Automotive Aesthetic working to keep founder’s legacy alive

Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:25 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Daniel Wendell founded Automotive Aesthetics after detailing cars out of his own garage for years. He unexpectedly passed away earlier this year, but his friends are working to keep his legacy alive.

“People know his name, people know the name Automotive Aesthetics, and over the past seven to eight years it’s been based out of Charlottesville,” Graeme Jenvey, the new owner of Automotive Aesthetics, said.

The coronavirus pandemic took a toll on this car detailing business, despite its national reputation, and in late April they had to give up their space.

“We all know it’s been really a hard, hard go during this pandemic, especially for small business owners,” Jenvey said.

They decided to go mobile and come to their customers.

“Throughout the whole thing, Daniel being the type of guy he is, he was glass half full, super optimistic,” Jenvey said. “He would have people hooked, whether it was the videos that we did on YouTube with Gears and Gasoline, or just meeting Daniel for the first time, it was apparent that this guy loved cars and he loved what he did.”

Then suddenly, Wendell was gone, passing away unexpectedly in late July. For a moment everything stopped, and that’s when his friends decided to keep the mobile business running and work to get a permanent spot again.

“The support that’s come through, it’s just been jaw dropping,” Jenvey said.

Jenvey says that love has come from all around Charlottesville and beyond.

“We’ve had a phenomenal show of support from all over the world. It’s amazing how many people’s lives Daniel touched through his videos and through meeting him. He was just that type of guy,” Jenvey said. “We’re talking about companies like Advanced Auto Parts, they’re supporting us.”

Steven Chandler was trained by Wendell.

“He’s known by millions, both on social media and people who have met him in person,” Chandler said.

“We’re saddened that Daniel can’t be here to share this joy and the support that we are feeling, but at the same time I think we can reflect and be happy for the very reason that Daniel left this legacy and this feeling of support, just for again, what he did and how he did it,” Jenvey said.

Automotive Aesthetic started a GoFundMe to support preserving Wendell’s legacy and finding a place for the business to grow. The link to donate can be found here.

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