Automotive Business Choices

The automotive business is alive and well in our country, not only due to the fact that there are more cars than people although that is a good start. We keep producing them at a rate of about 17 million per year. America is said to be in love with their cars, this is in fact hard to deny with just a little observation of the average person. Since people love their cars you might consider an auto appearance business. They call it auto detailing. You have heard the term, making people’s cars shine. But there is more to it than that. It can be an excellent business.

Let’s say that money is not a problem and that you already own a freestanding building, or want to get a fixed site facility detailing shop and you want to really attack the market and start with a bang. Then what? Well you can go with the market leaders with a proven system. You may wish to buy a franchise from Detail Plus or Ziebart. They both have websites, which are easy to remember;


Each has an array of options which range from a 4 bay to a 12 bay Super Center, with co-brands, add-on services, etc. These are two of the industry powerhouses, have everything you can think of and then some, and they are good at it.

Detail Plus run by Bud Abraham, who is heavily involved in the carwash industry with over 30 years experience. Bud runs seminars and writes articles and manufactures equipment. Detail Plus is based out of Portland, OR. Detail Plus will either sell you a franchise or equipment. They will help you carve out a market niche and customize your business and have an incredible and deadly track record with regards to industry knowledge and market share. Their team at Detail Plus has well over 100 years experience and spans almost three generations in the industry. Their franchisees and customers are usually extremely successful due to the efficient nature of their equipment and excellent training programs.

Ziebart can easily claim the oldest and most well established detailing and aftermarket rust proofing franchise on the Planet with nearly 500 units in 45 countries. They were originally established in 1954 and bought out Tidy Car in 1986, which was established in the 1940’s. This makes for 6 decades of service in the auto industry, so take notice. This World-Wide company has a definite and well-established market niche. Thomas Wolfe, Chairman and CEO, has signed deals with Speedy Auto Glass (windshield repair and replacement) as well as the established Rhino Linings Franchise System (spray in bed liners). These co-brands have created a bonanza for current franchises of their system. Most franchisees are claimed easily gross well over half a million a year.

You might want to take a look see at some of the prospectuses in the auto detailing franchise sector? It is just a thought, God made dirt, he must have known something because to this day it gets all over everything making auto detailing a very nice repetitive business, think about it.

Tips For Fixing Scratches on Your Car

Americans certainly love their cars. Many of us spend countless hours each and every year cleaning and maintaining our vehicles, especially in the summertime. One of the worst feelings in the world is coming up to your car in a parking lot or other place just to find that the paint has been scratched. Although taking care of a scratch isn’t as easy as a quick car wash, you can do it yourself and avoid a costly auto body shop repair or insurance claim. All scratches should be repaired immediately in order to prevent further damage, such as paint chipping or rusting. Following these simple guidelines will help you repair that scratch all by yourself.

First you’ll need to determine the severity of the scratch you intend to repair. Light surface scratches are obviously much easier to repair than deep ones. If you have a deep scratch, you’re going to need some additional materials, so you should be prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to make an extra trip to the parts store. You can tell how deep a scratch is by running your fingernail gently over the damaged area. Exposed metal indicates an extremely bad gouge and may be more difficult to fix.

There are a couple options when it comes to supplies. Some places will offer full repair kits that include everything you need to fix a scratch, but can often be very costly. Your other choice is to purchase all of the supplies individually. You’re going to need some high quality polish, filler compound (for deep scratches), a super fine grit sanding pad, a small paintbrush, and some touch up paint that matches your vehicle.

You’ll start by washing the damaged area with a very mild soap and water. Simple dish soap will suffice. Clean the area thoroughly, but don’t apply excessive pressure because you don’t want to cause any chipping or flaking. Lightly sand the area until the lowest point of the scratch is level with the surrounding area. Carefully apply filler if the scratch is deep. When that’s set and dry, sand the area smooth. With an extremely steady hand, apply the touch up paint to the damaged area. After that has dried, use the polish to restore shine. A good coat of wax or polish will help protect the repaired area from further damage. Once you’re done, take a few steps back and determine if the damage is still noticeable. If you’re having any major issues with the repair, you may want to consult a professional.

