BOISE, Idaho— Eleven-year-old Steven Thompson III from Boise became the youngest detailer at age 11, ever to earn a professional certification in automotive detailing from the International Detailing Association (IDA), according to a press release.
He earned the certification during the Mobile Tech Expo in Orlando, Florida, in February.
STEV3 as he is known to his friends, was formally recognized for his achievement at the closing awards ceremony at Mobile Tech, where he caught the attention of SONAX Master Detailer Rigo Santana.
The young detailing phenomenon is now headed to Los Angeles, where Santana, who is a recognized independent trainer for the IDA as well as a Master certified detailer by SONAX, will make STEV3 a member of his New Generation of Detailers (NGDD) network and test him for the IDA’s highest level of certification — Skills Validated (SV).
The SV training is an on-the-spot, one-on-one teacher-to-student session testing him on the concepts in the written test he passed (CD) a few weeks ago.
If STEV3 passes the SV level, Santana is going to then train and certify him through his NGDD with SONAX so he can become part of the SONAX Detailing team headed to the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles the end of this month, to prep eight iconic cars, including the Ferrari Enzo Ferrari made for Henry Ford.
“You want to be a detailer?” Steve Thompson II asked his son who has shown a passion for cars since he was 3 years old watching the General Lee fly through the air on the TV show, “Dukes of Hazard.”
Thompson II is a successful and multi-certified detailer and owner of Boise’s Detail Doctors.
“Now-days anyone can go to a store and buy some DIY equipment and chemicals, watch a few videos online and then proclaim themselves to be the best detailer in their community,” Thompson II said. “So, I told him if he wanted to be taken seriously, he should join the IDA and get the CD certification.”
Thompson said his son accepted the challenge and went to work studying every resource he could find and even asked his mom to help him make flash cards.
For almost six months, he studied before and after school and a little on the weekend. He passed the CD certification missing only six questions out of 100.
Now he is studying for the SV certification Santana will administer in the coming weeks to get him ready for the SONAX event.
“The SV is significantly harder than the written test,” said Thompson II. “I know because I took them both. “But to this day, Steve swears that 1969 Dodge Charger from the Dukes will be his first car,” his dad said laughing. “I know you’re thinking that is quite a goal for a kid of 11, but when this kid sets a goal — especially if has anything to do with cars — he is pretty determined.”