Mid-Century Modern Car Washes (page 2)

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Randolph Car Wash
Lincoln, NE
The Randolph Car Wash appears to be from the 1960s. [map]

There are many mid-century car washes left in California. I believe all or most of these buildings were constructed in the early 1960s. I don't know if these car washes were part of chains or if they all operated independently. Some of these structures may have been prefabricated and sold to independent operators who could pick out the designs that they wanted from brochures.

Sofspra Car Wash
Encinitas, CA
Sofspra Car Wash
Watsonville, CA
Sofspra was a nationwide, self-serve car wash chain established in the 1960s. The signs at these locations are the only ones that I know of that still exist. The only other still-open location that I can find is in Rochester, NH. However, that one has a boring, modern box sign. I assume those balls on top of the sign in Encinitas must have been sequentially lit. There is another location in Watsonville. [Encinitas map]; [Watsonville map]

former Sofspra Car Wash
Hawthorne, NV
This Sofspra Car Wash opened in 1967. It now operates as the Hughes Car Wash. [map]

former Laurel Canyon Car Wash
Sun Valley, CA (now North Hollywood, CA)
This structure was originally installed on the roof of the Laurel Canyon Car Wash in North Hollywood, CA. It was designed by Armet & Davis. It had been located at U Pick Parts for many years when these photos were taken in 2013. In 2015, the structure was disassembled and moved to the storage lot of the Valley Relics Museum. For more, see this website.

Sparkle Car Wash
San Bernardino, CA
2008: 2013:
The Sparkle Car Wash features shield signs that spell out "car wash". There are many examples of this fin style in southern California. However, this is the only one I have seen with the balls on top of the fins. The inside of the fins were painted white sometime between 2008 and 2010. For more, see this website. [map]

Car Wash
Florence, CA
La Habra Car Wash [gone]
La Habra, CA
The Florence Car Wash is another with these same style fins. It was built around 1961. This photo is from 2008. By 2009, the fins had been painted red. [map]

The La Habra Car Wash featured these same fins, hidden behind palm trees, and a striking sign. These photos are from 2008. The car wash was still there in 2012 but had been demolished by 2015.

Red Carpet Car Wash
Los Angeles, CA
The Red Carpet Car Wash was repainted sometime after 2005. Before that, the fins were blue and yellow. For more, see this website. [map]

Downtown Car Wash
Fresno, CA
The Downtown Car Wash was previously named the New York Hand Car Wash. [map]

Jet Car Wash
Inglewood, CA
The Jet Car Wash was built around 1961. [map]

Los Feliz Car Wash
Los Angeles, CA
Bonus Hand Car Wash
Santa Monica, CA
The Los Feliz Car Wash and the Bonus Hand Car Wash are other examples of the arrow fin design like those above. Since at least 2007, the Bonus Car Wash had flags from different countries on top of the fins. This photo is from 2013. Around 2014, all American flags were installed. [Los Feliz map]; [Bonus map]

La Cienega Car Wash
Los Angeles, CA
2013: 2017:
The La Cienega Car Wash was painted pink for a Lyft promotion during 2017. It was repainted blue after that as shown above. [map]

Lankershim Car Wash
North Hollywood, CA
The Lankershim Car Wash is another example of the arrow fin design. It was built in 1963. [map]

Five Points Hand Car Wash
Whittier, CA
The Five Points Hand Car Wash was built in 1963. The sign used to revolve. The concave fins are another frequently used design (see other examples below). The car wash closed in 2017. It is expected to reopen as part of a mixed-use development. [map]

Lennox Car Wash
Lennox, CA
2013: 2014:
The Lennox Car Wash was built in 1963. It was repainted in 2014. [map]

South Gate Car Wash [gone]
South Gate, CA
Cypress Street Auto Wash
Redding, CA
The South Gate Car Wash was built in 1964. The building had the same style sign as the Lennox Car Wash but the fins are a different shape. The place was demolished in 2015.

The fins at the Cypress Street Auto Wash were previously painted red. [map]

Azusa Hand Car Wash
Azusa, CA
The fins of the Azusa Hand Car Wash were painted light blue in 2001. Apparently, the shield signs were removed. For more, see this website. [map]

Magic Minute Car Wash
Los Angeles, CA
2013: 2017:
The Magic Minute Car Wash was built in 1964. I have not seen any other car washes with hoops like this other than this one and the one shown immediately below. In 2015, this building was painted lime green. [map]

Circle Marina Hand Car Wash
Long Beach, CA
The Circle Marina Hand Car Wash appears to be from the 1960s. This arch design is a match for the car wash in Los Angeles shown directly above. [map]

Redwood City Car Wash
Redwood City, CA
2008: 2014:
The Redwood City Car Wash is another example of the concave fin style. The Mels Bowl sign has been moved to this location. [map]

San Leandro Car Wash
San Leandro, CA
Hacienda Car Wash
Hacienda Heights, CA
The San Leandro Car Wash is one more example of the concave fin type. There was another car wash in San Leandro from this era which has been demolished. [map]

The sign letters for the Hacienda Car Wash were installed high enough on the fins to be visible from Hacienda Boulevard. However, trees and other development have nearly obscured the view. [map]

Slauson Car Wash
Los Angeles, CA
Rosecrans King Car Wash
Gardena, CA
The Slauson Car Wash has the same style signs as those shown above but with hook-like fins. [map]

The Rosecrans King Car Wash was built around 1962. The signs on the front of the building have been removed. The pole signs panels were replaced sometime between the photos taken above in 2008 and 2013. [map]

Nu-Way Hand Car Wash
Monrovia, CA
Norwalk Car Wash
Norwalk, CA
The Nu-Way Hand Car Wash and the Norwalk Car Wash feature the same hook-like fins like those locations in the row above. [Nu-Way map]; [Norwalk map]

Bel-Comp Car Wash
Bellflower, CA
Hollywood Riviera Car Wash
Redondo Beach, CA
The Bel-Comp Car Wash is another example of the hook-fin type shown above. [map]

The Hollywood Riviera Car Wash was built in 1976. [map]

Madison Car Wash
West Hollywood, CA
Mister Car Wash
Houston, TX
The Madison Car Wash may have been built in 1970. It was probably a Mister Car Wash originally. [map]

The Mister Car Wash shares the same design as the Madison Car Wash. Mister Car Wash was founded in Houston in 1969. I would assume that other locations like this were built but I have not seen any in California, Texas, or the states between them. The chain's headquarters is now in Tucson, AZ. [map]

There are at least three other Houston locations with this design: 1, 2, and 3.

Car Washes
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Car Washes
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