What’s the Best Car to Drive: European, Asian, or American-Fact or Opinion

I’m frequently asked “What’s the best car?” My answers have varied greatly, but over the past two decades in the automotive industry, I have come to the conclusion that European cars are superior. This is not to say I don’t appreciate some Asian or American cars, but they just don’t compare to the engineering thrills of European cars. American and Asian cars are missing something. They’re missing passion!

Is this my personal opinion? Or is it my objective expert opinion? The answer ahead…

I never understood what the fuss was about with European cars until I got behind the wheel of a 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for a 12-hour road trip. From the start the car practically drove itself. I merely kept one finger on the steering wheel, regardless of speed. It seemed to anticipate my desires and it responded effortlessly.

When you can push a car into 3 digits MPH, and it feels like you’re only driving 55MPH, that’s engineering…that’s Mercedes-Benz. I never appreciated that!

Now we all can’t afford a Mercedes-Benz, but I noticed similar characteristics in other European cars: SAAB, BMW, Audi, VW, even Volvos.

Quick Audi story:

When my brother got his license at 16 (I was 15), my mother, for some unknown reason, allowed us to take her brand-new 1984 Audi 4000 from Nashua NH to Needham MA–about an hour’s ride at 60 MPH. We made it in 30 minutes–you do the math.

At the time I did not realize the engineering that was keeping that car glued to the road as we weaved in an out of traffic, as only reckless teenagers do so well. This is not an endorsement for driving like an idiot–although sometimes I “still” do–but to show how European engineering has been and continues to be far superior than either Asian or American cars.

Sloppy Pontiac Bonneville:

To give you an idea of how much better European cars are, here’s another quick story (yes, it’s another stupid high-speed one). Again my brother and I were on a road trip. We rented a brand-new 1996 Pontiac Bonneville: heavy, powerful, and comfortable. This time I was driving. Despite its newness and its weight, it started to practically lift off the ground as we buzzed across the Nevada deserts at a buck twenty.

The car couldn’t handle being pushed. The heavy front suspension and front-wheel drive felt unstable. It was a burden, and not just at high speeds. Verdict: poor engineering! You can replace the Bonneville with any mid-sized front-wheel drive American car–Buick, Olds, Ford Taurus…etc, they all handle like CRAP!

Boring Toyota Camry:

I don’t want to leave out Asian cars in our comparison. In the late 1990’s as a Toyota certified technician I grew to love Toyota (especially Lexus). This love started to fade a few years back, however, as I got behind the wheel of so many comparable imports in the same class. Yes, Toyota is dependable and reliable. But these are also words for boring and uninspired. I got bored with my own Camry after 3 days! Toyotas all feel the same, and do the same thing–they’re predictable and bland. If I’m going to spend as much time as I do in my car, why not have excitement too–better yet: PASSION!

The realization over the past two decades in the automotive industry is this: There is a passion to driving. The Europeans have known this since the beginning.

Asian automakers have missed the mark. They try to elicit passion with fancy car names and accessories, but it’s just not there. Americans car makers aren’t even close. And they get even more creative with their car names: Alero, Fusion, Magnum, Vibe–there are hundreds more that attempt to elicit driving excitement, but that can’t live up to the challenge.

European cars don’t have fancy marketing technique names. That’s because they don’t need to elicit passion and excitement in their vehicles–they’re a given! Passion and excitement are engineered into the cars!

For example,

  • BMW states it’s the “Ultimate Driving Machine.” That’s because, in many ways, it is!
  • Mercedes-Benz states that it’s “Like No Other!” This is true…plain and simple.
  • SAAB advertises that it’s “Born from Jets!” Ever sit in the cockpit of a SAAB? It’s pretty cool!
  • How about Audi? They claim to “Never Follow.” Again–true. Check out the new 2008 R8 to see an incredible “expression of engineering.”

Is all the above an advertisement for buying a European car–No! It’s a philosophy of driving. Driving can be fun–AND safe, AND dependable! European technology (safety, mechanical or otherwise) is light years ahead of Asian and American cars.

