Detailing Free Disgusting Car Parked in Woods: 1979 Triumph Spitfire

it’s gonna be super fun hey guys I want to hop in real quick
before the video starts and just give you a huge thank you I just surpassed 1
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as always guys thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy the restoration of the
Triumph Spitfire this is brian chute he’s the head of the race department at
speed sport tuning some of you may remember him from the ammo 964 engine
rebuild video and jrz suspension installation episodes he works on
Porsche race cars daily but doesn’t have a toy for himself so he asked if I would
take a look at this 1979 Triumph Spitfire
in Vermillion red or what’s left of one after sitting in the woods behind Speed
sports newly-acquired building so when we rented this building over here the
landlord said hey there’s a car back here I want you guys to to do something
with it because I it’s been back there for a bunch of years and I don’t know
what’s going on with it I don’t want to deal with it anymore I didn’t want to
see it back they gave it to you so he gave us the car as part of the deal with
the building so you know I want to take a look at it and figure out if it’s
actually worth doing anything – so I called you and see if we can clean up
the interior maybe make it shiny again and see if it’s worth actually putting
so much – I guess we’ll find out we’ll find out as you can probably tell it was
raining really hard and the car lived in a swampy area so I didn’t have super
high hopes for the interior but at first glance at the paint it looked okay
especially when it’s wet which it may not look that good when it’s dry
the tires were obviously flat and sunk into the wet ground and some of the
falling branches actually dinged up the paint and the metal panels but it’s
certainly manageable at first glance to attempt moving the Triumph we first
removed the cover revealing a roach doubt moldy and soaking wet interior
which wasn’t a surprise it does smell awful
then we filled up the tires to see if they could hold just long enough to get
us onto the pavement and into the trailer next we pushed the car out of the mud
and towards the driveway but the tires were quickly losing air and now sunk in
a puddle so Carlos got the tailor done race card speed sport uses at the track
to pull race cars or move tires and zip around the pits once it was hooked up we
dragged the triumph onto the road while Carlos was rearranging the tow hook a
chute if he could open up the trunk as it’s one of my favorite moments of any
barn find to see what’s left inside similar to the Mercedes trunk after 37
years and finding the original manuals mechanic books and the original sales
receipt here we found some rusted parts and two original triumph magazine ads
and one pitcher which ironically is probably more valuable than the car
itself it’s a champion the engine is a 1493 CC
inline 4-cylinder producing a whopping 53 horsepower and blasting to 60 in just
over 16 seconds the base price of a 1500 was roughly $5000 in 1979 before the
very last spitfire rolled off the line in August of 1980 before the factory
doors closed and looking at the battery it looks like this has been moved or
driven within the last four or five years so he might have a chance of
getting it running with the rain now picking up we wanted to get the car
inside the trailer quickly but naturally the winch battery died and with the
tires losing air quickly we couldn’t exactly push it up the ramp so Carlos
ran back to the race department and with a jump box in hand he came back got the
winch moving and off to the shop we went after a very short and wet ride through
Danbury we unloaded the smelly beast into the shop the next morning I removed the leaves to
get a true picture of the paint while it was dry my goal today was to disassemble
and assess the condition before making a game point aside from everything being wet moldy
and/or smelling I found a few egg corns and one bone in the engine compartment
which was somewhat ominous to say the least however at this point I hadn’t
found any definitive source for the smell so I just wet vac the area and
dried it up with old towels but naturally as I was doing that a slice of
rust went underneath my fingernail and I thought I was gonna hit the ceiling it
was wildly painful then I turned around and I focused on the trunk which was
kind of surprisingly clean despite the stronger smell so I just attributed that
smell to the stagnant water in the mold so for the last step I removed the black
plastic trim pieces but the convertible top bolts were preventing it from coming
out I felt like the smell was somewhere between the trunk and somewhere behind
the passenger seats in that area so to do that I had to remove all the plastic
trim to get to the plastic trim I first had removed the convertible top with the
convertible top out of the car dan was disassembling all the seat belts I
unfolded the metal frame which was severely rusted and clamped shut
once we both stepped on one side have been pulled together we managed to pry
open the frame revealing the source of the smell oh there you go
this at one time looked like it was a squirrel now I have no idea if I died in
there or it was killed and then brought in there by another animal but it
doesn’t really matter it was wet decaying and absolutely 100% the source
of the smell later that night after work shooting a
