Roadrunner Cleans Up
Car wash celebrates 50 years in service to the community
Walter J. Smith, owner of the Roadrunner Car Wash, is doing his part to clean up the city – one car at a time. Located at 2615 Youree Drive in Shreveport, Roadrunner Car Wash is celebrating their 50th year in service to the community.
Smith purchased the company from its original owner back in 1985. “Roadrunner was built in the summer of ’69, just like that popular Bryan Adams song,” Smith said. “Carl McCain was a well-known man in Shreveport. His business was state of the art, and the wash was so busy, they sometimes had to hire a policeman to direct traffic.” When Mr. McCain passed away, Smith bought the business. “I think Mr. McCain would be very proud that his vision for a great car wash is still operating 50 years later,” Smith said.
“My favorite part of my job is turning a dirty car into a clean car,” Smith said. “Particularly one that we have fully detailed.”
According to Smith, today isn’t like the old days. “People don’t take pride in their cars like they used to,” Smith said. “Your car used to be an extension of who you were. If you had a cool car, then you were cool! You didn’t ever let your ride get dirty.”
Times have changed, and to Smith, that’s a shame. “Now, cars are thought of more as just a tool to get you in comfort from Point A to Point B,” Smith said. “Most of them look alike, and people are more interested in the technology than in style.”
But Smith is proud to still own his car from high school – a 1970 Cutlass SX. “It will be 50 years old this year and still looks great!” Smith said. “It has the big block 455 Rocket V-8.”
“I’ve been maintaining cars since I was a teenager,” Smith said. “My manager, David Brooks, has been here for over 30 years, and my oil change manager, Kenny Bell, has been here 30. You tell me, who do you want changing your oil or waxing your car? We have the knowledge, and we love it!” Locals love Roadrunner, too, and it shows. “What sets us apart at Roadrunner is that we are locally owned and that we love cars,” Smith said. “Not to mention, we know what your paint, leather, upholstery and rubber needs in order to keep your car looking great. We can also restore those areas if they have not been maintained.”
Roadrunner Car Wash offers oil changes, car washes, waxes and various levels of detailing for all size vehicles. They also recycle their water and their trash, used oil and filters, and offer biodegradable trash bags for free to customers. Roadrunner is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
“Cars are the second largest investment that most people make in their life,” Smith said. “They can be kept looking like new and last for 20 years or more if you will just have their paint, leather, carpet and etc. treated once or twice a year.”
“Shreveport has had its ups and downs, but if you have a good product, people will be loyal to your business,” Smith said. That’s why Smith is loyal to other local favorites, such as Herby K’s, Hickory Stick and Strawn’s Eat Shops.
Smith hopes to continue serving the community with his business for many more years to come. “I’d love to continue the tradition of educating our customers on how to keep their cars looking new,” Smith said. “We just love cars!”