Giving Your Car the Ultimate Treatment with Next Level Detailing

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Business Feature: McMinnville Auto Detail
Written by Patti Jo Brooks, Contributing Writer | Photos by Kara Langley

Does your car deserve the same care as Air Force One? You bet it does! McMinnville Auto Detail will see to it that your vehicle receives “presidential” treatment in their state-of-the-art facility. Using only the highest-quality, top-end products, McMinnville Auto Detail offers superior workmanship whether you’re just hitting the road or headed to your next car show.

An official member of the Air Force One detail team, McMinnville Auto Detail owner Chris Lee approaches detailing at his shop with the same pride and respect he affords the presidential plane. Answering an annual invitation, Chris joins a team of specialists responsible for detailing the retired Air Force One jetliner housed at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

A technician Working on detailing a plane

Impressive as that may be, McMinnville Auto Detail, which has been serving Yamhill County, McMinnville, Newberg and Salem for the last 15 years, originated 25 years ago with Chris’s penchant for cleanliness, his detail-oriented mindset and the desire to be his own boss. Based out of his garage, Chris started a mobile car wash business — hand wash and dry, vacuum, quick wipe-downs, “nothing crazy,” he admits. From there, he built up to a small shop, then a bigger shop. Today, his flourishing business, known as McMinnville Auto Detail, occupies a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled space along Hwy. 99W in McMinnville and is staffed with three full-time employees. Growing once again, McMinnville Auto Detail is expanding another 3,000 square feet in their current location, increasing shop space and adding a store front for products.

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With 25 years in the industry, learning about the latest car detailing techniques, products and machines, attending auto conventions and participating in webinars, Chris’s growth was no accident. He also met with the group of detailers known in the industry as the “detail mafia.” This group of 200 or so individuals “promote auto detailing at a higher standard,” Chris relates. So why would you go anywhere else to get your window tinting, paint protection or full exterior and interior detailing services? My guess is — you wouldn’t. McMinnville Auto Detail will spruce up any value vehicle, any make or any model. “On a given day we can have a $310,000 McClaren in the shop and the very next day have a 2002 Subaru Outback,” says Chris. “Quality over quantity,” he points out. “That’s how we run our shop!”

Every year McMinnville Auto Detail sponsors an annual car wash with 100% of the proceeds going to McMinnville’s no-kill dog and cat shelter. They also provide sponsorships for the Yamhill County Fair and Rodeo and the Cruising McMinnville car show as well as donate prizes and products to small local groups. Chris, who’s lived in McMinnville since 1998, and his wife, Leslie, like to go camping and ride out on the sand in their dune buggy when not busy with work.

McMinnville Auto Detail is located at 735 NE Highway 99W, Units A & B, in McMinnville. Call Chris at (503)437-4059 or email For additional information and services visit the website