President of Meguiar’s, Inc., the #1 car care product
TV host of “Car Crazy” on Discovery’s Velocity Channel
The legendary Barry Meguiar will visits Evangel University.
SPRINGFIELD, MO — Perhaps due in part to its status as the Birthplace of Route 66, Springfield, Missouri, has long been known as a “car guy” town.
There was a racetrack on the North side long before the fairgrounds were built around it in the 1930s. Cruising on Kearney Street was a popular social event from the 1960s to the 1990s. And the Steak ’n Shake on South Glenstone boasts the longest-running monthly “cruise-in” in the state, the first Saturday of the month, April through October.
It seems appropriate, then, that the number one “car guy” in the U.S.A. will be speaking in Springfield on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 30-31, 2017.
Barry Meguiar, president of Meguiar’s, Inc., the top-selling car care product line in the U.S. and distributed to 92 countries world-wide, will be the guest for two days with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel.
He will be speaking in an Evangel business class, two chapels, and at a luncheon with local business leaders.
Two of his appearances will be free and open to the public.
• Meguiar will speak in the AGTS chapel on Monday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m. His topic is “Five things that helped me build a leading company and brand.” A time of Q&A will follow, along with an opportunity to meet him.
• Then on Tuesday, Jan. 31, Meguiar will share his life story with the undergrad students at 10 a.m., in Evangel’s Robert H. Spence Chapel.
“The community is invited to hear Barry share his business, life and faith experiences in both of these chapel services,” said Dr. Mark Hausfeld, AGTS president.
The AGTS chapel is located in the Seminary, on the corner of Glenstone and Division. The Evangel chapel faces Glenstone, just south of the University’s main entrance and flagpole.
Meguiar’s market-dominating status is due in no small part to Barry’s passionate support for the car hobby.
He is also founder and host of cable-TV’s “Car Crazy,” a popular show which he started in 1995 and currently airs on Discovery’s Velocity Channel.
Asked about the inspiration for “Car Crazy,” Meguiar told author Kirk Noonan, “Many of the most famous people in the car hobby, like Carroll Shelby, are personal friends with amazing stories about why they are so car crazy. It occurred to me that millions of car guys would love to hear their stories and millions more might decide to join the car hobby after listening or watching this kind of a show.”
It was his faith that led him to found “Revival… Outside The Walls,” a non-clergy, lay led ministry resource for lay people intentionally sharing their faith. ROTW challenges lay people to get off the bench (pew) and into the game where the adventure of being a Christian begins.
The Barry Meguiar Story (official bio from website)*
Barry Meguiar represents the third generation of the company his grandfather founded in 1901. For Barry, working at Meguiar’s started during his grade school years, working summers replacing production employees when they went on vacation.
In high school, he began working part-time year round in accounting, becoming the one-man accounting department during his college years. Meguiar’s gross sales were $600,000 per year, with most of the 12 employees being family members.
Upon graduation from college, Barry and his wife Karen moved to Detroit to look after Meguiar’s relations with GM, Ford, and Chrysler and to manage Meguiar’s sales in the eastern third of the United States. Only in a family business could someone so young be exposed to such challenging sales opportunities.
While Meguiar’s was exclusively viewed by the family as a professional brand for the car makers, car dealers, body shops and detailers, Barry saw a big opportunity looming in the consumer marketplace. Having grown up in the Southern California car culture, Barry was drawn to car shows all over the country. To his surprise, he kept finding that Meguiar’s No. 7 Sealer and Reseal Glaze were being used by all of the top show car exhibitors.
Eventually, it became apparent that most custom car painters were using Meguiar’s products because of their unique ability to remove swirl marks and keep fine paint finishes looking brilliant.
This led to a family meeting in 1969 where Barry received approval to take Meguiar’s into the consumer marketplace. His goal was to create a new brand of Meguiar’s products aimed specifically at car guys. After four years of preparations, formulations, and various package designs, the very first consumer product, Meguiar’s Liquid Cleaner Wax was launched at the 1973 APAA Show in Chicago.
At the time, automotive enthusiasts had no recognition among the “mass retailers” who controlled the marketplace. Undaunted, Barry’s relentless passion and work ethic eventually led to retailer after retailer, featuring Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax on their shelves. The rest is history with the average retailer showcasing 40 to 50 separate Meguiar’s products on its shelves.
Without any funds for advertising, but determined to earn the respect of one enthusiast at a time, Barry took his products and his passion to car shows. It was the ultimate grassroots program which grew into an international marketing strategy. It was a strategy that paid off, and today, Meguiar’s “men in black” can be found at almost every major car show across the country, and around the world, each weekend.
By the mid 1990’s, there was growing concern that the car hobby might all but disappear. Car clubs and car shows were falling on bad times with an aging population.
To counter this trend, Barry created Car Crazy Radio and Car Crazy Television to unite and mobilize car guys globally, with the goal of promoting and growing the car hobby. Special emphasis was placed on handing the passion for the hobby down to the next generation.
For Barry and for everyone at Meguiar’s who share his passion, a great foundation has been built for the most exciting days, which always lie ahead.
SIDEBAR: Barry Meguiar will also speak on Sunday, Jan. 29, at Evangel Temple on E. Battlefield. According to ET’s pastor, Rev. Charlie Arsenault, Meguiar will speak at 9 & 10:30 a.m. There will be a display of classic cars between services.