How To Detail A Car That Hasn't Been Washed In 37 Years

Illustration for article titled How To Detail A Car That Hasn't Been Washed In 37 Years
Screenshot: AMMO NYC (YouTube)

As you probably already know, I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to keeping my car clean. The way I see it is that it just cuts down on the amount of work I’d have to do later if I never cleaned it at all. But what about a car that hasn’t been cleaned or touched in 37 years?


Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC is back, this time detailing a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL that hasn’t been washed in nearly four decades. My friends, oh my God. When he first pulled this car out of the garage, I heard the Psycho music in my head. I might have screamed. I can’t remember.

As the owner tells it, his father daily drove the car for 10 years, putting over 100,000 miles on the clock, and then stashed it in the garage in 1982, where it has been sitting ever since. He wanted to get it detailed as a surprise for his father before getting it restored.

Kosilla’s first once-over of the car yielded a bunch of mouse shit everywhere, so he suited up after that. Smart man.

Upon opening up the doors for the first time in 37 years, Kosilla reported the inside smelled “absolutely awful. A mixture of mold, sort of musty-ish kind of smell and decaying animals.” I am still screaming!

To tackle the interior mold, Kosilla’s partner Dan scrubbed with a rough brush and terry towels and then applied a mixture of water and vinegar. To finish the job, he used a steam machine. The exterior was so covered in grit, poop and dead paint that it took a lot of work to bring it all back to life. I’m actually surprised that the two spent only a day on the car.

Kosilla really worked some magic here. I think I personally would have abandoned the project as a lost cause if I was met with the same car. But he scrubbed, buffed and polished and in the end, the car shone like the day it rolled off the assembly line. That’s some dedication and a whole lot of elbow grease.


Take a look.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.



God this is so satisfying. So nice to second screen at work. Thanks for the perfect Monday afternoon escape