Even Lexus, who hails “unprecedented triumphs,” is only nipping at the heels of Mercedes-Benz. Sure Lexus ads make it sound like they came up with the latest and greatest technological–NOT.

The Ferrari Test Drive: Last Crazy Car Story…I Promise.

I had the rare pleasure recently of driving a Ferrari. I have driven some incredible cars over the years, but I had never driven an Italian super-car like a Ferrari, nor had I ever understood why anyone would want to, despite their striking looks and appeal.

As you can probably guess, the car was gorgeous–brilliant red, incredible body lines, sleek…very sharp–a true head turner. Oh yeah…I looked great behind the wheel too! Anyhooo….as I sank into the Italian leather driver’s seat it seemed to suck me in and support me from areas where I didn’t know I needed support–at least I didn’t know yet….

As I fired up this rear engine craft, I swear the engine seemed to be urging…”go ahead, make my day.” I am not being metaphorical. The car was eliciting something….oh yeah…PASSION, EXCITEMENT, FUN!

Again, we all can’t afford to run out and buy a Ferrari, but there are several “European” cars mentioned above that boast these same characteristics.

It’s not a coincidence that people drive Volvos forever, or that SAAB owners frequently put 300,000 miles on their cars, trade them in and buy another one. Nor is it a coincidence that there are many who will drive nothing but German engineered cars. There is a relationship between man and machine.

For a little context, my first Ferrari experience came when I was about 12. I was driving down the highway in the back of my mother’s beige Toyota Cressida. I heard, before I saw the Ferrari. When I turned to look it was right behind us. I blinked and it was next to us. I blinked and turned, and it was a hundred yards ahead rapidly fading into the distance. At 12, I could see, hear and feel passionate engineering, although it would take 20 years of automotive experience to voice it.

The Ferrari I recently test drove was 16 years-old–a 1990 Grand Touring Targa. See the photos @ I mention the age to show how even “dated” European engineering still trumps the latest and greatest technological breakthroughs of its competitors.

As I pulled off, I was a bit unsure what a Ferrari would or even could do. But the car, very quickly, made me feel comfortable and confident. I mentioned earlier how the seat sucked me in and supported me in places I didn’t know possible. I experienced this in the parking lot of all places when I had to make a very quick, sharp turn–I didn’t move–the car took the corner for me as I remained perfectly seated.

The 5-speed shifter was a simple chrome shaft with a ping-pong-sized ball that fit perfectly into my palm no matter which way I held the shifter. The seat and steering wheel position were ergonomically perfect, and the gauges were easily accessible with a quick glance. Even the rear view mirror reflected so clearly that I thought there was no back glass–this is handy when “traffic weaving.”

In terms of the stability and handling, I’m not sure I have the words to describe it, but let’s use a Corvette for comparison. In 1996, I drove a brand-new Corvette at 90MPH onto an off-ramp (don’t try this at home). The tires squealed bloody murder, the body rolled, and the suspension wobbled. I was a bit hesitant to try that again in a vette.

Of course the Corvette and the Ferrari are not a fair comparison, but again, the point here is to illustrate the superior European engineering that even the best American performance cars can’t touch.

In the Ferrari, cornering was effortless, virtually regardless of speed: no squeals, roll, or wobble–and the technology was 6 years older than the vette. Cornering in the Ferrari was just plain fun! Never once did I feel as if I was pushing the car beyond its limits. In fact, as reckless as I can be, I never found its limits–I ran out of road.

In terms of quickness, the engine redlines at 7500 RPM, so there’s plenty of room to wind er’ up and go, regardless of what gear you’re in. In fact this engineering design took me by surprise; I am so use to driving cars that “do the driving for you.” The Ferrari wants you to be part of the experience by empowering you to work the engine in a very wide RPM range.

The experience of empowerment was similar at high speeds. At 4000 RPM, 80MPH in 4th gear, you have the option (empowerment) to drop it to 3rd and take off like a raped ape, or just punch the gas and watch the traffic around you come to a standstill as you casually slide into 5th, creeping past 135MPH with so much more power waiting to come out if only the roads weren’t so congested.

