One of the things I do as a freelancer is review cars, which you’d know if you’re reading this post I guess. The cars I’m given stay with me for a week at a time, and when they’re delivered they’re all shiny and new. After a week of driving them around they obviously pick up dirt, dust, bird droppings and watermarks (if it’s rained). This isn’t a problem for the manufacturer because the guys who manage the fleets for them either have their own car wash facilities or they have a car wash that they have a contract with to keep the cars clean. I still hate to give cars back when they’re not in the same condition I received them in, so I decided to find a car wash that’s better than average to make sure they go back in tip-top shape.
That brings me to Soapy Rides in Ferndale, Randburg. I didn’t even know the place existed until I covered the VW Club’s pre-Dubrun carwash event that was held there. The place is located in the centre’s underground parking and it’s huge. There are two wash bays and a whole host of drying bays. They don’t only wash and dry cars though, they offer a full range of detailing services, window tinting and they can remove minor dents too. They also use some of the best cleaning products on the market, which is great piece of mind for those guys who are fanatical about their rides. They’re also contracted to a few dealerships in the area, so you know they’re good at what they do. If you want, there’s an OK waiting area to chill in, but you can also take a walk upstairs to the centre where you can chill at one of the many shops, which I do often.
Since I found Soapy Rides I’ve been back on an almost weekly basis, 90% of the press cars I’ve had have been there with me, the only time the cars don’t get the Full Monty is if I’m super short on time, and then I get annoyed with myself for days. It just feels wrong giving back a dirty car. They’ve also saved my ass too. When I had a brand new Chevrolet Trailblazer on test, I really put it through its paces on and off road. I returned to Jo’burg with a filthy car that collected a few scratches on the paint and the lights. I was more than prepared to have the car detailed to get rid of the scratches but the standard inside out wash and dry did the trick. The thing looked like it just rolled off the production line, never mind the showroom floor! Score one for Soapy Rides.
Clearly owner Toni Helou is a car man though. We often chat about the many different cars I pitch up with but he also has some decent cars that are for sale at the car wash, from classic Mercs through to neat Subarus. Then there’s Dyno Rides… As you enter the premises, to your right you’ll notice a room with half glass walls, and if you take a closer look you’ll notice some diagnostic equipment inside, as well as a pair of rollers in the ground. Yup, they have a 4-wheel drive dyno now too. It’s a really nice setup that’s both well sealed and ventilated at the same time. Here operator Brink Visagie offers power runs for R350 and he also offers some tuning. He can fit and set up Uni-Chip Q piggyback systems on N/A and turbo cars, diesel too. Prices start at around R3500 depending on the application.
So yeah, I like the place so much that I decided to share it with you all, hence the blog post about it. If you’re in the Randburg area and you’re looking for a place that will treat you and your ride properly, it’s well worth your time to check it out. You may even see me there with a press car, if you do, come over and say hi!
You can find out more about Soapy Rides and Dyno Rides on the Facebook pages and website.
Author: Chris Wall
A slightly tattooed motoring fanatic, photography nut and avid collector of knowledge. Use the search bar to navigate through the archives.