By Amy Palumbo-LeClaire
Even after forty years in the auto detail business, Wayne Haddad, at the age of sixty, can’t help but say to himself, “I can’t believe how good this car looks” after cleaning one with his bare hands. For the third year in a row he and his team have earned Worcester Magazine’s Best Auto Detailing of Worcester, an honor made possible by old school practices and young person attitudes.
Haddad’s passion for making dirty cars look new again is evident in the articulate manner by which he describes and uses tools of the trade. A polished white Chevy Silverado rests on an automotive lift to ensure that the undercarriage is properly washed from salt and sand damage. Haddad demonstrates the lift’s benefit with the enthusiasm of a magician who’s just performed a card trick.
Carnauba wax is applied to a 2012 Toyota Camry, and removed by the experienced hands of Bob Wassell, a dedicated employee who’s been at it for nearly thirty years. Door dings and small dents are repaired by hand, and without paint. Exterior scruffs are carefully, thoughtfully, buffed out. All things considered, 40 years has earned Wayne Haddad the right to brag. “No one can touch the way we do things,” he confessed.
The owner’s eye for detail and quality work mirrors the satisfaction he sees in the faces of customers at pick-up time, a few of whom have been taken advantage of loaner vehicles. Services include Exterior (buffing, waxing, hand washing and shining), Interior (windows, carpet shampoo, deep cleaning of door panels, dash, cup holders, etc.) and Other (windshield replacement, engine cleaning, bumper repair, rust spots and blisters).
“People don’t realize that auto detailing is about a deep clean. What we do is the difference between brushing your teeth or having a professional hygienist clean them,” said the Wentworth Institute of Technology graduate who claims to always have preferred the outdoors to textbooks.
“We are a personalized business with real people doing real work. We are really good at removing stains from cloth seat upholstery, which is a common problem. We use four different chemicals and clean every spot of your car. It’s all done by hand. The actual cleaning of cars takes longer than waxing because of the depth and breadth of what we do.”
Haddad’s services include large jobs involving mice infestations to small jobs requiring the repair of bumper tears, and everything in between. Due to the variation in cleaning issues to be remedied, his prices vary according to the hourly hands-on investment required to manage each and every combination of cleaning needs. As cited on his brochure, “family cars, pet owners, heavy smokers, food spills, larger/older vehicles and cloth interiors tend to be on the higher side.”
Haddad offers customers an exact estimate when the vehicle is dropped off. He takes in tractors, boats, and motorcycles, as well as automobiles. His passion for cleaning cars (despite that he can’t seem to understand how newbies still don’t know where he’s located after forty years and a brilliant, sky-scraping sign) seems contagious. His employees claim to love what they are doing, his reviews are off the charts, and his customers are crazy happy.
“I just love what I do,” said Erin O’Toole, a thirty-year employee and believer in the Haddad school of cleaning. “I don’t get sick of it. There’s so much satisfaction and reward in seeing the faces of people who can’t believe what they see. Rotten, dirty, ugly interiors come to life.”
While dirty interiors come to life, Haddad claims that his profession, one that began at a time when auto detailing was known as reconditioning (1978) and thought to involve pinstriping only, gives him superpowers. “People cry and give us hugs when they see what we’ve done to their cars. Being able to transform cars is like being a magician. It’s very rewarding.”
The magic of transforming a dirty car to one that appears to have just come off an assembly line was not lost on one Haddad-happy mother. “Cars are expensive and you want to take care of them,” said Debbie Richards of Millbury, who cashed in a gift certificate originally purchased by her children for Mother’s Day. “The service was awesome. It was easy, very convenient and they didn’t try to oversell me.”
Let Wayne Haddad and his auto detail team perform magic on your vehicle. The choice to make an appointment (in Worcester or Westboro) promises a wise and worthy investment. It will help you to appreciate your car again, while bringing back “that new car feeling” and retaining a strong trade-in value.
Love your car today. Visit Haddad Auto Detail and clean it up.
466 Harding Street, Worcester, 508-755-5250; 3 Union Street, Westboro, 508-366-6260
Write to Amy at [email protected]