few buddies came over to help disassemble the luggage rack the
transmission carpet and prepare the rusty floor for some protection and
paint this goes without saying but obviously this is on a show car nor is a
ton of money being dumped into a $500 car that was found in the woods that may
or may not run in other words this is a labor of love so with that in mind I
called my buddy Joe from Jamie Body Works to help me figure out how to slow
the rate of rust on the floor without a huge budget now if you remember from a
few years ago the boys at J & B are the ones who restored the mo 964 by removing
a ton of rust and painting it with five layers of bentley black for perspective
that took about six months to do this one is only gonna take about two days
and then we got to move on after masking off the area joe applied rust Mord and
allowed it to sit overnight now notice the bubbling and popping on the surface
of the floor the next day while we were letting the
rust Mort do its thing he wanted to get some touch-up me so I quickly polished
the spot on the trunk to see what its gonna look like later on shoot remove
the panel and then we headed over to a local parts store to get matching
touch-up paint while we were there waiting for them to color match the
panel we picked up some spray paint to clean up the faded us bumpers later we
needed to wait a few hours to get the right paint so I headed back to the shop
to attempt a mission impossible to save the wet moldy and somehow rusty carpets
clearly the frame of the seat up and sitting and standing water for a long
time in transferred the rust to the carpets which essentially destroyed the
fabric so despite my efforts I suggested buying a new carpet kit now at this
point it was time to remove the rust more which had done its job
first I scooped up the chemical then applied water and wiped then used prep
saw and wiped with blue prep wipes from J&B
which took forever because the rust more kept seeping out of crevices everywhere
then I scuffed with a red pad Andrey wiped with preps all again with the area
cleaned and prepped I laid down a few coats of the plyo matte primer in the
same process as the Tahoe from last week’s total interior removal episode I
started off with a few coats of white and then I finished up with a darker
grey the next morning I washed the paint with
a more frothy in the aerator now on old single stage paint like this you can
usually get a good idea of what the finished surface is gonna look like when
it’s wet but watch how it dries and looks faded again that’s why when I saw
it a few days earlier in the pouring rain I had a good feeling that it would
come back to life permanently if I removed the dead dried skin that was on
the top revealing a surface reflection and depth similar to when it’s wet
notice the lines on the trunk from the luggage rack we’ll come back to this a
little bit later next I measured the paint to confirm my suspicions that this
had been repainted at some point in its life
sure enough the paint that gage red anywhere from 10 to 14 mils so I had a
lot of room to play with assuming the integrity of the paint wasn’t
jeopardized from the long UV exposure the first attempt was with Meguiar’s red
foam pad and 210 polished to keep the residue from sticking to the surface of
the paint and clogging the pad and after a few minutes it was very clear that the
triumph paint was going to be revived in just a few hours with this technique if you’re a hardcore detailing fanatic
at this point you’ll see that I’m not using compressed air so this building
doesn’t have any air just yet so I use the microfiber towel method
which is less effective and more time-consuming but it still works so
don’t give up if you don’t have it I’ll spare you the rest of the paint
polishing but I did finish removing all the dead paint and then used a three
inch for the tight spots then I polished the entire car with a foam pad revealing
a brand new surface all right guys I’m behind the camera now I wanted to take a
little break clearly you can see the before-and-after is night and day it’s
crazy now if you look closely as a detailing nerd you can see that the
gloss or the depth has really come back but the gloss isn’t there that you know
it’s not really shiny shiny it’s not reflective why it looks look at all that
orange peel right there now that’s an indication that the car has been
repainted so if we back up a little bit and we think about it one I put the
paint depth gauge on there and there is anywhere from 7 to 14 let’s say mils on
there and that to me immediately indicates hey it’s been repainted not
only has it been repainted it’s been repainted probably and let’s say a
garage or some sort of thing meaning non body shop related the third little thing
is if you come into the car you can see the interior let me boost up the light
for you it’s brown and then there’s some brown back oh right there right there so
again it indicated okay looks like somebody had a good time on the weekend
and repainted the car they actually did a halfway decent job but if you look at
that orange peel you can probably go in and wet sand all of that down I think
there’s enough clear coat to do that I’m not going to do that today but here’s
another example if I walk over to the 458 speciale yeah there’s a little bit
orange peel in there but you look at the depth and the gloss I mean I just
