By Matthew Cabe
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at 11:38 AM Updated Apr 14, 2016 at 11:38 AM
APPLE VALLEY — Earlier this week, Ryan Rehart traveled to Seattle as part of an elite team of detailers set to spend two weeks restoring Boeing aircraft for the company’s upcoming centennial, and his inclusion on the project wouldn’t have been possible without a crucial decision he made four years ago.
In 2012 — with his professional life at a crossroads — Rehart, 32, of Apple Valley, returned to the job he knew best with a mind to expand his abilities.
While attending Granite Hills High School, Rehart washed cars to make money. After graduation in 2002, however, he went to Emergency Medical Technician School and became a fire explorer for the Apple Valley Fire Protection District.
He later worked for San Bernardino County Fire and American Medical response; washing cars seemingly became a footnote in his life’s story.
“All the sudden I was a legit fireman,” Rehart told the Daily Press with a laugh. “It was a legit job, so I was like, I’m not washing cars anymore,′ you know. That’s embarrassing.”
But as the years passed, Rehart grew tired of the politics involved and left the fire service. He yearned for something different that would fulfill him — personally and financially.
“I needed to make some money because I wasn’t working,” he explained, “so I started washing cars again, but I was like, ‘Man, I can’t go out and wash cars for $20 a piece and get by.’ So I’m like, ‘What is there more to this detailing that I can do (to) make more money?’”
The ever-inquisitive Rehart took to the internet in search of answers. He scoured Google, watched YouTube videos and joined an online forum to gain as much information as he could on the intricacies of, and advancements in, the detailing industry.
“I just essentially became a self-proclaimed internet superstar of searching,” Rehart said. “I just learned everything I could about detailing.”
And it paid off. Rehart attended numerous training courses, joined a mentorship program led by the Big Bear-based Renny Doyle — a master-level detailer in the automotive and jet industries — and started his own company, Executive Auto Detail, which he operates out of a self-contained, mobile rig.
But Rehart’s success only began there.
The wealth of knowledge he acquired over the years, as well as the industry expertise he gained during his time with Doyle, resulted in Doyle selecting Rehart to the detailing team destined for the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
During their two-week stint there, the team will detail 17 Boeing aircraft, including the Air Force One that served as an airborne oval office for presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.
″(Doyle’s) been going up to the Seattle Museum of Flight for 10-plus years,” he said. “He goes up there to preserve the airplanes, and the significance of it nobody really understands ... There’s 300 plus detailers in the ‘Detail Mafia’ across the nation and in the world, and so this event is a special invitation even in the group ... To go to the Museum of Flight every year is a super special thing, but this is even more special because it’s the Boeing centennial.”
In addition to working on the presidential plane, the 50-member team — headed by Doyle — is polishing the all-aluminum fuselage of a World War II-era B-29 Superfortress bomber and cleaning and preserving the paint and bright work on additional aircraft, some of which, Rehart said, dates back to World War I.
“There’s stuff from war and military to just passenger jets,” Rehart said, “but they’re the first ones in production.”
Rehart’s inclusion on such a monumental preservation job is a far cry from the cars he once washed, and it signals a significant leap forward that was fueled by passion.
“For anybody to be happy with what they’re doing,” Rehart said, “they got to have passion about it. Otherwise you go to work every day and you’re like, ‘Ah, man, I got to go to work every day.’ And so you have to keep yourself new. You have to keep yourself learning. Because you will get the point where you burn out, and then you (lose interest) ... If you keep engaged and keep active with the industry, the technology, it keeps you fresh in life (and) fresh as a business owner.”
And as for the trip itself, Rehart could barely contain himself when he discussed what it meant to him.
“It’s the rareness of it,” he said. “Anybody can go to the Museum of Flight obviously and check out these aircraft, (but) for me and for the ‘Detail Mafia,’ we get to touch the aircraft. I’m not prior military, but like on the Air Force One there’s a flag on the back wing, and it’s a huge deal for a detailer who is past military to get up on that wing and put their buffer across that American flag. Even for me, I’m patriotic with no military experience (and) it gives me chills just talking about it ... but that’s the biggest thing — to be able to touch and be a part of the history.”
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Ryan Rehart’s mobile ‘Executive Auto Detail’ part of detailing network
By L.J. Gambone
Apple Valley Review
Helping car owners put a little pride in their ride has recently become serious business for Apple Valley resident and auto detailer Ryan Rehart.
Last December, Rehart received his advanced detailing certification in Big Bear Lake from renowned detailer Renny Doyle, who is part of Air Force One’s detailing team.
Rehart said his training has definitely put his mobile company, Executive Auto Detail, on the fast track to becoming a leader in the local industry. It is now part of Doyle’s Detailing Success Network, which offers state-of-the-art services for cars, trucks, vans, RVs and private airplanes.
“We’re not your typical, run-of-the-mill car wash guys,” said Rehart, 31. “When we go out to a home or business, we sit down with our clients and determine exactly what their needs are.
“Our philosophy is to provide unparalleled service with the intention of building long-term relationships with everyone we work with. Beyond that, we want people to know they can trust us with their vehicles.”
Rehart, who graduated from Granite Hills High School in 2002, took up detailing as a hobby in his teens. After high school, he said he said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to do it for a living, so he decided to pursue a career as a firefighter and EMT.
But as Rehart battled blazes and went on emergency calls, he said it became apparent his true calling in life was more about fixing up cars than putting out fires.
So in 2012, he went into full-time work as a detailer and admits he has never looked back.
“I think my love for this work comes from my OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder),” said Rehart, who uses Meguiar’s products on every vehicle he works on. “As a kid, I was always the one with the cleanest and most organized room and just had a thing for making things look good that didn’t start out that way.
“That’s why detailing was the perfect hobby for me. But now that I’m doing this full-time, I knew I needed to take my skills to the highest level and it did not take much research to discover Renny Doyle is the most respected detailing trainer in the country. After spending time with him, I knew I wanted to be a member of his team.”
Along with utilizing the most up-to-date and safest techniques for sanding, compounding and polishing, Rehart said his company offers revolutionary interior cleaning through European Steam Clean technology.
“We are the only company that I know of in the High Desert that uses European Steam Clean technology,” said Rehart. “With steam, vehicle owners will never have to worry about stagnant water building up under their carpets that people say smells like wet dog.”
Beyond making sure that vehicles smell as fresh as daisies, Executive Auto Detail provides customers with the option to coat them instead of waxing, which Rehart said is becoming a thing of the past.
“One day in the not-so-distant future, no one will ever have to wax their cars again,” said Rehart. “The new coating technology is the hottest ticket in advanced automotive paint protection, virtually repelling water and eliminating the need for waxing for up to two years.”
According to Rehart, prices for his detailing packages range from $75 to around $300. He said his company also does paint correction, which can cost upwards of $1,000.
“All our work is 100 percent guaranteed,” said Rehart. “And we tell our clients to call us immediately if there’s anything they are not happy with and we will get it taken care of.”
For more information, call 760-885-6870 or visit www.autodetailhd.com.
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