View Full Version : Meguiars First wax ever question!?!

Apr 3rd, 2004, 04:43 PM
Just a question to anyone who can answer it.... What was Meguiars first wax/products? What helped start the company and give it the name it has today? Is some form of the fist products still produced today?

Lynn Matthews
Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:04 PM
They started with furniture polish back in 1901 and yes, they still make furniture polish today!



Here is a little history lesson from the Meguiar's web site. Check out the web site for more historic photos... (http://www.meguiars.com/about/legacy.cfm)

After 100 Years, The Passion Still Remains “All in the Family”

What began a century ago as a simple furniture polish laboratory and plant in the garage of founder Frank Meguiar, Jr., now spans four generations of Meguiar family stewardship. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2001, Meguiar's, Inc. has become one of the world's leading surface care products companies, providing highly specialized products for almost every conceivable type of surface.

“Most family businesses fail to transition to the second generation,” explains Barry Meguiar, president and CEO of Meguiar’s, Inc. “And even when they do, they usually lose their momentum. The difference for our family has been our inborn passion for what we do…it fuels the driving force that moves us forward and exhilarates us every day. We view the company as much more than a business and an opportunity to make money. Quite frankly, if that were all that it represented to us, we would have sold out long ago. Eventually, that is what most successful family businesses do.”

In his wildest dreams, it’s doubtful that Barry’s grandfather, Frank Meguiar, Jr., could have foreseen what his first bottle of furniture polish in 1901 would evolve into over the next 100 years. When he first began, he made one bottle of polish at a time using an eggbeater. Eventually, he was able to produce enough product at night with his kids, to fill the orders he would generate the next day to pay for groceries.

The arrival of the first horseless carriages turned Frank Meguiar’s attention to the automobile. Made out of wood, they were initially coated with the same finishes that were applied to furniture. It was an easy transition that set the course for Meguiar’s preeminence in the car wax business today.

From his first bottle of furniture polish, Frank Meguiar, Jr. was steadfastly determined never to sell a product unless he was convinced it was the very best of its kind on the market. To this day, the family follows that dictate and, as a result, has generated millions of enthusiastic users around the world. The family describes their customers as "raving fans."

When Frank Meguiar, Jr. passed away in 1950, his three sons, who were his business partners, took the company to the next level. Maurice, the oldest, was the sales manager. Next came Malcolm, Barry’s father, who shared his dad’s love for formulating and created most of the formulations that the company continues to market, including Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax, which is the No.1 selling liquid car wax in America. The youngest of the three brothers, Kenneth, was in charge of production. It was the perfect partnership, and through their efforts and leadership the company thrived through its second generation.

Through the early years, Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze polishes and
waxes, intended for professional use, were primarily used by car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops, and detailers. Most custom painters polished their customer's automobiles with Meguiar’s products, so the majority of cars put on display in car shows reflected finishes achieved with the use of Meguiar's professional-line products. As car shows became prevalent in the 60’s, the masses of people attending them began to recognize that it was the use of Meguiar’s polishes that created the brilliant, high-gloss finishes. Growing numbers of people began pressuring retailers to stock Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze products. Compelled by the demands of these enthusiastic fans, the family formally introduced its Meguiar’s brand of consumer automotive products in 1973. Today, the Meguiar's family of products saturate the consumer marketplace.

From its inception, the Meguiar’s have been active participants in the collector car hobby. Explains Barry Meguiar, “we are car guys who happen to be in the car wax business. The ultimate experience for us comes when our two passions merge in the exhilaration of “Best of Show” winners who are using our products.” As it happens, that is a regular occurrence. At last year’s 50th Anniversary of the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most famous car show in the world, 21 of the 25 Best of Class winners and the Best of Show winner all used Meguiar’s products to achieve their flawless perfection.

Meguiar’s sponsors and staffs more than 150 car show events across the country featuring every type of collector car from hot rods and muscle cars to exotic sports cars and vintage classics…with Barry and his wife, Karen, personally involved with many of the major shows. In addition, the family supports more than 1,500 car club events every year. At almost every car show and automotive museum in the country, you will find an abundance of Meguiar’s products proudly being used to maintain and showcase prized automobiles.

