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Waxing Eloquent

August 22, 2004|LESLEE KOMAIKO

Since 1968, Santa Palm Car Wash in the heart of West Hollywood has been cleaning the cars of many an Angeleno. Among the customers are countless celebs, whose head shots line the long corridor that runs from the well-stocked store to the shaded waiting area. There's Shirley Temple, Jimmy Connors, Dom DeLuise, Young MC, Farrah Fawcett, Eddie Murphy, Jean Stapleton, the Smothers Brothers . . . . This wall puts the one at your dry cleaner to shame. According to general manager Glen Rogers, who has been with the company 24 years, the most popular service is the Deluxe Star Wash, priced at $12.99. Rogers says on an average day, they'll do about 300 to 350 cars, and on a busy weekend day, about 600. But, he adds, "I remember days long ago, when the economy was better, we did 800 cars." We dropped by on a recent Saturday morning when the traffic was bumper to bumper.

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Marisa Sullivan

Bartender/Actress

West Hollywood

Why not wash your own car?

I'm in a hurry. I just got a big movie role.

How do you justify the expense?

So I don't crash into another car 'cause I can't see out the windows.

To wax or not to wax?

Are we talking about a car here? No wax necessary. I lease. Who cares?

Ever watch your car go through the cycle?

No. I was observing someone who does and thinking, is that someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder?

What junk collects in your car?

Fries. Jelly Bellys.

Tackiest carwash store item you've seen?

Those furry leopard steering-wheel covers.

Is a gleaming vehicle more important in L.A.?

People care about image here more than anywhere on the planet.

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Jay Weston

Restaurant Critic/Movie Producer

Beverly Hills

Why not wash your own car?

I would be thrown out of my neighborhood if I washed my car in front of my house.

What do you do while you're waiting?

I usually look at the women and measure on a scale of 1 to 10.

Ever watch your car go through?

I find it very erotic because I think of the movies where people make love while going through a carwash.

Where do you stand on scented air fresheners?

I'm all for them because I occasionally smoke a cigar in my car.

What junk collects in your car?

In-N-Out Burger fries, magazines.

Tackiest carwash item?

Who would buy a cowpie clock?

Are you what you drive?

Yes, when I had a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. After 15 years, I gave it up.

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Lisa Sorensen

Publicist

Studio City

Why not wash your own car?

It takes too much time. I wouldn't know how, honestly, beyond pointing a hose and squirting.

How do you justify the expense?

I will be driving my clients around in it. After this I'm going to pick up Venus Williams.

What do you do while you're waiting?

I send e-mails or I talk on the phone.

What junk collects in your car?

Bottles of water that have been opened but never sipped.

Tackiest carwash item?

All of them, from the sunglasses to the key chains, though I did buy a card today.

What remains a mystery to you about the carwash process?

The workers are mysterious to me. I wonder what makes them hang in there.

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Norm Wogan

Interior Designer

Hollywood

Why not wash your own car?

I used to. Now I have an SUV so it takes longer. And I know all these guys. I've been coming here 18 years and I like to help them out. I give good tips.

What do you do while you're waiting?

Usually I help them do the car. I go over it with them.

Where do you stand on scented air fresheners?

I hate it. I think it's gross. It's artificial.

What junk collects in your car?

Paperwork.

Tackiest carwash item?

Those things that hang on the rearview mirror.

Is a gleaming vehicle more important in L.A.?

I wouldn't say a gleaming vehicle. In L.A., it's gleaming people.

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