Minit Car Wash Was Among Displaced Businesses At The Foot Of Cameron Hill

As they became common in the 1900s, cars gave rise to many inventions for car care. If your car is stuck in a muddy ditch in Chattanooga, a local Ernest Holmes destroyer may come to your aid. Was one of your tires damaged in this accident? The tire changer was faster and easier than the old way of changing a tire manually. Need to remove all that mud from your car once you get back on the road? Stop by the Minit car wash, which opened in 1948 on the West Side of Eighth and Pine Street.

It was in an old three-story brick building built around 1926 for the Chattanooga garage.

This company, run by the Fust family, offered parking as well as petrol and vehicles. The beautiful building had a set of five arched windows on the top floor above another set of five windows. The address was 715-723 Pine.

There were earlier forms of “automated” car washes elsewhere, such as workers pushing a car down the line to be sprayed, foamed, sponge-wiped and dried. However, Minit Car Wash included modern automation, according to their September 23, 1948, Chattanooga Times ad.

Removable, hydrated, soft brushes wash your car in two minutes for $ 1.25 for cars and $ 1.50 for trucks and vans. The car, truck or van was pulled across the line by automated machines, but the process ended with employees cleaning the windows, vacuuming the interior and polishing the exterior. The ad states that the car wash takes “less time than it takes to smoke a cigarette or fill your gas tank.” (Hopefully not at the same time.)

Despite the use of automation, Minit still required workers and often ran ads for help. Despite the use of automation, Minit workers were often sought after in advertisements for help. James M. Balinger led the staff in the early years of the company.

Minit Car Wash began small daily advertisements in 1952 in the Times’ classifieds section with the precise wording “cars washed, dried and vacuumed.” Later, Minit began offering more intensive care to customers who prefer their vehicles to receive Simonize hand-applied waxing along with tire evaporation and road tar removal.

In the mid-1950s, Minn’s location on the West Side was surrounded by other businesses and several churches. Chattanooga’s garage and Esso petrol station were connected by car. Noland sells machine tools. The Production Credit Association provided financing to farmers. The Episcopal and Second Presbyterian Churches of St. Paul are municipal churches that still exist today.

The West Side community, which includes Minit, began to disappear in the mid-1950s when urban renewal in the West Side began. The buildings that housed the car wash and other businesses were destroyed, but nearby churches remained in place. The Chattanooga Times of June 16, 1960, reported that the Minit car wash would be moved to 120 Market Street, where Mertin’s dry cleaning business was located.

The car wash was renamed “Nu-Minit Car Wash” after the relocation of Market Street. The foam continued to flow until the property was rebuilt during renovations on the riverbank in the 2000s. Buffalo Wild Wings is there today.


If you have memories of the Minit or Nu-Minit car wash, send an email to