Myrtle Beach auto detailer says, “Clean Me Up, Scotty”

For Weekly SurgeOctober 23, 2013 

When his wife became a nurse anesthetist, Scott Jones’ intention was to be a stay-at-home dad for his two young sons. “I tried that for a couple of weeks and that just didn’t work,” he says. At the time, the family was living in Knoxville, Tenn., and Jones had to have something to do. “I ran a chain of car washes in Virginia, and decided that I wanted to be self-employed.” This led to the birth of his business, Clean Me Up Scotty Auto Detailing, which began as a hobby. “My wife came up with the name, and I went out and bought a little Shop-Vac and a handheld buffer, printed some business cards and went into business.”

The first month, Jones says he made $89 – but he consistently picked up customers and after 12 years in Knoxville, he says that everybody knew who he was. “I’ve never done any advertising – just had my truck decaled up and word-of-mouth.” And he never hired any employees. “It’s always been me, myself and I,” he says, adding that his homes always included an oversized garage that doubled as a detail shop. “I don’t have any overhead, and that’s the way I have always done it.”

Two years ago, the Joneses moved to the Grand Strand.

“The company my wife worked for in Knoxville went under – and her mom and stepdad retired here about 10 years ago,” he says. “With her profession, she can get a job anywhere in the country – and with me self-employed, I could start over anywhere because there are dirty cars everywhere.” Wife Michelle Jones wanted to be closer to her folks so that they could watch the grandsons Zack [14] and Alex [11] grow up. “So, Myrtle Beach here we are,” he says.

Jones says he took a bit of a recess because the couple is in the process of having a house built in the Socastee area, but he does onsite detailing now with a nod to his target of a grand re-launch of his full-service, in-house business on March 1.

“I’m going to do direct mailers and send out flyers this time around to get the word out,” he says.

“I can still detail a car onsite, but I usually pick up and deliver. I’ll go out and throw somebody the keys to my truck, like – ‘here’s my truck – I’m taking your car and I will see you in about seven hours. Your car is going to look great again.’”

But Jones is sure to add that he is not a miracle worker. “A lot of people think that because you say detail a car, automatically they are thinking, are the scratches going to be gone or are my seats going to be fixed? That comes under restoration. There are no magic potions out there to remove a scratch or wipe on your headlight lenses to make them look new again.”

We wanted to know more about the headlight lens issue, since there are many restoration kits on the market.

“In order to actually get the headlight lenses clear again, you are taking a buffer with a fine piece of sandpaper and sanding off some plastic,” he says.

When he’s not detailing, Jones enjoys time with his family. “We spend time at the beach, and I spend a lot of time at the Matt Hughes Skateboard Park in Myrtle Beach. My oldest boy is big into skateboarding.” When the opportunity for a date night presents itself, the Joneses explore the waterfront dining options on the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet.

He is a big Virginia Tech Hokies fan – and is a volunteer with Horry County Parks and Recreation as a youth football coach. “We’re halfway through the season now,” he says. “I coach 10 and 11-year-olds, and we are the Hokies.”

And Jones isn’t about to sweat the future.

“Hopefully I just live right, and when my time comes, God calls me and I move on to the next stop,” he says. “Any day on this side of the dirt is a good day – and if you are living right, it will get even better on the other side.”

Know of a local with an interesting job or career that should be given the Working 4 A Living treatment? Contact Roger Yale at rgyale@gmail.com.

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