Primp Your Ride – The New York Times


“I have this weird disease that I only see what’s wrong with things,” he said. “Imperfections jump out at me violently. My clients tell me, ‘You’re crazy. And I’m willing to pay for this madness.

Mr. Kosilla grew up in Rye, NY, the son of a firefighter and a teacher’s aide, and even as a child he loved to clean. “When I was 6, I took a bucket of water and washed my little tricycle,” he says. “The vacuum cleaner is the most therapeutic thing in the world. If I have a problem, I go out and wash my car.

Tall, slim and athletic in high school, Mr. Kosilla received a scholarship to play hockey at Rye Country Day, a private school. There he met classmates from wealthier families and acquired his first car, a 1989 Mustang LX.

“This car was freedom,” Kosilla said, adding that after being rung in the school parking lot, he put safety cones around it.

Believing he should become a white collar like the fathers of his classmates, he attended the University of Virginia and went to work on the floors of the New York Mercantile Exchange in Lower Manhattan. He assumed you showed up for the job you hated in order to treat yourself to what you loved – in his case, luxury sports cars. But after a year he was so miserable that he quit.

Mr. Kosilla took a low-paying job maintaining cars in Cooper Classics Collection, a vintage car dealership in Greenwich Village. Then, in 2005, with the money he had saved from his finance job and borrowed from his mother, he opened a car wash in Harrison, NY with two friends.

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