polished that but the depth on the glosses is evident the irony is there’s
a less paint on here about maybe 40% a little about half the paint is on here
then is on here so there’s double the amount of paint but again if you don’t
do the finishing stuff like a body shop would do so in this case we’d have to
wet sand it all down and have it look like a piece of glass there’s there’s
enough paint to do that but I’m not gonna go too crazy because it is a bit
fragile and as you can see I mean we have bigger issues to deal with but I
thought that’s something you guys might find interesting as I’m going through
these barn finds single stage paint you find lots of interesting things in this
case it’s been repainted and has been painted red over brown next I prepped
the areas for painting the bumpers I could have painted the bumpers before I
polished the paint but I didn’t lean on wet paint nor did I want to have
polishing dust stick to the wet paint either with everything covered that
needed to be covered I’d laid six thin coats of bumper black to minimize the
blotchy and faded paint on the large us bumpers while that was drying I used my
Iwata Studio Series airbrush and the fresh
paint we got at the parts store to really touch up the bad dings and dents
and scuffs again this is no show car but shoot is the man and I wanted to do the
best I could in the time that I could devote on this project after work that night Shu came back in
to fit his new seats because the old ones were not only disgusting but
structurally rusted and unstable I think he paid about 500 bucks for the new pair
online that looked pretty good but ironically as a race car mechanic he
installs non factory seats in cars almost daily so he’s very familiar with
how to make something fit that isn’t necessarily designed perfectly to fit in
every car with a few tests fits and removing the original rails he’s gonna
hard mount the seats directly to the floor because the cabin is extremely
tight and his legs won’t fit under the steering wheel otherwise
with the game plan set and the seat rake comfortable we installed the new carpet
we found online for a hundred and twenty five dollars delivered which will
require a bit of love and some scissor work to make it fit step one is to open
the box and obviously pull out all the pieces and lay them down as if they were
in the car next lay the carpet on plastic and apply interior adhesive in a
crisscross pattern and allow it to dry for five minutes then repeat the steps
on the metal floor and the frame as well once tacky massaged the carpet into its
designated spot now as you can imagine with a hundred and twenty-five dollar
carpet you’re gonna need to trim and make some relief cuts as well as test
fit each section before the adhesive is applied otherwise you won’t be able to
go back with the carpet glued in and looking
better we realized the ebrake armrest cover is a little roached out but we’ll
play with this later for now we reinstalled the seats for another test
fit the reason we installed the carpets first is because the thickness of the
carpet or the fabric will cause the seat to be uneven or not flush so we needed
to take this into account with a basic template chute made dots and drilled
holes into the floor and then vacuumed up the shavings the space receives using
will allow the seat to be secured directly to the floor with a specific
and comfortable rake with the seat in the correct position chute laid the
carpet down and then used a sharpie to mark the spot on the carpet from
underneath the car and then quickly poked holes with a drill for simplicity we also needed to carve out a few spots
in the tunnel carpet that overlapped with the bolts as well now once this was
all in place the moment of truth would be tightening the bolts through the
carpet and I’d be lying if I said it was easy because we managed to get this all
done without really being able to see anything because the seat was so close
to the floor we repeated the steps on the passenger side and gave it our best
thalma and louie’s when we were done at about 1 a.m. it’s actually not too bad the final day I removed the last of the
damaged vinyl in the rear and traced it out on the new black vinyl we had gotten
at the store for about 40 bucks after a very basic tracing I cut out the
material knowing that I would need to trim and pull it into shape after
applying the interior adhesives now this isn’t the finest work I’ve ever done but
it will do the job to match the black carpet next I painted the rear plastic
cover piece that separates the gas tank from the back of the driver seat which
is 1979’s finest engineering with the trunk piece and the ebrake cover drying
I cleaned up the very leaky rubber and rims with frothy to remove the mud and
the junk from the woods next I applied ammo skin paint seal to the surface to
increase its depth shine and protection which
we brought out the vibrant Vermillion red then quickly clean the disgusting
windows of the scrub pad and a squeegee installed the daytime lenses and filled
up the tires for the hundredth time to move it around the shop end of day six
and I want to give you a little tour of the car at this point now a lot of your
gonna ask hey why didn’t you wet sand the paint they pull you and describe why
now if you remember when I polished it afterwards it looked like somebody had a
rattle can the entire car in fact they actually did a pretty good job now it’s
