Car Wash serves community for 40 years
As anyone with a dirty car knows, the Kwiki Car Wash has been a
part of the Versailles landscape for as long as one can remember.
It was the desire of Melvin Meisberger to provide a service to the
community when he first got the idea to open a car wash in Versailles
in the fall of 1969.
During his commute to Indianapolis, Meisberger noticed that there
was not a car wash between Versailles and Madison. He purchased
three lots on the corner of US 50 and High Street as well as a Kwiki
franchise to build a car wash offering both self-service and automatic
The early years were a terrible struggle financially to meet
the mortgage payments, Meisberger said. I had two problems:
most people had never used a car wash, as they were only in the
big cities, and teaching people how to use a car wash.
Meisberger also learned through a trade industry magazine that for
financial success, car washes were not recommended for towns with
a population of less than 2500 people. At that time Versailles had
The original structure had two bays, one self-service and the other
automatic. After a few years, Meisberger removed the automatic portion
of the car wash due to equipment failure and poor quality in the
soap used to clean the cars. Meisberger replaced the automatic portion
in 2000 because of the improvements he saw in the equipment and
Prices have changed over the years. In the beginning the cost for
an automatic car wash was 75 cents and self-serve wash was 25 cents,
with three options: soap, wax and rinse.
Today, the automatic wash starts at $4 and the self-serve starts
at $1.25 with the additional options of foam brush, engine cleaner
and spot free rinse.
Meisberger noted that many car washes do not stay in business for
more than 10 years due to the maintenance of the equipment. It
is so much work keeping the equipment running, he said.
Kwiki Car Wash stayed the test of time because he sees it as a service
to the community. I never thought the business wouldnt
go, Meisberger said.
In addition, the success of his business can be attributed to keeping
up with new technology by reading the trade magazines and visiting
car washes while on vacation.
Meisberger has plans to install new dryer units in the auto wash.
They will be the biggest that are made in the industry,
I wish to thank the public for supporting Kwiki Car Wash all
these years. I will continue to do my best to keep it running, as
it has become like family to me.
Kwiki Car Wash is offering a special for the month of August as
a thank you to its many customers. Those using the automatic car
wash will receive $1 off the cost. Kwiki Car Wash is located on
the corner of US 50 and High Street across from the CVS Pharmacy.
BETH RUMSEY PHOTO
Loyal customer Vern Roberts, Versailles, pictured right,
has been coming to the Kwiki Car Wash twice a week for many
years to keep his vehicles clean. Zach Walker, pictured
left, also of Versailles, came along to help.