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Professional Carwashing & Detailing may not have been lighting up theater marquees across America like “Car Wash,” the 1976 Richard Pryor comedy from Universal Pictures, but we made our debut in the same year. And 35 years later, I’d like to think our magazine is as popular in its industry as Rose Royce’s Billboard-topping tune was on the radio back then.
Over the years, PC&D has made a commitment to cover the trends and subjects that are most important to car care business owners and operators. In fact, for 35 years now our cover stories have focused on the critical issues which drive our industry – including our very first lead feature, “Carwashing enters the computer age” from our inaugural issue in October 1976.
And while the Internet was a few decades away (after all, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were just starting Apple Computer Company that year), our fingers were firmly on the pulse of the industry as we visited Dave Lippitt, then-owner of Minut-Man Car Wash in San Diego, to learn more about his success with the electronic cash register.
From a $3,200 machine to keep track of stolen merchandise and organize various revenue streams to the auto cashiers of today, Professional Carwashing & Detailing has been there to help the car care industry better understand the new technologies and processes that shape our businesses.
As we blow out the candles on 35 years, I think it’s worthwhile to look back at a few noteworthyaccomplishments of the publication:
• In 1996, PC&D launched the industry’s first website for carwash news. At the time it went live, it offered anyone with Internet access the current issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing, back issues from 1995, and the annual Buyers Guide of manufacturers and distributors.
• Professional Carwashing & Detailing e-News made its debut soon after, in January 1999, with 10 “what’s happening now” stories for the car care industry. It was the industry’s first e-Newsletter for carwash media.
• Humphrey Tyler, owner and publisher of PC&D from 1981 to 2006, was honored at a leadership luncheon during Car Care World Expo 2007 for his contributions to the industry and accomplishments at PC&D.
• Almost a decade after PC&D e-News started going out to car care owner/operators e-mail inboxes, PC&D launched Professional Detailing e-News in 2008. It is the first-ever e-News publication for the detail industry.
It’s been an amazing 35 years, and I’m proud and delighted to have been a part of the magazine’s success for the last five. You’ll also notice some other names on our masthead which have shared in this history – from Associate Publisher Sandy Murphy’s 15 years on staff to Pat Harrington’s 10 or Deb Gorgos’s three, we’ve created some very special memories over the years and know that each and every one is owed to you, our readers, who have supported us throughout them all.