Carwash industry icon Red Lewis passes away - Professional Carwashing & Detailing
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Carwash industry icon Red Lewis passes away

GREEN BAY, Wis. — According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, William “Red” Lewis, 78, a father of the touchless carwash, died early on Jan. 7th.

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 Lewis will be remembered internationally for innovations and business sense that helped create the touchless carwash and spurred PDQ Manufacturing to become of the largest carwash companies in the country, the article continued.

 Lewis went to work at PDQ Car Wash in 1967, and by the early 1970s, he had taken over the company, the article noted.

In the 1980s, the carwash industry was trying to develop a touchless carwash, but no one could quite figure it out, the article noted.

Lewis was at a trade show in the mid-1980s when he met Allen Jones, an engineer from New Zealand, who had developed the Laserwash system but needed help getting it on the market, the article stated.


Lewis and Charlie Lieb partnered with Jones to develop the Laserwash and patent several key pieces of equipment that would be produced by PDQ Manufacturing, which Lewis founded in 1984, the article continued.

By the early 1990s, the touchless carwash had taken flight in the industry, the article added.

In May 1998, Jones, Lewis and Lieb sold PDQ Manufacturing to Dover Corp., which still owns the company today, the article noted.

Lewis went on to found a carwash component manufacturing business and cleaning solution manufacturer, R. Lewis Technologies, which continues to research and produce cleaning solutions for the carwash industry, the article added.


International Carwash Association (ICA) inducted Lewis into its Car Wash Hall of Fame in 2000, the article noted.

Eric Wulf, CEO of ICA, said, “Red was truly one of a kind — an amazing entrepreneur, an industry legend and a gentleman with a wonderful heart.”

Read the original article here.

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