Meguiar’s love for the collector car hobby is also expressed through the country’s airwaves. Meguiar’s On Air, an
internationally syndicated, multi-media broadcasting network reaching television, radio, and Internet audiences conducts live broadcasts from major automotive events worldwide. Co-hosted by Barry Meguiar, along with nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts from various networks, Meguiar’s On Air allows millions of listeners to enjoy major collector car hobby events as they happen. Barry also hosts Car Crazy radio on Talk America Radio Networks and Car Crazy television on Speedvision, providing listeners and viewers with an insider’s look at the icons of the collector car hobby.

To recognize selected hobbyists for years of automotive preservation, the Meguiar family created the Meguiar’s Award, which annually honors a single individual whose actions have significantly impacted the collector car hobby, naming him or her as its Person of the Year. Famed automotive artist, Dennis Hoyt, was commissioned to create a perpetual wood sculpture to commemorate the honor. Previous Meguiar’s Award winners have included the founder of Petersen Publishing, Robert E. Petersen; famed collector car hobby spokesman, Bruce Meyer; and NBC’s Tonight Show host, Jay Leno.

Internationally, Meguiar’s ever-expanding global operations include its headquarters in Hong Kong and its subsidiary offices in Toronto, Paris, and Sydney. Meguiar's intense focus on training and performance, as well as product quality, have captured the respect of carmakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz that partner with Meguiar’s worldwide. Meguiar’s serves as a consultant to most of the major carmakers around the world on paint quality and paint correction issues in their assembly plants and at the dealership level. In addition, Meguiar’s often provides private label appearance car care products to car manufacturers to sell under their own name through their dealership parts departments.

Today’s high-tech, clear-coat finishes require a complete re-education on how to keep these new finishes in "show room" condition. Meguiar’s provides in-depth training through its own, on-site technical facilities, mobile training centers, detailed technical data sheets and training videos.

Meguiar’s technicians work closely with the automotive paint manufacturers, car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops and detailers to keep their products state of the art and user friendly. This provides the competitive edge for Meguiar’s consumer products.

While Meguiar’s corporate headquarters are in Irvine, CA, they manufacture their products in their 200,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art production facility in Nashville, TN. All manufacturing is done under the watchful eyes of company chairman, Mike Meguiar, and his brother Frank--the sons of second-generation, Kenneth Meguiar.

The family business now manufactures more than 300 different cleaners, polishes, waxes, conditioners, and protectants for homes, cars, boats, trains and planes, and almost every other type of surface. Continuing Frank Meguiar, Jr.'s tradition, each Meguiar’s product carries the promise of being the very finest of its kind.

The story is pure Americana, the early pictures are like scenes from a Norman Rockwell painting, and Meguiar's products continue to be found at almost every car show, car museum, car detailing shop, and automotive retailer in America.


Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:24 PM
I have seen some old Meguiars bottles on ebay similar to the one you posted and it made me wonder... furniture polish to car polish! Hummm....

very interesting, thank you!

Lynn Matthews
Apr 3rd, 2004, 05:46 PM
The above photo is our newest addition to our personal collection of old Meguiar's bottles.

I will have to put them all together and post a photo sometime. Mike has some at home and some in his office.


Larry A
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:08 AM
When was Meguiars Mirror Bright 1-16-c made? I understand that it was a cleaner wax . What was wrong with Vibrant, why was it discontinued, And what is the closest product to it today ? If you could only have one Meguiars polish or wax product past or present to use what would it be.

Larry A
Apr 4th, 2004, 06:21 AM
Sombody had asked if 16 only came in a paste. I seem to remember in the 1960s that Meguiars sold a liquid wax that was the same color as 16 paste . Their was a limo company in the north suburbs of Chicago in the 1960s that used that blue liquid wax and # 7 on their black limos. What a shine!

Apr 5th, 2004, 10:59 AM
I think what makes Meguiars products so good is the fact the family still runs the company and cares about their customers. Alot can be lost in business but when you keep core values in play you'll be a success.
I think by caring about his customers Mr. Meguair has built a loyal following.
Thanks for the great car care products. :xyxthumbs