Sometimes it’s good to be bad. That was certainly the case for Mark Meikle, a local veteran and owner of Phoenix Auto Detailer. Meikle recently won first place in the Best of the B.A.D. Before and After Detail Contest. This national competition is put on by World of Shine, a quarterly digital newsletter dedicated to the art of vehicle detailing. Meikle’s entry, a 2012 Ford Transit van, beat out 50 other contestants from across the country. Incredibly, this was the first time Meikle had participated in a vehicle detailing competition.
“I was quite surprised when it came through,” he said of his win. “My work, I just do it from the heart, really, and I put everything in it.”
For his efforts, Meikle won a cordless Flex polisher and a certificate authorizing his win.
The Ford Transit was a used vehicle another business had purchased and contracted Meikle to clean up.
“It was really dirty on the inside and on the outside, everything was just in real bad shape,” Meikle said of the van. “It took me about two days, two and a half, to really get it up to speed.”
According to Meikle, the process included more than just washing and cleaning the van. He also had to do paint correction, redo the headlights and trim, and do an extensive detail on the inside.
“It’s the attention to detail, really, and the passion” he said. “I have to be satisfied with it, not just the customer satisfied with it. It has to satisfy me.”
According to Meikle, this level of satisfaction was born out of his time in the military. This local business owner served 20 years in the Army as a paratrooper. He was first stationed at Fort Benning, starting in 2006, than retired here in 2014.
“I’m an old military guy,” he said. “Especially with being a parachutist, it’s that attention to detail because you know your life matters.”
Ultimately, it was this attention to detail that set Meikle apart from the rest of the contestants. Jim Jeffrey, publisher of World of Shine, agreed.
“Mr. Meikle demonstrated a skill level that stood out from the other contestants,” he said. “Each detail project required a lot of dedication and effort, but each one required different skill.”
The criteria used to select the competition winners included difficulty, skill, time, the finished job, and overall improvement. Other B.A.D. entries included cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and even an airplane.
Second place in the competition went to a Cadillac limousine entry from Nebraska that had been flooded up to its roof line. Third place went to a boat entry from Florida that featured a complete interior/exterior detailing job. Jeffrey had high praise for each of these entries as well.
As for Meikle, while this won’t be his last competition, his focus for now is growing his detailing business. He started Phoenix Auto Detailer in February of this year and has received his certifications in detailing.
“The goal is to be more of an expert and grow the business,” he said. “I really appreciate the chance to enter the competition. I appreciate that whole thing.”
Find Meikle on Facebook and Instagram at Phoenix Auto Detailer.