On smudge patrol at the Philadelphia Auto Show

Even if most people won’t buy the cars they check out at the Philadelphia Auto Show, part of the fun is opening up the doors and literally getting behind the wheel.

So have you ever wondered how the vehicles stay so shiny for nine days with all those people touching them?

That’s up to workers like Stephanie Weitzenkorn, whose job is to keep the cars from Fords to Fiats to Ferraris clean and smudge-free.

She’s with a temp agency that was hired to wash and detail the vehicles when they arrived. Some had been stained with road salt after a few snowy days in the region.

But the vehicles are bound to get dirty again once the show opens to the public, and that’s where Weitzenkorn and others step in.

“A lot of people put their hands on the glass looking in, or they get in and out and there’s a lot of fingerprints on the doors. So we’re kind of just there to step in with our rags and like wipe and keep dusting,” she said.

Auto show worker Stephanie Weitzenkern's job is to keep cars free of fingerprints and smudges left by visitors.
Auto show worker Stephanie Weitzenkern’s job is to keep cars free of fingerprints and smudges left by visitors. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

It isn’t all work for Weitzenkorn. She says she enjoys checking out cars while cleaning them and has her eye on few more.

“Now that they’re all cleaned up I’m going to definitely have to sit in some nice ones before I leave,” Weitzenkorn said with a laugh.

Connecting with the cars on a deeper level is also part of the appeal, says executive director Kevin Mazzucola.

“My favorite part is 9 o’clock in the morning on open Saturday. And those kids come in and see that red Ferrari and go aahhh!” he said.

“I know Santa was in red about a month ago, but about second in line is that Ferrari.”

Mazzucola says 40 percent of attendees will buy a car in the next year and a majority of them say the show influences their decision.

The Philadelphia Auto Show opens to the public Saturday and runs through February 8th.

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