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Whatever became of SuperWash?

I.B. Washincars

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IMO, they have always been the hairy mole of the car wash industry. Everyone knew they were there, but no one talked about them. They always seemed to pop up in the lap of successful washes, but not so much anymore. They never were much of a force to be reckoned with, but are they relevant at all anymore?
 

Randy

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There still around, but not like they once were.
 

MEP001

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That site went down while I was going through it. Probably couldn't handle all the traffic.
 

OurTown

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That site went down while I was going through it. Probably couldn't handle all the traffic.

It does not work for me either. I think Super Wash has been slowly fading away for years. They built over 700 washes over the years and I think they may have kept about half of those and the other half were franchises. Between 1996 and 2006 they built a boatload of washes around here. All the franchises around here that I can think of have gotten away from them and rebranded. Over the last 5 or 6 years they have been selling off a lot of their washes and I heard they are down to about 100 or so corporate owned ones. They have in the last year updated some of their autos around here but the update is kinda half baked and still uses the fixed oval. The cookie cutter buildings they built are really small (very cheap to build) and most can't fit any modern auto in the bay. Also they put in the bare minimum electric service so putting in blowers on the auto is an expensive ordeal. Basically what I'm saying is in order to stay relevant in today's market they would have to invest a lot into their washes and I just don't see them doing that.
 

Greg Pack

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Weren't they mainly in the Midwest? The only one I saw was in Nashville when I was there for an ICA show. IIRC, it was neat as a pin, but even the new wash was dated looking.
 

OurTown

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Weren't they mainly in the Midwest? The only one I saw was in Nashville when I was there for an ICA show. IIRC, it was neat as a pin, but even the new wash was dated looking.

Most you will find in IL, IN, and OH but they built them all over from PA to ID. It is a dated design and I think it looks like it is from the 1960's. When I tell people that ours was built in 2003 they say "oh, I thought it was a lot older".
 

MEP001

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Weren't they mainly in the Midwest?
There were at least 12 in Austin Tx. A group of guys I worked for bought them around 1990 in a package from the bank. One was so bad the bank literally threw it in for free.
 

I.B. Washincars

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Weren't they mainly in the Midwest? The only one I saw was in Nashville when I was there for an ICA show. IIRC, it was neat as a pin, but even the new wash was dated looking.
Probably so. They are based in northwest IL, near the Iowa border. Their equipment is from Pro Equipment in Benton, Ky. Being the epicenter, it would make sense that the largest concentration of washes would be in this area. Back in 1973, my dad built a wash with equipment from Best Equipment, also in Benton, Ky. Some guys left Best and formed Pro. The owner of Best (Chuck Declue) passed away and Best eventually went away. I want to think that the Blacks were connected with one of these companies, but I can't come up with anything to back that up.
 

mac

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I just had a gut feeling that they had good marketing, but simply did not know how to clean a car. I mean telling owners they could not have foam brushes in the bays? IB Washing, love your analogy about the mole on someone's face.
 

mac

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I don’t think they stopped, they simply never started it.
 

soapy

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When I first started looking into car washing in 1993 they were sprouting up in Idaho and Utah like a plague of Locusts. Utah had the most locations of any state. I looked into them and they wanted double to build and equip what I could build a wash for and my building was much bigger. I went on my own. Towards the late 90s they got classified as a franchise by the government which meant they had to stop making all the inflated promises that they promised in their literature. ONe of the things they had in the original contracts was that they had the right to buy back the building and property at a huge discount if the owner failed or wanted to sell. When they were reclassified by the government they quickly stopped franchising and most of the people who had their washes quickly rebranded and went independent. I see similar inflated promises being made to some people building express tunnels.
 
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John J Spokas

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I know one fellow that has three, two near Chicago and one in Dwight, IL. He wasn't the original owner and he is a very good operator. He has raised the roof on the automatic bays which is actually relatively easy and extended the bays to add blowers. At one site he put in a Vector I think around 2003. The others have the original equipment and he keeps them in very good operating condition. HAs Hamilton DAN at all. Before all that he did add foam brushes to all the wand bays. He does okay even with the glut of $3 expresses that have gone up around the area.
 

mac

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Soapy you hit the nail on the head about all the express things sprouting like weeds. They need to do around 300 cpd to break even. Here in FL we get a rainy season where it rains every afternoon for two or three months. Amazing how some people can have so much money and be so gullible.
 

cooll903

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Most you will find in IL, IN, and OH but they built them all over from PA to ID. It is a dated design and I think it looks like it is from the 1960's. When I tell people that ours was built in 2003 they say "oh, I thought it was a lot older".
Im in Illinois and mine was a super wash at one time and yea it is rough to upgrade. you need to add some stuff that should of been there from the start when you upgrade things.
 
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