first_imgBy Tim KellyAfter four Nor’easters in less than two weeks, Ocean City is getting back to business. For many people that means the business of a clean car.Road salt, the grimy remains of dirty slush, construction dust and plain old dirt are the enemies of a car or truck’s finish. Beyond that, customers at the Car Caress Car Wash at 1635 Haven Avenue in Ocean City seemed to feel a clean vehicle also mean a clean slate after a very hard winter.“The first day after a Nor’easter, not so much (business) because there is still a lot of stuff on the roads your car will pick up. But the second day, especially if the weather is nice, a storm’s effect is really going to help us,” said owner Brian Coggins.Customer Rita Boyle looked out of place. Her diamond rings and oversized sunglasses didn’t quite match the spray nozzle in her hand at the facility’s self service bay. Appearances can be deceiving. Rita Boyle was actually in her element.“I love this car wash,” Boyle said. “In the summer I will come here three times in a week. I’m such a regular everyone knows me here. Sometimes I go to my spin class which is nearby, and if there’s not much of a crowd I stop here on my way home.  When you have a black car it really shows the dirt and dust.  I like to keep it clean.Rita Boyle works on her Lincoln at the Car Caress Car Wash.“People make fun of me,” she said. “When I was pulling out on my way over here, a friend said ‘you better not be going to the car wash.’ But here I am,” she laughed.Boyle was typical of a steady stream of customers in recent days at Ocean City’s only car wash, at 1635 Haven Avenue. Despite a threatening sky and intermittent rain on Sunday, the people came.“I’m trying to dodge raindrops, but it doesn’t look as though I will be able to,” Gary Baker said. His summer home is close to Car Caress and this was his only opportunity to clean it.He was wiping down his black Mercedes sedan as the light rain began to fall. Baker said he had no covered place to park his car but was still happy to be wash it.“It will just get rained on and will need to be washed again, but I wanted to come here and get rid of all the road salt.”Coggins said that on an average day without the benefit of a Nor’easter Car Caress will handle around 35 vehicles. But on Friday the facility handled 85, on Saturday 115, and on Sunday and Monday 60 each.Bill Jenkins was at Car Caress to clean the pickup truck he uses for his business, Cove Construction.There is also a second Car Caress location, Car Caress II, in Marmora at 10 Stage Coach Road which did heavier than usual business after the storms. On a busy day, Coggins said three or four of his five employees will be busy wiping down cars.They also offer auto detailing, boat detailing and a wide range of car cleaning and car care products.Ann, who asked that we not use her last name (“I want to stay low key”) was vacuuming her car with the help of her 14-year-old son Ben. A resident of Seaville, Upper Township, the mom and son car cleaning duo used the facility because they were meeting another family member who was performing in a play at the nearby Ocean City Community Center.“This (cleaning the car) was on our list of things we had to get done, and the location is convenient.”For Bill Jenkins of Ocean City, Sunday was a chance to wash his “work truck,” which already looked cleaner than most cars on the street. He uses the truck in his general contracting business, Cove Construction.“I would normally wash it at home, but my water is not yet turned on for my outside faucet,” Jenkins said. Nevertheless, he said he was a regular at Car Caress.“I try to keep it nice,” he said, “and this place is really convenient.” Car Caress is located just behind the 16th Street CVS at 1635 Haven Ave.last_img