuming, dashboard cleaning, window washing and more…

One might think that running a business and going to college at the same time is pretty tough, but aside from having a keen sense for business, these two have good heads on their shoulders and have perfected the art of time management.  In addition to being a businessman, Porter is also a Residential Advisor and a member of the lacrosse team, which “doesn’t allow me to work as often as I would like”, he expresses regretfully.

Being that this is a six day a week operation, Giuffre and Porter have hired three other SMC students to lend a hand while they are in classes.  For those who think that this is just an after school job, be assured that these guys mean business.  Not only do they have a business license, but insurance and a patent on the company name.   They only use biodegradable products which should make all you Green Peace members happy.  What more could you ask for?  A couple of guys who wash your car and are environmentally conscious, as well.

So the next time your car needs a bath and you’re too busy to do it yourself, give them a call.  The Car Wash Guys – 1-800-879-TRUE.

205 Crestview Avenue

Camarillo, CA 93010

Open Weekly

from: 8am – 12pm Tuesday

from: 8am – 1pm Thursday

from: 8am – 5pm Friday

from: 5am – 7pm Saturday