Dennis Boeck learned a few things over 40 years in the car wash business.
He’s putting that experience to work reviving the Eldridge SuperWash, which he also knows a bit about.
He was at the grand opening of the very same car wash back in the heyday of SuperWash, a nationwide chain of 700 franchises based in Morrison, Ill., where Boeck still lives.
Boeck retired from a career establishing franchises with a company that operates a smaller network. Now he owns the Eldridge wash, which he said, “needed more than a little TLC.”
“We know the history hasn’t been good,” he said.
The future, he assures, is much better.
Boeck worked with SuperWash founders Bob and Mary Black, who still live in Morrison and continue to operate about 280 car washes.
Denny and Donna Shannon ran the Eldridge SuperWash successfully for many years, Boeck said.
The Eldridge car wash opened as one of those franchises. SuperWash reacquired the site from North Scott Car Wash Inc., in 2001 through 2006, when it was purchased by EZ Car Wash.
Boeck and partners Todd and Brenda Haan, also of Morisson, bought it this year through a partnership with a name that expresses their intent: Resurrection LLC.
“I want to revive some of these old car washes,” he said.
The resurrection begins this weekend with free washes 12-6 p.m., Nov. 20, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Nov. 21. Guests will find a cleaner, easier-to-use wash illuminated with new LED towers and a touchless automatic system that leaves customers in their cars.
The self-service bays have new controls, lights and plumbing.
And customers do not need a stack of quarters.
All bays take credit cards. Boeck also plans customer cards for prepaying online.
He intends to make regular washes easy and affordable enough for customers to make it a habit.
“Baby your babies,” he prescribes, for his customers’ cars, trucks, ATVs, motorcycles, boats and, especially collectible cars.
Boeck’s car wash work took him across the country, where he nabbed a couple of “barn finds”: A 1974 Cadillac Eldorado convertible and a 1971 Corvette Roadster.
On a workday at his Eldridge car wash last week, he arrived in his 2004 Chevrolet Super Sport Roadster convertible pick-up truck. Bright yellow.
These vehicles need touchless exterior care in the automatic bay, or for more fastidious collectors, the spray wands.
Boeck said car washing in 2020 is about sustainable detergents and rinses, and filtered water, not just high pressure. His business filters Eldridge water to remove any suspended solids.
It’s also about functioning equipment. Boeck replaced old plumbing and improved the lighting and security. Regular maintenance is in the hands of Randy Zeimet. He lives across the street.
“We want people to feel comfortable and safe, and get a quick wash with no hassle,” Boeck said.