Why It Takes 138 Hours To Wash This Ultra-Rare McLaren F1 GTR Longtail

You call that clean? The guys haven’t even gotten started. (Image via AMMO NYC)
You call that clean? The guys haven’t even gotten started. (Image via AMMO NYC)

Only nine 1997 McLaren F1 GTR LT “Longtails” ever existed, and this one still works for a living. Coming off the track to a different kind of competition on the Concours car show lawn involved the most intense detail job I’ve ever heard of. Watch close, you’ll learn a lot!

Expert auto detailer Larry Kosilla and AMMO NYC owner says “the secret to a hundred-plus hour detail is to eat and drink frequently, and be in a comfortable polishing position.” I think that applies to pretty much everything, but the whole process he works through is unbelievably through.


For those of you with less time and money, let me direct you to our guides on how to get the most out of a coin-op car wash or do it slower in the comfort of your own driveway.

The 138 hour clean up isn’t complex, per se, it’s just very very exacting and careful. I totally would have tripped over one of those priceless body panels if I tried to pull this off in my garage.

Luckily, Kosilla doesn’t screw around or apparently drink on the job as much as I do, so the result of his crew’s work is nothing short of breathtaking. Not that the car was mediocre to begin with.

The video has a lot great tips you might use on cleaning your own car, even if you don’t need to win a trophy at the stodgiest car show in the country. So we’ll forgive Kosilla for the goofy reality TV-style drama he peppers in in the middle there.

First the AMMO team spends a whole day just testing what kind of buffing tools and polishers they’re going to use on the paint. Then they disassemble the entire body, and dust the car off with a whole arsenal of different brush types and vacuums like it’s a damn dinosaur bone buried in dirt.

After that a little chemistry work is done to alchemize the perfect cleaning products to be used in conjunction with a steam machine. “Using a steam machine is like supercharging your cleaner’s power,” Kosilla says, which is why you have to dilute the concentration of cleaning chemicals at work.


The exterior is hit with a clay bar, but only as needed. Kosilla calls clay “the most commonly misunderstood cleaning tool” and only recommends using it when you can physically feel contaminants on your paint work.

Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

It sounds like all the hard work paid off, as Kosilla write the car took the “Spirit Of The Quail” award at the show.

This particular car is now privately owned and lives in Switzerland. Apparently it still sees active track duty.


As to the GTR LT’s racing pedigree in general, you might have seen one of them at the FIA GT championship in 1997. McLaren lists the accolades of GTR LTs as “victory in the Silverstone 4 hours, the Hockenheim 4 hours, the Spa 4 hours and a 1-2 class finish – 2-3 overall – at the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

And yes, the current McLaren 675LT gets its namesake from this vehicle.

Kosilla calls the value of this one “eight figures.” What do you think? Heck, how much do you think this car wash cost?


Hat tip to Kevin!

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles



I’ve considered using a clay bar to get rid of tree sap on our cars. Is it worth the trouble?