2021 Legends of the Cruise Mike Fenley

Mike Fenley
By Chris Murphy

Mike Fenley met his future wife Lisa when she picked him up to cruise McHenry in 1968 and the rest is history. Mike worked in his family business of the 5 Minute Car Wash since he was 12 years old. The first location at McHenry & Mensinger opened in 1963 after Mike’s father Charles saw a similar car wash in Merced. Hand wash was just what was needed for cool classic cars.

During the 60s, Mike would drive his 67 El Camino and Lisa was part of the Oakdale Mustang Girls who would hang at the Dutch Boy Paint store parking lot. 5 Minute Car wash had a ringside seat to the cruising of the 60s 70s and 80s where in the later years, it would get too busy and they closed on Graffiti Night. One of the hang outs was a coin op car wash across from Helm Chevrolet where burn outs were popular with the wet tires. 5 Minute moved to McHenry and Morris in 1983 and their Oakdale location became very popular and a 3rd opened on Carpenter Rd. Back then, Mike’s dad was friends with many of the police so he would know exactly when Mike was home, where he cruised and what he was doing. The car wash was a great hangout for cool cars.

Thought out the years, Mike collected some amazing cars, some of which are in mint condition. He still has his ’67 El Camino, an Olds 442, a ’67 Chevelle with only 60K miles, a ’68 Camaro with only 50K miles and ’66 Nova with 840 miles. All of these are still in his garage today. Oh yeah, he has an ’89 Porsche Coupe.

Mike and the 5 Minute team have been cruise legends for years, having supported the Park and Shines since the 80s with the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, supporting all of the car clubs, and being one of Modesto’s most generous people and companies supporting community activities, local schools and organizations. Mike Fenley has been one of Modesto’s silent supporters and their contributions are nothing short of legendary in our classic car history. Mike’s fondest memories of the cruise years was that “everyone was nice”.

Mike and Lisa are still active in the carwash and community activities. They have one son and one grandson and they expect the classic car traditions to continue. Someone has to drive those low mileage classics.

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.