When Saudi Arabia's King Khalid left his hospital bed in Cleveland last month to visit Washington, he lost a fan at the car wash that had cleaned the royal entourage's cars for free. Vince Capello, part-owner of PJ's Auto Wash in Cleveland, says the king's men stuck him with a $42.50 gasoline tab. Free gas was not part of the gift Capello intended when he happily let about 15 limos a day roll through his washers gratis.
The problem was that the Saudis carried Exxon and Texaco charge cards, two brands Capello doesn't accept for gas purchases. So he opened an account for Saudis who needed gas. It wasn't until he'd stood on the avenue that led from the hospital to the airport, waving to the departing royal entourage, that Capello found out the gas bill had not been paid.
Capelli, who'd told the king's men, "Just consider this your car wash," found out the price of such generosity.He says he gave away about $1,600 in car washes. And when a chrome sunshield was damaged as a 1978 maroon Cadillac went through the wash, Capello paid $175 for its repair when the chauffeur, nearly in tears, told him it was the defense minister's favorite car.