WebGear's Roots in the Car Wash Industry
|Sign Of the Times in 1969|
As a web developer, one of the primary questions that I've been frequently asked is "How did WebGear get involved in providing Internet services for the carwashing industry"?
This is a "great" question becuase the underlying issue here is "how does WebGear understand my Internet marketing needs and what exactly qualifies WebGear to develop a solution according to those needs"?
Everyone should be asking this question of their web developer regardless of what industry they are in.
I've generally answered those question with the fact that my family has been in the industry since 1968 and that I've run two locations myself for several years.
|Dick & Roy Lemire at 1969 ICA
Show in Philadelphia, PA
Rather than just mention it in passing, I thought that it was time to document some of this history and let people know how involved we actually were and why we truly understand the car wash industry.
I wanted to define how we not only understand the industry from a web development perspective but that of an operator, vendor and distributor as well.
I've also wondered about our history in the car wash business and decided to get to know my family a little better. In doing this reseach I was truly amazed at how involved they actually were.
At the peak of my family's involvement, I was only around 7 or 8 years old and never had the opportunity to take part in the really serious stuff. I really didn't start working the car washes until the family was actually transitioning out ouf the car wash business altogether.
|My family's involvement in the carwashing industry spanned 3 generations:|
Bradley Auto Wash Sales Inc.
Operators, Installers & Distributors for Hanna and Whirley Car Wash Equipment
We were involved in all facets of the car wash industry...from operating 8 locations in the Mass and Conn areas to being distributors & installers for Whirley Industries and Hanna, Inc.
We were also manufacturers of self service equipment. It was known (or not so well known) as the BAWSI Centrifugal System. It was designed by my uncle, Roy L. Lemire.
We actually showcased this product at the 23rd Annual ICA Convention and Exposition in 1977. As I dug in a litter further, this show was held at the McCormick Place & Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL and had over 3000 attendees.
The Executive Director at that time was R.R Gus Trantham. Looks like the ICA has come a long way since then! I don't belive that we sold many of these units but I thought it was pretty cool to see exactly how involved we were in the earlier years of the industry!
|Granfather, Uncle Rene & Dad||My uncles Dick, Rene & Roy||Roy getting ready for the show|
|BAWSI Front Picture||BAWSI Angle Picture||BAWSI Solenoids|
Locations Across Massachusetts & Connecticut
I also came across a clipping in the local newpaper that was dated in May 29th, 1969. Belive it or not, tires were $20 back then (other side of the clipping)!
At our original location in Windsor Locks, CT, we were charging $.75 for a wash and $.25 for wax. The pass was a 50% discount making a wash and wax only $.50!
Our signature design for our car washes were large bulbous lights that ran across the roof of the buildings. From what I can remember, they were green, yellow, blue and red.
My wife remembers those lights from when she was only 6 years old when her dad used to wash his cars at our washes.
In this picture, you see a single Whirley "In-Bay" automatic along with two self-service bays (actually 4 with 2 back-to-back).
In our 6 self-service bay setups, the front of the building would be in the shape of a "W" which represented the "W" in the name Whirley Car Wash.
At the time, we were thinking of franchising the whole thing using the McDonalds concept...similar to how the "M" represented the McDonalds arches.
Hey...if it worked for McDonalds, why couldn't it work for us?
Car Washes built by Bradley Auto Wash Sales Inc.
|Torrington, CT Location||Windor Locks, CT Location #1||Windor Locks, CT Location #2|
|Northampton, MA||Holyoke, MA||Springfield, Island Pond Rd.|
|West Springfield, MA||Norwood, MA||Springfield, Boston Rd.|
|Springfield, W. Columbus Ave.|