The Background on How Detail King Came to Be

Nick Vacco, Detail King Founder & CEO

There’s not a whole lot about the auto detailing business that Nick Vacco doesn’t know first hand, and he gained that knowledge and experience from scratch. He didn’t haphazardly stumble across the idea for Detail King. Nor did he waltz on in and inherit a family dynasty. And once he did become successful at it, Nick didn’t sit back and let other people run the business.

Nope. There’s a good reason why Nick Vacco became founder and president of Detail King — among the largest auto detailing supply, equipment and training companies in the nation — and that reason is this: Early on, he rolled up his sleeves, dipped either a brush, towel or sponge into a bucket of warm sudsy water, and then scrubbed and cleaned the nearest nonmoving vehicle in the vicinity.

It’s been nearly three decades since young Nick, a college kid with a fierce interest in generating extra cash, started washing and waxing cars around his campus, using cleaning gear and solvents that he crammed into the trunk of his car.

A few years later, he moved the equipment out of his car and into a four-bay shop that featured a showroom and a customer waiting area. He called his business King of the Road Auto Appearance Center and it became the most successful auto detailing and restyling business within the city limits of Pittsburgh, PA.

It wasn’t too long before Nick started up a half dozen side businesses within the tight confines of his auto detailing shop, installing sun roofs, running boards, car alarms, remote starters, car phones, and stereo systems and teaching his crew how to install them in customer’s automobiles. Nick also operated an Express Detailing and Lube business out of another building, which housed an automatic car wash.

It was around this time that Nick started a limousine service — if you can, in good conscience, consider one vintage Cadillac a limousine service. He used that old Caddy to transport customers back and forth to his shop and, of course, it went on to become the biggest limousine service in Pittsburgh. Sometime later, somebody offered Nick a bunch of money for his entire auto detailing enterprise and his side businesses and Nick said, “Sure.”

Then in 1999, with the growing emergence of the World Wide Web, Nick saw an opportunity to take what he’d learned over the years at the auto detailing shop and set up an online business at, operating it out of his office at home. He figured he could offer his knowledge and expertise about auto detailing and marketing and offer it to others interested in making a go of it.

After a few years, Detail King became so successful that Nick had to move the company out of his home office, hire additional employees and commandeer a 7,000-square-foot facility on two levels that currently houses the company’s sales, support and marketing staff, training center, showroom and two warehouses. By sticking to the principals of hard work and honest dealings with his customers, Nick Vacco’s business remains a premier leader in the auto detailing industry, offering auto detailing supplies, equipment, training and customer support.

It could have all been different, Nick recalls. When he was a teenager, Nick had dreams of becoming a big-time radio disc jockey. His mentor at the time was a rambunctious young Top 40s DJ named Rush Limbaugh who was pretty popular in the Pittsburgh radio market back then. Seems Rush got fired because he was “too radical” for Pittsburgh listeners, so Nick moved on to college and a career that eventually took his fledgling auto detailing business model to the next level, where now he can be found each and every day helping others do exactly the same.

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Comments (3)

  1. i’ve read this before, but still interesting.

  2. excel says:

    Very Inspirational

    Excel Car Spa
    autospa on wheels

  3. […] of Pennsylvania and have been putting people in the industry for 16+ years. Maybe it is because Nick Vacco, President & CEO, personally attends to each student and no matter the time, will help create a […]

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