a wet sand that not a big deal I can do it but the idea of what sanding is to
wet sand one area and have it match the rest of the car panel by panel makes
sense I can’t do that and here’s why do you see this spot right here and I’m
gonna show you a bunch of other examples see it’s a little bit more Brown that
Brown is just like the interior color the car was brown as we found out and
then later painted red so that means the paint is a little bit thin there so as a
detailer I’m saying hey I can make that perfectly flat showroom perfect car
concours whatever you want to call it looks like a mirror but I have to match
it with that door so I run the risk of actually blowing through the paint in
pursuit of matching the hood so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense you
got to use you know your head a little bit and decide hey is this worth the
effort to me I don’t think so plus the owner shoot my buddy is like oh my gosh
the car looks amazing don’t worry about it we have to spend all our time on the
engine so don’t worry about the paint here’s a perfect example back here this
is where the luggage rack was now I’m gonna keep going back and forth here
you’ll see lines see that white that clear line and then next to it is dark
and there’s a clear line and then next to it’s a little bit dark so those clear
works a little bit lighter is where over there the luggage rack thing was was
blocking the Sun never the Sun is our enemy here so we was blocking the Sun
and it was protecting the paint it looks a little bit better and if you move over
to the side where it was not protecting you know or blocking the Sun it’s a
little bit more Brown meaning it just wore away the paint again this is
rattle-can so it’s not it’s not as strong as OEM here’s another example
right on this shoulder again I don’t know if you can see that’s a little bit
Brown right there and then over here right there it’s kind of a weird
triangle ish right around there the paint seems to be very thin again in the
pursuit of trying to make this a perfect concours
which i think of the day we pulled this out of the woods so this is already like
a thousand times better I think I might jeopardize the paint which would defeat
the purpose for this guy he just wants to go for a drive and enjoy the cars
this isn’t gonna go to it you know you know the Pebble Beach or something put
the back there I am just I just painted and we want to put that in just to kind
of clean it up to not see the trunk area and then afterwards the only thing left
is to to let Brian do his magic and get this engine working and hopefully go for
a ride when she’d arrived that night he
installed the back plastic part and the side plastic trim pieces we had also
covered in the $40 roll of vinyl from jo-ann fabrics as well as the armrest
pieces we prepared and painted now this whole project was a lot of fun but it’s
sort of anticlimactic if we can’t get the car started that’s why we worked at
night thinking it would need a lot of troubleshooting to get it running and
that we can drive it the next day during the daytime
smells like coolant it’s just old sludge probably the cooling system he
definitely needs to be changed changed out anytime you’re dealing with
anything that’s been sitting for a long period of time the first really good
thing you want to do is just you know fluids any visual inspection you see
these rockers in here are pretty dry well that’s pretty good it’s actually a
little overfilled it’s probably just from sitting after all the basic
inspection steps chute pulled the spark plug to see if it had run in the past
few years or so so what I’m seeing here is just a lot of soot which is just that
black part so is just unburned fuel so it would be it would have run to get to
that condition it’s not wet what would be in that there’s oil or water or
anything in the combustion chamber see a little bit oil here that’s kind of
normal just from buildup from the combustion chamber awfully dark so dark
means fuel rich but it probably has run at some point obviously the battery had
died long time ago so we attached the jumper and then I got in the car to
crank it for the very first time I guess it’s gonna start okay okay so so
much for that I’m just probably blasting you’re right well she runs I doubt you
could see the spark I could barely see it I don’t think that was a great ground
but there definitely was a little bit there so it’s like 10 o’clock at night and
we’re running which is completely amazing and insane I don’t even know how
that worked but we got it to run actually wasn’t that hard
but the problem is as I turn behind me it’s nighttime outside and it’s raining
and we don’t have a roof so we’re out to wait for tomorrow to go for a ride on
this card works soon this is really exciting the next morning we filled up
the tires yet again installed the polished luggage rack and hopped in the
car to go for a short ride now we knew we weren’t gonna go very far because the
car had almost no brakes and the tires were totally shot all of which would be
fixed later and shoot old Mirage but it was fun to see even if it was only 50
feet or so what it would feel like once the triumph is back on the road once
again well you made it you finished the video
if you liked it please subscribe by fing the ammo shield right over there now if
you like disaster cleaning type videos I posted another one up there I have a ton
on my channel so click the link and enjoy

