The nearly 80-foot-wide ridged concrete bowl could hold about 16 inches of water at its deepest point in the center. Customers paid 25¢ to an attendant who strapped a protective rubber cover over the radiator. Patrons would then enter the bowl via a ramp and drive their cars around and around the bowl at a speed of about 10 miles per hour. The ridges in the concrete would vibrate the car and the water, creating a sloshing action that helped wash away all the mud from the chassis and wheels. The process took about three or four minutes. The car would then exit the bowl where patrons who wanted a complete car wash could enter one of the bays where the rest of the car would be cleaned. On a busy Saturday, about 75 cars per hour would go for a spin in the Auto Wash Bowl.
|The Auto Wash Bowl, northwest corner of 42nd Street and South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. 1924|
|The Auto Wash Bowl, Southeast corner of Elston and Diversey, Chicago, IL. 1926|