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Constan Car Wash, 1950 Gervais Street: Late October 2022   4 comments

Posted at 10:38 pm in closing











When we were growing up, I got the feeling my parents thought paying someone else to wash your car was a bit frivolous. They weren't wrong, but we still went to Constan from time to time, as much, I think, because it was an adventure for us kids as for any other reason. There was Happy The Tiger, and then the whole experience of watching your car go through the automated line, like something out of a futuristic TV show. Not only that, but once you were inside, the lobby had its own odd ambiance with a genuine elevated shoe-shine stand on which you could sit like a king on a throne, and various sorts of ice-cream novelties and candy you could get if your parents were in a good mood.

I don't know that much about the business other than the name came from combining that of the two owners "Connie & Stan", and that they once had a second location on Forest Drive, somewhere around where McAlister's & Bonefish now are.

Once I had a car, I would sometimes take it to Constan when I was back in town for the weekend, but once I moved back to Columbia, I found that Frank's on Forest Drive was more convenient to me. I thought from time to time about going back to Constan for old times' sake, but in the event never got around to it. Folks in the comments are saying that it had gone down hill, but it had been at least ten years since I stopped by, so I really can't say.

Here is the story The State did on the closing.








(Hat tip to commenter Mr. Bill)

Update 4 November 2023 -- Being razed:










Written by ted on November 4th, 2022

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4 Responses to 'Constan Car Wash, 1950 Gervais Street: Late October 2022'

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  1. Hi Ted,

    I came across your beautiful photos of the closed carwash, while I was writing an article about the plans to use it as a flood reservoir. Can I ask for your permission to use the pictures for a small news article about the subject on I am afraid I cannot offer you any financial reward, other than link to your lovely blog posts about Constan.
    Thanks a lot in advance

    Rene Passet

    Rene Passet

    12 Dec 22 at 7:17 am

  2. Does anyone know what the building next to it was? Also there seems to be a still active garage way in the back.

    Dan R

    10 Jul 23 at 12:50 pm

  3. If I remember, I think the building next to Constan was Mr. Smith's office who at the time owned Constan. He along with Mutual of Omaha's Marlin Perkins are the ones that got "Happy" the Tiger that Mr. Smith used to have in a big Circus Wagon next to the place for people to see while getting their cars washed. But I'm tryin' to remember something way back from 1964-65.


    10 Jul 23 at 1:01 pm

  4. The demolition of this particular car wash brings to a close a 7 decade run...

    It is my understanding that Constan got opened in 1949 with a couple Connie & Stanley being the namesake for Constan grandmother told me that it was a fascination as it was (as Ben Tanner noted in a feature he did ca. 1999 of "Hey Ben do my job" where he worked at this car wash for that particular piece) Columbia's first automatics car wash.

    My grandmother and I used to go here to get her car washed back in the 90s so I have memories of going there during those days.

    Connie & Stanley both passed away in 2015 after (per Connie's obituary) a marriage of 67 I remember The State doing an article when Stanley died remembering him as a Zoo benefactor.


    5 Nov 23 at 10:48 pm

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