After 30+ years of detailing, he’s closing shop

Published 12:32 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

After more than 30 years of detailing, Jimmy Baldwin has decided it’s time for retirement.

Baldwin, 72, has been working in the detailing business for a long time and

he’s owned After Effects on E 3 Notch Street in Andalusia for 10 years.

“You have to have a passion for detailing or you can’t have a career in it,” Baldwin said.

“I have a passion for it and I have set the bar high for this area.”

It all started when Baldwin retired from the Ford Motor Company in Atlanta.

He was over quality control and paint repair.

“After I retired from Ford, I just detailed a couple of friends’ cars and I kept getting compliments on how nice the cars looked,” Baldwin said.

“They really encouraged me to start my own detailing business.”

Baldwin came back from Atlanta and settled in Andalusia.

“I really picked Andalusia to have my detailing shop because in a lot of small areas people say they detail but it’s just washing and vacuuming. Detailing is professional,” he said.

A full detail includes: cleaning the engine, wheel wells, tires, interior, door jams, windows, headliner and a hand wax, Baldwin said.

“Sometimes if you bring a car to a lot already detailed the value can go up $500-$700 dollars in value.”

As far as why he is retiring, Baldwin said it’s a number of things.

“When I started this business I was getting paid five dollars an hour to detail cars,” Baldwin said.

“The products I use have gone up so high, and some customers expect my pricing to last for a lifetime. Things don’t work that way.”

It’s also hard to find good help, Baldwin said.

“Not many people have a passion for detailing a car, it’s a real tedious job.”

Another factor is that today’s cars take longer to detail, he said.

“Cars are made bigger these days. You got bigger cars and trucks, more work and more time. People don’t want to wait all day.”

As for the other car washes opening in the area, Baldwin said that’s not why he is closing his doors.

“Competition is always good for business, it’s just time for me to retire,” he said.

Baldwin says that After Effects will officially close on Friday or Saturday, but he still plans to work by appointment.