A Car Wash Leader Reflects on a Half Century of Success


Thomas Ennis wasn’t your normal kid. At 16, his parents took him to a football game at Marquette University. Since he wasn’t allowed into the game because he was too young, he spent the day wandering around town by himself. Where did he spend most of his time? The car wash. He was instantly fascinated, and within three years, he had started a car wash of his own. Ennis wasn’t satisfied to just set up the business and sit back either. He attended conferences on car wash technology, and he has consistently stayed ahead of the curve for over 50 years.

Since the 1960s N/S Corporation has been a car wash industry leader. Constantly on the innovative edge, N/S Corporation has seen success over the decades to include manufacturing equipment used by operators in all corners of the industry. Founder Thomas Ennis recounts the success of N/S Corporation to the first wash in Inglewood, CA.

Getting Started in the Business

Ennis’s interest in the car wash industry began unconventionally when he was only 16. During a trip to Milwaukee, Ennis was disallowed from attending a university football game due to liquor laws. Instead, he wandered around and spent the majority of his time at a car wash. With an instant fascination, he thought over every facet of the business before getting the chance to own his first operation just three years later.

Finding His Footing

Running his own car wash wasn’t enough for the young entrepreneur. Instead of just letting it earn money, he dove head first into understanding the industry and technology. Ennis attended conferences, studied manufacturers, and examined competitors to find an edge that would allow his business to thrive.

Turning to Manufacturing

After attending his first conference in 1963, Ennis turned his focus to being an equipment distributor for California Car Wash Systems. Since he was knowledgeable about the various aspects of how to fix the equipment at his own operation, he also knew the needs that other operators had. From there he launched N/S Wash Systems as a supply and service company. Now, N/S Corporation stands as the longest running car wash manufacturing company in the world and has stayed ahead of the industry’s curve for more than 50 years.

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