It is not unusual to hear about a man’s passion for his automobile, but for Greenville resident Andy Hornbrook the passion transpired into a career for 33 years.
“I was 13 when I really got into cars,” Hornbrook said. “I remember cleaning up my sister’s car and selling at that age.”
Hornbrook and his other high school friends that shared the same passion for cars are now in the auto business today.
“I always thought Andy might be the one selling cars today,” Greenville business owner Blake Hollenbeck said. “He was always trading or selling his cars while we were in high school.”
Hornbrook worked for other business owners installing sunroofs and occasionally doing some detailing and cleaning. That is when he got the idea he should go into business for himself.
“It all started with an idea and the drive to provide the best for those in the community,” Hornbrook said. “It was 1984 when I started Andy’s Car Cleaning.” “Ever since high school I have always loved cars.”
Hornbrook and his high school friends were committed to their cars.
“Andy was always working on some car,” Hollenbeck said. “I guess you could call us ‘gear heads.’ We would go to school, then work and whatever we made went into our cars.
“I remember Andy driving that souped-up green Vega,” Hollenbeck added. “I guess looking back on it now we were all destined to be involved with cars in our careers.”
Hornbrook left Greenville for a few years after high school and took his car cleaning skills to California.
“I was in Bel Air California from 1988 until 1990 doing ‘Cars for the Stars,’’” Hornbrook said.
His stay in California came to an end when he came home for his mother, Mary Lou Hornbrook, who was starting her battle with cancer.
“My mother got sick and I came home,” he said. “My heart has always been here in Greenville anyway and I have been here ever since.
Hornbrook has earned a reputation for cleaning and detailing cars in Greenville that has stood the test of time in his eyes.
“I have seen many businesses come in a do what I do but they have come and gone and I am still here,” Hornbrook said.
Hornbrook’s reputation for doing cars has earned him business from other local businesses in the area.
“Andy still details our cars,” said Tom Kinney, general sales manager for Ed Koehn. “He has cleaned a lot of our cars for resale.”
It is the finished product that keeps the customers returning to get their cars, boats, motorcycles, trucks and more cleaned and detailed. Hornbrook has no fancy equipment when cleaning cars. He works from home out of his garage, so he is all hands on. That way, he said, he can be more personable.
“From grandma’s car to the hot rod, I do it all,” Hornbrook said. “I take care of you personally and I pour all of me into what I do, washing, waxing, and polishing by hand. When your vehicle is returned to you it is looking like it belongs on a showroom floor.”
It is the local connection and the work he does that keeps businesses like Ed Koehn using Hornbrook for car cleaning and detailing.
“I have sent customers right to him,” Kinney said. “He has probably been doing our cars on and off now for 30 years. Andy stands behind all his work, and by the time a customers leaves Andy’s, they are satisfied with the work.”
Like his mother, Hornbrook said he has his heart set on his hometown.
“All I do is for the people of Greenville,” Hornbrook said. “I do this because the community of Greenville has kept me in business, and for 15 years, I have been here at my house working hard to keep all vehicles clean.”
Revved Up is a feature section of The Daily News and Carson City Gazette, focusing on anything with gears and tires.