His business, Goodspeed Motoring at 5404 Pirrone Rd. in Salida, offers auto detailing and restoration. There’s an internet-based component of the business, where clients can purchase automotive cleaning, reconditioning and restoration products.
Recently he added an auto dealership that focuses on specialty cars.
The dealership is not only the most recent business venture, it’s also the area where Goodspeed Motoring has seen the most growth in the past few years.
The dealership operates as a broker to help clients purchase new cars and accepts high-quality consignments. Goodspeed finds cars that fit the needs of his clients, many of whom are business owners. Goodspeed handles the negotiations. That allows clients to spend less time at the dealership during delivery and to be confident they’re paying a good price.
“People who run companies don’t have time to go to the dealership and haggle out a price,” said Goodspeed. “It’s very similar to a true car buying service but with a personal touch. So that’s where we offer a little more of a unique local perspective on that.”
His partner in the dealership is Michael Dufort, an accountant from Modesto. Dufort’s background allows Goodspeed Motoring to assist its clients in many of the decisions regarding the purchase of a vehicle and how to best make it an asset, whether it’s buying or leasing or finding the best interest rates. The company can broker sales on consignments and get a commission on it. The higher the purchase price, the higher the commission, although that isn’t the main motivation in brokering deals.
“That’s really not the driving force with what we do,” said Goodspeed. “Obviously to keep the doors open you have to be compensated in some financial way, but the source is building long-term, lifetime clients.”
Goodspeed has been in the automotive industry since he started working for Steve Nelson at Showpiece Detailing in 1986 while he was attending Davis High School in Modesto. He described that opportunity as a “dream job” because it allowed him to work on high-end vehicles at such a young age. He stayed with Nelson at Showpiece until 1990.
After attending college and working as a salesman at Costco, Goodspeed wanted to return to the auto industry. He purchased Showpiece from Nelson in 1995 and opened Goodspeed Motoring.
Since then, he’s focused on detailing and restoring vehicles. The company works on everything from high-end muscle cars to late-model SUVs. For newer vehicles he focuses on minor cleanups and preservation, while older cars may require a full restoration.
His years in the industry also explain why he has so many longtime customers. Allen Ramsey has known Goodspeed for 18 years. Ramsey went to Goodspeed to get advice on purchasing a 1999 Porsche Carrera that had a defect in the engine.
“He knew all about it, and he knew what it did to the value of the car and what I ought to be paying for the value in the car,” said Ramsey. “He helped me evaluate the car for its completeness and condition. For instance, I wouldn’t know where to go to get Porsche parts but he had a contact, called him up and found out where to get them.”
In addition to the detailing and dealership, Goodspeed Motoring uses its website to sell products for automotive cleaning, reconditioning and restoration. It’s something the business started doing in 2000. At the time, Goodspeed envisioned the internet as a way to make some additional money.
Since then, the demand for the products he sells has only grown. He now has buyers spread all over the country and doles out products to companies large and small. For example, Sony, Kellogg and KLX Aerospace Solutions are clients.
“It’s really neat because you never know when the next phone call from a national audience is going to be one that’ll really turn into something,” said Goodspeed.
Above all else, Goodspeed stresses the quality of work he provides. He maintains it’s why he’s had the success he’s had and why he’s been able to maintain relationships with his clients for so many years. He does all of the detailing himself, without the help of employees.
“I don’t like employees only because of the personal nature of this business. I’m the project,” said Goodspeed. “When people come in, they want my product. And having employees that don’t have the care that I do for both the client and the product, it gets very difficult. So I had made the longtime decision of not having employees, staying more exclusive, spending the time necessary on the car and turning out a product that’s much higher than what you’re going to find elsewhere.”