Detail Authority, Dent Removal/Paint Protection/Auto Detailing

About The Owner

Owner, Randy Coffey

Hi, I am Randy Coffey Owner of Detail Authority. This is my story of how Detail Authority came about.

For some reason when I was really young I wanted to open a car wash.  At the age of 13, I found a location in Fairfax City where the old Datsun Dealership was located at Fairfax Circle.  The price of the property was much more than I could afford at 1.2 Million dollars.  I didn't even know what 1.2 Million was, I just knew it was away too many zeros for me.  But that didn't stop me from dreaming.  I was always interested in drafting, and I designed a building and contacted several companies to see how much the equipment was going to be.  Not that I had a plan, I just needed to start doing something to work towards my goal.  After graduating from High school I started work as an apprentice Iron Worker.  I worked really hard and put in lots of overtime hours and bought my first new car at the age of 18, a Monte Carlo SS.  I kept that car so clean that people started asking me to clean their cars, and then they started to pay me to do the work.  I finally had a plan to start working towards my goal.  Not my original plan, but it was a start, and thats all I needed.

In the summer of 1987, I registered "Mobile Auto Detailing", got a license to do business, purchased about $250.00 worth of equipment and a pager and my business was started.  Yes, a "pager", you remember this things, right?  I put all of the equipment in the trunk of my car, buckets, brushes, chemicals, and buffer and started going to people's houses to clean their cars.

Throughout the next several years while I was working towards my journeyman book as a Strusural Iron Worker, I had several part time jobs including a supervisor at Price Club (now called Costco), an instructor at a bartending school, a bartender, front end supervisor at a local Giant Food.

In the mid summer of 1994, I obtained a contract with a local car dealership detailing cars. I worked on my detailing business from 6-7:00am until 2:00 and went to Giant at 3:00 until 9-10:00pm.  I would go to a shop I was renting at night from a when I got off at Giant until 1-2:00am.  go home get a few hours sleep and do it all over again.  On September 24th 1994, I quit my job at Giant Food, at which point Mobile Auto Detailing became my full time and only job. People said that I was foolish for making such a move right before the cold winter months but I was determined to make it work.

In March of 1995, the first company van, a 1994 Chevy Astro van, was purchased with an idea of making a completely self contained mobile cleaning unit where i could carry water, have power, and all the tools I needed to do the job properly.  In 1995 there were no “mobile” detailing companies, no one to ask for help, and there was no equipment for such a use.  Through trial and error with plumbers  help I developed a portable system to carry and dispense water.  I loaded the van up with a 55 gallon drum to hold clean water and a man make pump system we came up with, a generator, a shop vac, a buffer, some chemicals and supplies, and a tent. After having a custom paint job put on the van, the first completely contained mobile unit was on the road. For the next several years, I worked 80-100 hours every week to expand the business to 4 mobile detailing units.  In 1996 I found a location in Chantilly VA to open as my first detailing shop.  A fixed location as a shop and home office for Mobile Auto Detailing.  In December of 2000 I expanded Mobile Auto Detailing and bought another local company which was the automotive division of Sharp Details, formerly of Vienna Va. and Alexandria Va. Then in December of 2001 I purchased another detailing business called DA's Custom Car Care located in Herndon, VA, and took over that location.

In Aug. 2001- I was asked to travel to Holland as part of the World Hail Repair Team-(Automotive Hail Damage Repair), working for a Mercedes Benz facility fixing cars damaged by a recent hail storm. I remained in Holland until late September 2001.  Due to 9/11 our work was cut short and I returned back home to the US to attend to the business here.

By 2002, I had built Mobile Auto Detailing from scratch to 12 employees, 7 mobile units, and 2 shops located in Chantilly & Herndon Virginia. They have an established name and reputation, and were the oldest and largest "mobile" detailing company in Northern Virginia. 

In May of 2002, I merged all 3 companies, Mobile Auto Detailing, Sharp's Detail, DA's Custom Car Care into one company.  From this point on all companies were merged into the current business called Detail Authority. In November of 2002 I expanded the Herndon location and took over the space next door expanding the Herndon location to over 5000 square feet.  The new business model was to make Detail Authority a one stop shop for Auto Detailing, window tint, spray in bed liners, bumper repairs, paint protection films, and more.  The business continued to grow to 21 employees and 7 mobile detailing units, doing almost 8,000 cars a year.

Oct. 2009 I was asked to join a new car wash opening up in the area to run and open several locations, and the business was sold, closing our doors in 2010.  I became the operations Manager at Flagship car wash, opening and overseeing the Annandale, Gainesville and the Herndon locations.  In Feb. 2011 I opened the newly acquired and remodeled location of Flagship Car Wash in Annandale, Va. In April of 2011 I opened the brand new state of the art, and first LEED’s car wash in the country, located in Herndon, Va. Under my supervision Flagship Car Wash in Herndon had sales exceeding expectations becoming profitable in a record time. In November 2011, I took over management of the newly acquired Gainesville location of Flagship Car Wash. I remained with Flagship Car Wash overseeing and managing the 3 locations until July 2012.

In July 2012- I missed the entrepreneurial spirt of being a business owner and decided to reopen Detail Authority, specializing in Paint Protection Films (clearbra) installations and Paintless Dent Removal (PDR).  For the next 2 years I travel throughout Texas working for insurance companies and local body shop owners fixing cars damaged in hail storms.  In Oct 2014, I decided to go back to my roots and start to rebuild Detail Authority as a business that stands for quality work.  Although the company is much smaller, I enjoy providing customer service and spending more time with his customers to insure quality work is provided, which was a luxury that was not afforded working for others.