While some might consider meticulously cleaning the inside and
outside of a car tedious, menial work, others think of it as an art
The 18 students in Sam Mannino’s auto-detailing class at Hoover
High School this summer are learning the latter approach, based on
Mannino’s 30-plus years of experience as a professional detailer.
His belief is that many students want to learn more with hands-on
activities but aren’t always given the opportunity.
Mannino is known to some as “Sam the Detail Man,” a professional
automobile detailer and owner of his own line of detailing products,
but he is also a credentialed teacher who has taught at Glendale
Community College and in Burbank Unified.
“This is cosmetic surgery on cars. We take a vehicle that has not
been maintained and make it look like new,” Mannino said. “Not
everybody wants to work on computers. Some of us still like to work
with our hands and learn skills that can help us save money and
possibly earn extra income.”
Mannino’s students offer their services to Hoover faculty as well
as the community. They are “in class” from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday
through Friday and they learn how to clean cars on a professional
level by watching and doing, according to Mannino.
The group looks like a regular service crew, with cleaning
supplies and multiple towels in each hand. Not one of them isn’t
working or helping a classmate with something.
Learning about things like overhead costs has helped Armen
Aghyarian, 17, who has already started his own business J&A; Racing
--with his cousin.
“You can read books on things like auto detailing, but until you
actually do it physically, you won’t know. It’s not hard work but the
outcome is so cool,” Armen said. “I need to know stuff like this,
because it will help me with my own business more than American
Jerry Watson, administrator of the district’s Regional Occupation
Program, said he hoped to link some of Mannino’s students to mentor
programs with some of the car dealerships on Brand Boulevard.
“We want to give teens pride in what they are doing as often as we
can,” Watson said.