After closing his Machining Specialists aerospace parts company several years ago, Cox researched a number of businesses and decided car washes made sense. He and his brother, Steve, a minority partner, opened their first Trax in Derby in 2013 and then purchased land for a new one at 565 S. Andover Road in Andover last year.
Then Zips founder Brett Overman “called me out of the blue,” Cox says.
“I told him that we weren’t interested at this point,” he says.
“A week later, we had a letter of intent. They made a really fair offer.”
Overman says Trax fit with the Zips profile.
“It was a well-run, nice business and very similar to what we do,” Overman says.
He started his company, which is an express, exterior-only car wash with vacuums for customers to use, 12 years ago in Arkansas. Today, it has 112 sites in 12 states.
“They’re really aggressively acquiring companies,” Cox says. “It’s an amazing company, how much they’re growing.”
Cox is overseeing construction of the Andover Zips, which should be ready in August, and searching for future Zips sites.
“Zips has actually asked me to locate additional properties that they can purchase.”
Cox says he’s looking in Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky.
He says Zips is the second-largest car wash company nationally and is attracting customers with monthly plans for unlimited washes.
Cox says Zips is environmentally friendly by reclaiming up to 60 percent of the water it uses to wash vehicles, which he says is another attraction for customers.
“I’m proud of it,” Overman says of his business. “It’s exciting what we’re doing.”
Cox says he’ll work for Zips for a couple of years.
“And I’m going to coast for a while after that.”