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Bixby Knolls Cars Kept Clean For 40 Years By Local Business

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It’s been 40 years of suds foaming out of the Bixby Knolls Car Wash & Detail Center on Atlantic Avenue and Wardlow Road.

Celebrating the car wash’s birthday, owner Shell Grossman is hosting a free, public extravaganza next month just like she and her late husband, Sheldon, always have for the business’s major milestones. Together, the couple has indisputably built one of the biggest and best car wash and auto detailing businesses in Southern California.

Mr. Grossman, who purchased the car wash in 1977, was known among industry professionals as a pioneer, always using the latest and greatest technology to save water, improve electric efficiency and be as eco-friendly as possible. He also emphasized customer service.

“We turn out a clean car with fast service and we make sure everyone is greeted properly and thanked properly,” Mr. Grossman once told The Grunion Gazette. “We make sure we look the customer in the eye and encourage them to come back soon.”

The Grossmans worked side by side until his death at the office in 2015. The 84-year-old’s memorial service was attended by hundreds of the people he’d touched through his work at the car wash and through his many philanthropic endeavors.

The Grossmans long have been known for their deep involvement in industry associations as well as local charities. Both having been awarded many times for their efforts as professionals and active citizens.

Mrs. Grossman said coming to work without her partner has been a tough adjustment, difficult too on many of the longtime employees at the car wash. Still, she is determined to keep the business, her husband’s legacy, going.

Shell Grossman

Shell Grossman, the owner of Bixby Knolls Car Wash, is celebrating the company's 40th birthday.

“It’s been hard for everybody,” the widow said. “But we (Sheldon and I) talked about what would happen if one of us went, and this is what he would have wanted.”

She said her husband would be in their hearts at the anniversary party, which will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, with entertainment, food vendors, children’s activities, giveaways, and Mr. Grossman’s 1941 Cadillac Convertible on display, among other festivities. Expect to hear the 1976 song “Car Wash” play more than once.

Bixby Knolls Car Wash & Detail Center is located at 577 W. Wardlow Rd. (at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Wardlow Road). For details, call (562) 595-6666 or visit The business is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

Ashleigh Ruhl is a contributing writer for The Grunion Gazette. She can be reached at

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