Columbia Junction Car Wash Operator Spotlight

Stan has a set of skills he acquired over his career at Columbia Junction Car Wash. Skills that make him a nightmare for grime on vehicles. If you let him wash your vehicle, that’ll be the end of any dirt. While Stan Speace is not Liam Neeson, the actor famous for his role in the movie “Taken,” his customers certainly think he looks like him. Look at his picture, and you’ll see what they mean.

The Speace Family
From left to right: Stan, Sandy, and Brandon Speace

Family Owned and Run

Stan runs a second-generation family-owned car wash in Columbia Junction, Maryland, alongside his mother, Sandy, and his brother Brandon. Will Speace established Columbia Junction Car Wash in 1991. He is Sandy’s late husband and the father of brothers Stan and Brandon.

Will’s Story

Before jumping headfirst into the car wash industry, Will spent his career as an engineer. Late in the ’80s, the company Will had been working at was purchased by a massive international firm. As with many corporate acquisitions, multiple people lost their jobs, and Will was one of them. However, he did not let that setback stop him.

Starting a Car Wash

After he spent some time thinking things over, Will decided he wanted to create his own business. As he juggled starting a new job and providing for his family, Will began exploring multiple business ideas. Will settled on the car wash industry and decided to construct a new car wash from the ground up. He planned his wash and searched for a piece of land to host it, all while working full-time.

Finally, Will reached a point where he decided it was time to leave his job and put all his effort into getting his business off the ground. Fortunately for Will, he had a supportive wife who encouraged him to pursue his dream. Sandy kept telling Will he had the right tools to run his own business, so with his wife’s endorsement he constructed his wash. With his wife’s endorsement, Will constructed his wash. He ran it successfully for many years.

Prepping a vehicle.

Training the Second Generation

Eventually, Stan and Brandon grew old enough to start helping out at the wash. They both took every opportunity to help out. Will enjoyed teaching them as it was a way for him to bond with his sons. Once his sons graduated high school, they attended college, where Brandon learned automotive repair and Stan studied film. Each summer, the brothers returned home to help their father at the wash.

Handing Over the Reins

After college, the brothers went their separate ways working in their respective fields. They would still help out at the wash from time to time. One day, Will decided it was time to step back. He asked his sons if they would help him run the wash. Stan and Brandon happily joined their father and worked alongside him. Sadly, Will passed away in 2009. Fortunately, his sons were ready to take over the reins and keep the business going.

The Perfect Fit

Brandon’s automotive repair skills and lessons from Columbia Junction’s original technician enabled him to quickly adapt to repairing car wash equipment. Stan said, “[Brandon] can do all of the repairs and maintenance unless it is electrical work requiring a permit.” Stan handles all the computer work and the other aspects of running the business. With their combined wisdom and support from Sandy, Columbia Junction Car Wash has flourished over the years. The family even inspired some of their employees to pursue a career in the industry.

Inspiring Future Car Wash Owners

When Will started the business, he hired many of Brandon’s high school friends to help out. Will mentored many of these young men and helped them figure out their future aspirations. One of them followed his dream and purchased a wash of his own. A few other employees want to open a wash of their own someday.

Sandy desires to see her grandkids work at the wash, develop passion for the car wash industry, and maybe even take over the wash one day. Like Sandy, we hope to see Columbia Junction Car Wash become a third-generation run business once Stan and Brandon decide it’s their turn to hand over the reins and retire.

We want to thank Brandon, Sandy, and Stan for sharing their story with us and wish them continued success in the future!

If you enjoyed this story, check out the previous operator spotlight featuring Jim Browning from F & T Power Wash!