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The web can be a strange place. We’re working on some elements of a story for the next issue of the magazine that have led us to tracking down the owner of some old car washes in Burbank. As these things usually go, we become detectives running down a few key players based on some very loose, half-century old memories of an important car builder who probably has some notes somewhere in a box that he can’t get to. But we dig that shit. Really, we do.

In this case, we’re hunting down the ghost of a guy who apparently owned a few car washes in Burbank, CA when he bought Dick Patterson’s righteous Model A coupe in 1968. If we can figure out who this guy is — and providing he’s still above ground –– we’re hoping to talk to him and get yet another nugget of info that’ll get us a step closer to finding the car. Like we said; hopefully.

Back to that car wash in ’68: good chance that a car wash operating in 1968 Burbank had been around for a few years. And if it had been around for a few years, there’s also a good chance it was a Googie-style building. And if it was a Googie, there’s a good chance that it’s still in business, given the fact that Angelenos appreciate the value of this architectural style native to their own hometown.

So, we’re on the hunt for these still-operating car washes. Which led us to the Presidential Car Wash. And this epic TV spot made by its latest owners. Our freakin’ heads are spinning with everything that’s going on, here: the immigrant dream of owning a business in America, the attempted assimilation into American popular culture mixed with the dead-on political history that newly-minted citizens know more about than their natural-born neighbors (Martin Van Buren in a car wash spot? YOU try that shit), Dipika challenging her husband, Raj-er, to make it RAIN up in here…it’s all just too much goodness to pack into 30 seconds. But they do it. Well. All with the Googie Presidential Car Wash as a backdrop. God Bless America. And if you don’t like it, GET OUT.


  1. Best thing I’ve ever seen.

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