Market Focus: Rare Iso Grifo restored by master detailer inducted into National Corvette Museum

Market Focus: Rare Iso Grifo restored by master detailer inducted into National Corvette Museum

This week, we cover a detailing job and a carwash sale.

This week, we cover a detailing job on an Iso Grifo and a carwash sale.

Rare Iso Grifo restored by Orange County detailer inducted into National Corvette Museum

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. — Laguna Hills Master Detailer Rigo Santana of Xtreme Xcellence Auto Detailing flew in a professional team of high-end detailers from Puerto Rico and select cities in California to help him prepare a rare 1968 Iso Grifo for induction into the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, according to a press release.

Santana restored the Grifo gem in 2014 after it was discovered in a family garage, where it had been sitting for 26 years.

The Iso Grifo was the Iso car company’s most successful model.

It was one of only 400 built by the Italian carmaker Renzo Rivolta between 1963 and 1974, led by Iso’s chief engineer, Giotto Bizzarini, who had been fired from Ferrari.

However, there were two makes of the Iso Grifo vehicle in the 1960s and 1970s, and the street version had a modified Chevrolet small-block 327 Corvette V8 engine — thus the recognition by Corvette.

The race car version had a similar engine and could reach speeds over 275 kilometers per hour, which was extraordinarily fast at the time.

The Iso Grifo owned by Santana’s long-time client, Sergio Arredondo of Pasadena, California, is one of only 200 street versions known to still exist, qualifying it for the museum recognition.

Santana had detailed other vehicles for Arredondo when, in 2014, he showed him the Iso Grifo in an offhand discussion about having it repainted due to the sad state of its paint.

Santana convinced Arredondo a respray would significantly lower the value of the Italian beauty (and would have in retrospect perhaps disqualified it from the museum) and assured him he could save the original paint with a full paint correction.

Although Arredondo was skeptical at first, once Santana completed the work, he was stunned by the results and decided on a whim to enter it into the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance at Monterey Car Week, not expecting to win, but enjoying the attention his newly revived exotic received.

It won second place.

Recently handpicked for the National Corvette Museum, Arredondo once again called in Santana to prep the vehicle for display at its new home.

Santana is known throughout Orange County as an automotive paint correction specialist and official member of the SONAX detailing team; he has detailed and restored the paint on hundreds of priceless classics and exotic automobiles in his 30-year career.

He called in a special team of Hispanic detailers, some of them members of the official SONAX Detailing Team and many of whom Santana trained and mentored himself through his Nueva Generación De Detalladores Network: Adolfo Collado of Adolfo’s Pro Detailing in Dinuba; Thomas Lucena of Magician Pro Detailing in Glendora; Jose Junco of High Performance Auto Detail in Encinitas; and Christian Rosa García of Fashion Exposure in Puerto Rico are living their American Dream, despite speaking little or no English, and yet doing what they have a passion for doing.

“The car is a classic, so we had to be very careful in steam cleaning the engine and polishing every nook and cranny of the engine to perfection, because that will be wide open and as much on display as the car itself,” said Santana. “We polished the paint to intensify the shine and protected it with a ceramic coating to seal in that shine for its stay at the museum; we polished the rims to a brilliant, diamond-like shine and carefully steam cleaned and reconditioned the interior for preservation, all using SONAX car care products. To see that car before I restored it and to see it now getting the respect it deserves and to have been a major part of that is as exciting for me as it is for Sergio.”

Progressive Real Estate Partners brokers sale of Rancho Car Wash for $6 million

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Progressive Real Estate Partners, the Inland Empire’s retail real estate brokerage firm, has announced the $6,050,000 sale of Rancho Car Wash, which is located at 27378 Jefferson Ave. in Temecula, California, according to a press release. 

The prime location is directly off the heavily-traveled I-15 freeway at the signalized intersection of Jefferson Ave. and Winchester Rd. with a traffic count of over 64,000 cars per day.  

Progressive Real Estate Partners’ Victor Buendia, business and investment real estate sales specialist, represented the buyer and seller, both of which are Los Angeles County-based private investors in the transaction. 

The buyer operates a successful carwash in Long Beach, California.

Established in 1988, Rancho Car Wash offers full service hand carwashes, auto detailing services, and an oil and lube center. 

A 140-foot double-wide tunnel allows for exotic and oversized vehicle washes. 

The purchase included both the business and real estate, and the buyer plans to remodel and upgrade the operation.   

The carwash is an outparcel to a strip center that includes a variety of shops and services. 

Neighboring retailers include Food 4 Less, TJ Maxx, Dollar Tree, Starbucks, Jack in the Box and others. 

Furthermore, the property is in a heavily-populated, affluent area with approximately 148,000 people and an average household income of $84,432 in a 5-mile radius. 

According to Buendia, “Carwashes in prime locations continue to be in strong demand, and the excellent freeway adjacent location and 30-plus year operating history made this carwash especially attractive to the buyer. Not only are carwashes an internet-resistant use, [but] they typically generate strong cash flow and have proven to be resilient regardless of the economic environment.” 


Check out our follow up interview with Victor Buendia below.

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