Auto Zen’s owner wants you to love your vehicle again
By Sandra Strieby
Making cars shine has interested Wes Wilcox since he studied collision repair in high school. “We went over everything from accident to finished product, and I really enjoyed the cleaning aspect of it,” he said.
Now he’s capitalizing on that interest with a new business, Auto Zen Detailing.
Wilcox has always enjoyed keeping his own vehicles looking good, and has found pleasure in providing the service to others as well. For several years, he worked in local businesses while detailing cars on the side, starting with family’s and friends’ vehicles and expanding by word of mouth.
At the same time, he said, “I had always kind of wanted to run a business, and start working for myself.”
The opportunity came in 2019, when he and Rachel Cramer bought Classic Mountain Cabby from Jeremy and Tyler Welborn. Wilcox and Cramer renamed the company and now operate as Methow Motion Shuttle Services, employing three drivers in addition to working in the business themselves.
Last fall, having found that “doing the full-on business is not as scary as I thought,” Wilcox expanded his detailing side gig to include a shop and employees.
“It just seemed like a great idea to bring this, as a real service, to the valley,” he said. The two businesses dovetail nicely; detailing keeps Wilcox busy in the spring and fall, slower periods for Methow Motion. Wilcox’s businesses also fulfill his desire to “create a job that the employees would really like to do.”
Auto Zen offers three levels of service, Standard, Premium and Zen. The Standard package is a good choice for recently maintained cars that need a touch-up, said Wilcox.
For vehicles that haven’t had a thorough cleaning in a while, the Premium package provides some extra attention to tackle the dog hair, dirt and “deeper grime” that accumulate in well-used Methow rigs. The Zen package is the top of the line, and includes steps like carpet shampooing, a two-stage exterior wax and polish, and engine compartment cleaning.
The art of auto maintenance
The name Auto Zen reflects Wilcox’s focus on spiritual centeredness along with “the motive of trying to create something that helps people, but also brings inner stability” to Wilcox himself.
“The idea of taking somebody’s vehicle in, fixing that one thing that they feel like they never really have the time to take care of, just brings a sense of joy to me, and it brings a little sense of peace when somebody shows up and sees their car” looking cared for, he said. “I want people to love their vehicle again.”
Wilcox has had an enthusiastic response since he set up shop on Lincoln Street.
“There have been so many people that have come in and gotten their car clean from me that are just ecstatic that it’s here and so happy that they don’t have to drive to Wenatchee or Chelan,” he said.
He continues to hone his skills with training that keeps him up to speed on new developments and available tools so that he and his employees remain well equipped to provide vehicle owners with those good experiences. He may add services such as window tinting and stereo installation in the future, but his main objective is to sustain the business and keep its core services available.
“I really, really genuinely fully appreciate all of the support that has been here for my business, from the community,” he said. “And I want everybody to know that … that’s in the forefront of my mind … they supported me so I want to make sure I keep it going.”
Auto Zen Detailing is located at 113 Lincoln St. in Twisp, next door to Kevin’s Collision Repair. Wilcox’s phone number is (509) 972-6365; you can also find Auto Zen on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/AutoZenTwisp.