I understand now why people have to drive a Ferrari. It’s an experience “like no other.” It’s the “ultimate driving machine.” It’s not “Born from Jets,” but it definitely flies! It clearly leads and “Never Follows”…nothing else can keep up!

Most European cars posses these above characteristics in one degree or another.

Cool SAAB Test Drive:

On a more “practical car” level, I recently drove a 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero with 77,000 miles on it. What struck me immediately was the cockpit feel that SAAB keeps raving about. It really is like an airplane’s cockpit, making one feel very comfortable, and more importantly, in control.

Te tone of the engine and the solid feel to the car–even with 77,000 miles–was powerful. It was eliciting emotion–like the Ferrari! American and Asian cars tend to feel a bit sloppy after 60K whereas the SAAB felt like new, and was ready to go! It even had manual “shift paddles” on the steering wheel–for what?–FUN, EXCITEMENT…PASSION! No wonder people drive these cars forever.

The models above were chosen from a hat. There are dozens of cars I could compare, but the end result is the same. Asian and American cars are no match to the quality, dependability, engineering, and excitement of European cars. These are the facts. PASSION and EXCITEMENT are standard options on European cars.

Top Four Fastest Cars In The World

Are you familiar with the blockbuster film, Fast and the Furious? It has garnered several positive remarks from viewers all over the world especially the cars enthusiasts. The latest Fast and the Furious film entitled Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was released in 2006. At present, Vin Diesel, Jonathan Harp, and American film producer and founder of Original Film Neal H. Moritz are developing the sixth Fast and the furious film. It is due to be released in theatres in 2013. The plot is relatively the same as the story goes around car racing, infiltrating Los Angeles street racers, busting hijacking ring and testing of loyalties between friends.

If you are so fascinated with cars and you like fast speed velocity, you may be interested to know the fastest cars in the world.

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport 0-60 Time: 2.5 seconds

According to car experts, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport car is second to none when it comes to speed and power. This super sport car is built in France. It was designed by the Germans. At present, it cost around 2.5 million dollars. If you can splurge on 2.5 million dollars, then the $25,000 tires will not be a problem for you. The sports edition was first shown in public in 2010 during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance which is an automotive charitable event. James Daniel May, a notable English television presenter, verified the car’s exemplary speed. He said that at top speed the engine of Bugatti Veyron Super Sport consumes 45,000 litres (9,900 imp gal) of air per minute. This is comparable to the amount of air a single human breathes in four days. That shows how powerful the engine of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport truly is.

Hennessey Venom GT

If you like chic and fast cars, you will certainly be a fan of the Hennessey Venom GT. This superb car is manufactured by Hennessey Performance Engineering. Its remarkable chassis is said to be assembled in Silverstone, England. Since Hennessey manufactures their power plants at Sealy, Texas, the engine of the Hennessey Venom GT is assembled in Texas. This super sports car costs approximately $725,000 for the 725 HP variant. It can still go up to $950,000 for the 1200 HP model. According to research, the Hennessey Venom GT specs features lightweight carbon fibre bodywork. It runs in a supercharged 6.2 litre LS9 V8, which is similar to the Corvette ZR1. At top speed, this amazing car can run up to 275 mph.

Koenigsegg Agera R

Last year, this super car is noted by Top Speed as the supercar of the year. The Agera R can run smoothly at 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.9 seconds. It can reach up to 275 mph (442.569 km/h), making it one of the fastest cars in the world today. To reduce wind resistance and to force the wing downward, the manufacturers of the Koenigsegg Agera R developed a dynamic rear wing. When it comes to performance, the Koenigsegg Agera R is one of the world’s best.

2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale

In spite of its long name, this impeccable sports car is one of the world’s finest. The weight of the 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale is 1,340 kilos. The weight LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale is greatly reduced because its bodywork is made of aluminum and carbon fibre. It can hit the road in 0-62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds.

With the advancement of technology, cars are becoming more innovative than ever. Above are just some of the fastest cars in the world. In the future, expect to see more promising cars even faster than the ones mentioned in this article. Just imagine how far the car industry has gone starting from Flintstone’s prehistoric cars.