Radar Mirror owner Scott Wheeler based in Frisco, TX is not your average 12 volt entrepreneur. His day job is a Financial Advisor for a large investment bank.
But he started Radar Mirror about 10 years ago, doing much of the engineering himself. Today he still personally assembles the radar mirrors.
Radar Mirror engineered a way to keep the auto-dimming feature of a factory mirror and add the display for radar detectors. It provides a stealth indicator for a radar detector with an easy to read display.
Auto dimming mirrors use two layers of glass with a chemical substance injected in between. The mirror is then sealed. When you apply voltage to the edges of the glass it changes the properties of the inner substance, causing the glass to darken so you don’t get the glare. So, tampering with the mirror is not a simple affair.
Wheeler sells about 25 mirrors a week. In addition he repairs about the same number of ordinary auto dimming mirrors that have failed (ie. the fluid has leaked out). He has two staff members who repair mirrors and handle shipping and receiving.
He works with about 300 car audio dealers. They remove the factory mirror and send it to Wheeler, who adds new glass and embeds the radar display in the glass. He can usually turn a mirror around in 24 hours, he said. The fee is about $599.
The mirrors are compatible with ESCORT MAX ci 360, ESCORT ix CI, K40, Radenso RC M, and Valentine One radar detectors. And he works with mirrors from about 25 vehicle models.
Most of Radar Mirror’s customers are Porsche owners. The mirrors work with just about any Porsche and many Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and other cars in the $80,000 to $100,000 range.
ESCORT is the mainstay of Radar Mirror’s business, which had been growing “at a pretty fast pace” up until ESCORT introduced the MAX CI 360. It took Wheeler 18 months to engineer a compatible mirror, and business is now on the rise, he said.
“It’s been a long process from the original mirrors we did initially. We just used normal two-way glass and it wasn’t auto dimming. It took us two or three years to put the pieces together and figure out how to do auto dimming,” said Wheeler.
His next step is to engineer new solutions for Mercedes which recently changed the configuration of some of its mirrors.