Wolfeboro auto detailing expert chosen for Air Force One cleaning team
Andrew Swenson, owner of Wolfeboro Carwash & Executive Detail, is excited about being a part of the Supreme Team that will clean and detail a retired Air Force One jet. (Larissa Mulkern Photo)
WOLFEBORO — Visit Andrew Swenson's shop at his Wolfeboro Carwash & Executive Detail office and one learns there is much more to cleaning and detailing a vehicle than a bucket, sponge and wax.
Swenson's expertise in his trade, honed from eight years of training, webinars, networking and experience — as well as his faith — have given him the opportunity to join a handpicked team to clean the original Air Force One jet.
Swenson, who studied with master detailer Renny Doyle in Idaho, was selected to a team of 33 high-end detailers nationwide for the 2013 Supreme Team traveling to Seattle's Museum of Flight Aug. today through Saturday to detail the original presidential jet plane known as Air Force One. The team, led by master detailing connoisseur, Doyle of Detailing Success & Attention to Details, will restore the shine on the AFO Boeing 707-120, as well as the sleek Boeing B-47 Stratojet bomber that guards the south entrance to the museum. Swenson, who lives in Alton with his wife, Kara, who teaches at the Crescent Lake School, and his kids, Abigail, 10, and Micah, 7, has spent several days getting ready for this mission. He is thrilled.
"I feel blessed to have been chosen for a spot on the team," he said. This will be his first mission, which he is serving as an unpaid volunteer responsible for all of his own travel expenses. However, generous sponsors have stepped up to help Swenson make the trip or cover related costs, including Dave Keslar of Keslar and Associates Insurance in Wolfeboro. Jerome Holden of J.C. Signs has donated a large banner that Swenson will display near the airplane where he and his Supreme Team will likely pose for a photo or two.
Swenson said there's more to detailing than meets the eye: This jet will be washed down, but then the crew will wipe it down and prepair it for polish. Special polishes and tools are used to clean, polish and buff painted aluminum. Once done, though, the aluminum will "shine like a mirror," he said.
The AFO SAM (Special Air Missions) 970 was a flying oval office for U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, but now sits on the tarmac at the Museum of Flight, exposed to Seattle's climate and torrential rains. It has not been cleaned in more than two years.
Swenson opened his detail shop in 2008 after purchasing the Wolfeboro Carwash. Located on Lake Winnipesauke where government leaders vacation, the wealthy go to get away for a while, and locals play year round, Swenson is no stranger to prestigious detailing jobs.
"I specialize in detailing high-end luxury automobiles, classic cars, daily drivers, RVs, motorcycles, and all kinds of boats," he says. "People who live in or visit the Winnipesaukee area appreciate the lifestyle, and classic and luxury vehicles and boats are seen not so much as a means of transportation, as part of that valued lifestyle."
Swenson said he wanted to offer the best to the community, so he decided to train with the best.
"Training with Renny began as a passion for developing my skills as an artist, restoring original automobile paint and marine fiberglass to its original beauty. That fueled my enthusiasm for antiques and classics, which are plentiful around Winnipesaukee and something I thoroughly enjoy." Doyle, who has detailed AFO four times in the past decade, said he is proud to share the experience with Swenson.
"I have carefully selected my team because there is no room for mistakes in detailing this $100 million airplane," he said. "I need people who will accept nothing short of perfection, and Andrew is one of those people."
Swenson credits his faith in God.
"I feel the Lord has blessed my business. I'm a believer," he said. "I can't express enough what an honor this is."
For more information on the 2013 Air Force One & B47 Bomber project at the Seattle Museum of Flight, contact Andrew Swenson at Wolfeboro Carwash & Executive Detail at 941-0123.
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