Our pal Bob Sorokanich — oh yeah, he’s also the deputy editor of Road & Track — bought his dream car this summer: a 1994 Jeep Cherokee, two-door, five-speed manual, 4.0-liter straight-six. You know, the exact generation of Jeep you want. The only hitch was that this one was as about as dirty as cars get.
Sorokanich said that he had a friend buy it on his behalf. A manual-trans, two-door, 4.0-liter XJ is hard to find, and Bob is a bit of a 4.0-liter Jeep obsessive, so it’s no surprise he bought it sight unseen, somewhere in rural Texas. He had it shipped to New York City, where he lives, and then took it to AMMO NYC’s Larry Kosilla, who is among the best car detailers in the world.
You can see the full video below, as Kosilla goes through a painstaking process to get the Cherokee gleaming again. It’s nice seeing the guy who pulled off a 138-hour detail on a McLaren F1 GTR LM do an XJ, and it’s clear Kosilla deeply cares about the process.
One hilarious thing Kosilla found while cleaning out the Cherokee: a love letter wrapped in newspaper from at least 15 years ago addressed to a Krystal (sp?). The letter doesn’t appear to have found its intended recipient, but we can only hope things ultimately worked out. Mouse droppings were also present.
At one point, a hurricane swept through and felled a tree outside of Kosilla’s Connecticut shop, cutting power. Eight days later Kosilla was back at work with power restored. A thing I like about Kosilla’s videos — all of his videos are good, check them out here — is how, um, detailed they are. Kosilla gently teaches and explains as he does the work of making a diamond from coal.
And work it is! Because another thing Kosilla’s videos make clear in the course of detailing a car is that there are no shortcuts. Not that Kosilla is inclined to take any of them; by the time in the video he gets to the grille and the headlight trim you can tell he can’t really stop himself.