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  1. #1

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    Tunnel Touchless Car Wash Inventor, Red Lewis, Passes Away

    While this may seem trivial and not detailing related, the inventor of the touchless car wash, Red Lewis, passed away in early January. He was 78. His company, PDQ Car wash (PDQ meaning "Pretty Darn Quick") was an innovator in touchless car washes. "Red" got the idea because automated car washes were having to pay for damages done by the roller brushes to vehicle trim, side mirrors, and radio antennas, not to mention the unsightly swirls to paint finishes. This was in the late 1960`s and 70`s. His idea for a touchless wash did not come to fruition until he met a controls engineer, Allen Jones, from New Zealand at a manufacturing trade show in Chicago who had a similar idea. He hired him and partnered with Charlie Leib, and PDQ Manufacturing was born in the mid-80`s, developing the trade name "Laser Wash". It was sold to the Dover Group (elevator company) in 1998.
    He also started his own car-washing chemical company R. Lewis Technologies to figure out the age-old car cleaning dilemma of why dirt sticks to cars.
    He was inducted into the Car Wash Hall of Fame (Yes, there is such a thing) in 2000 for his contributions to the car wash industry.

    One of his great legacies was the start of the Automobile Gallery and Events Center in 2016 in downtown Green Bay at a former Cadillac car dealership that had sat empty for many years. This museum /gallery of cars allowed those in the greater Green Bay area to display their personal collector, vintage, or performance cars when invited by Red to do so along side Red`s personal collection of cars. It allows car enthusiasts the option of holding a gathering in a car gallery and visitors to the Green Bay area another place to take in rather than just the Packer Football Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field or Bay Beach Amusement Park.

    Red was great philanthropist and community supporter for the greater Green Bay Area, especially to the young people of this area. His obituary mentioned that more than 20,000 young people had their first job working at one of the three PDQ car washes in the Green Bay area over the years he owned them.

    I never met the man. My own personal experience with the car wash business came when I worked briefly as a contract CADD (Computer-Aided Design & Drawing) Technician for a competing car wash manufacturer that was started by a former employee of PDQ, Wash World, to get their engineering documentation and drawings better organized for CADD. It`s a pretty hi-tech (a lot of electronics and controls packaged with mechanical framework) industry and very competitive.

    Rest in peace, Red.
    GB detailer
    Likes wannafbody, noorth, PoisonTheWell liked this post

  2. #2

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    Re: Tunnel Touchless Car Wash Inventor, Red Lewis, Passes Away

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    While this may seem trivial and not detailing related, the inventor of the touchless car wash, Red Lewis, passed away in early January. He was 78. His company, PDQ Car wash (PDQ meaning "Pretty Darn Quick") was an innovator in touchless car washes. "Red" got the idea because automated car washes were having to pay for damages done by the roller brushes to vehicle trim, side mirrors, and radio antennas, not to mention the unsightly swirls to paint finishes. This was in the late 1960`s and 70`s. His idea for a touchless wash did not come to fruition until he met a controls engineer, Allen Jones, from New Zealand at a manufacturing trade show in Chicago who had a similar idea. He hired him and partnered with Charlie Leib, and PDQ Manufacturing was born in the mid-80`s, developing the trade name "Laser Wash". It was sold to the Dover Group (elevator company) in 1998.
    He also started his own car-washing chemical company R. Lewis Technologies to figure out the age-old car cleaning dilemma of why dirt sticks to cars.
    He was inducted into the Car Wash Hall of Fame (Yes, there is such a thing) in 2000 for his contributions to the car wash industry.

    One of his great legacies was the start of the Automobile Gallery and Events Center in 2016 in downtown Green Bay at a former Cadillac car dealership that had sat empty for many years. This museum /gallery of cars allowed those in the greater Green Bay area to display their personal collector, vintage, or performance cars when invited by Red to do so along side Red`s personal collection of cars. It allows car enthusiasts the option of holding a gathering in a car gallery and visitors to the Green Bay area another place to take in rather than just the Packer Football Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field or Bay Beach Amusement Park.

    Red was great philanthropist and community supporter for the greater Green Bay Area, especially to the young people of this area. His obituary mentioned that more than 20,000 young people had their first job working at one of the three PDQ car washes in the Green Bay area over the years he owned them.

    I never met the man. My own personal experience with the car wash business came when I worked briefly as a contract CADD (Computer-Aided Design & Drawing) Technician for a competing car wash manufacturer that was started by a former employee of PDQ, Wash World, to get their engineering documentation and drawings better organized for CADD. It`s a pretty hi-tech (a lot of electronics and controls packaged with mechanical framework) industry and very competitive.

    Rest in peace, Red.
    I really enjoyed that Lonnie.

  3. #3
    John U's Avatar
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    Re: Tunnel Touchless Car Wash Inventor, Red Lewis, Passes Away

    I`ve been wanting to visit his museum. https://theautomobilegallery.org/

  4. #4
    briarpatch's Avatar
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    Re: Tunnel Touchless Car Wash Inventor, Red Lewis, Passes Away

    That was a good read.....thanks for posting.....R.I.P., Red

 

 

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