Glenn Chapman


  1. Any idea what seats your buddy used? I'm looking for some replacement ones for my 79 as well.

  2. @AMMONYC why won't you respond to all the people calling you out on your staged video?

  3. This a setup show? That car looks liken it sat for 2 or 3 months not years.

  4. Imma need a vid on the brakes. Working on my 79 and thatโ€™s where Iโ€™m stumped

  5. 10k car in europe… strangely good shape. Around here, standing in grass in damp weather like that, a car will be totally rusted up after a few years…

  6. looks like it had less than a weeks worth of leaves on top of it ………. good post but please………

  7. What the heck is this plaque thing? So they're not going the gold play button anymore? Sort of a let-down.

  8. Love watching your video's, i have learnt so much from you over the years thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿค—

  9. Congratulations on making a million subscribers I live in Vegas I like to meet you

  10. Tht car does not look like its been left there for years, i think they put it thr recently for the sake of this video.

  11. I've been watching you now for a couple of years and each time I watch you polish/restore a car I think just how badly this work must be on your back. That the older you get the more damage you are putting on your spine that will cause issues for you (and your brethren). What kind of prevention methods do you use to fight off back problems. Do you have a daily routine of stretching/exercises that you do? You must have something because in 20yrs you should still be doing what you love, and this is what you love to do so how do you keep your body from falling apart?

  12. lol.. its pretty obvious that car wasn't sitting there that long. set up scene. frauds.

  13. did youtube change out the plaque, it used ot be the play button now its juts a plaque…well dang

  14. These types of major restorations are the most satisfying even if there can present some deeper frustrating imperfections to deal with. This is the type of thing that got me into detailing. Great video Larry!

  15. What model Iwata airbrush are you using? I a student in a Tech College studying Auto-Body refinishing, repair and alignment. Most of what we do is the whole paint process, from primer to base to clear, then wet sanding and buffing. Right now I am using a pin-striping brush to do touch ups, but It has average to sub-par results. I would like to try airbrushing. Thanks.

  16. This is the most adorable car I've ever seen. Glad to see her back on the road.

  17. Man I love your videos Larry! This was just an absolute true masterpiece that got all the senses tingling. Iโ€™ve been watching since 2012 and love the progression! Keep it up Larry

  18. Congratulations on reaching one million plus subscribers on YouTube ! AMMO NYC consistently provides high quality videos that appeal to a wide variety of YouTubers including not only professional automobile detailers but also amateurs. Mr. Kosilla, your success is hard-earned and richly deserved. You are a great teacher. You clearly explain the task at hand, demonstrate action steps ranging from least aggressive to more aggressive as necessary, point out alternate methods (if applicable) of accomplishing the same results, and show before and after shots. You do all of this in a warm, approachable manner and never lose sight that the ultimate goal is to actually enjoy driving a clean, protected vehicle.

  19. Good job guys. That was fun to watch. The orange peel on the hood irks me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. This couldn't come out at a better time. I'm just about to receive an equally shabby Reliant Scimitar that is going to need a lot of paint correction and removal of a moldy interior!

  21. Thatโ€™s so nice of you to say that about subscribing to other channels!! A very selfless thing to say! Humble and youโ€™re not selfish at all! Love that! Btw loved the video!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  22. Can you guys link the compounds and pads used initially on the Spitfire? I have a client who will be asking me soon to work on his F-350 that has been outside for quite some time and I know that a one-stage polish wonโ€™t cut through the faded and oxidized paint. Thanks! Seeing the results on the Triumph gives me hope!

  23. Maybe the car was not there for years but that squirrel in the hood certainly was ๐Ÿคข

  24. Good video, but I think you missed a vital part. Before getting in a car that's been sat outside for years without running I'd check the brakes first! I want to know I can stop before I can accelorate!

  25. 10:30 looks like powder paint or something, which is used to paint the grill, headboard with

  26. I remember when i asked him questions and use to to reply. Those days are long gone, congratulations on a million subscribers.

  27. I used to live near Canley in Coventry. All the roads around there are named after cars or BL Marques.

  28. Love your channel . I just start my YouTube channel , Iโ€™m a full time Porsche Detailer and part time running my own Mobile detailing business * Goebelโ€™s Mobile Detailing *

  29. https://youtu.be/ItwYe59Kdhc This car you need it please find this car and do video of this car!!!!

  30. Mate, beautiful restore on the Triumph ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ And may i just say, your hair is amazing ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿค™ How nice are those rims!!!

  31. theres no saving that paint it would be much faster and easyer to sand it down and repaint it i have a 72 spitfire that i drive and the previous owner had it painted at macco it looks ehhh. but from 100 feet away its fine

  32. Random question/request, if I'm trying to find a professional detailer in my area, what should I look for or, questions should I be asking to insure a respectable business?

    Thanks for all the great videos!!

  33. 21:45 that's my company designed starter. We were the first one to do the soft touch plastic black green with LED and USB charger. Then everyone just copied the design…

  34. 17:27 i want to sample the way you said "that brown" there, i don't know why but it's really funny

  35. Spitfires are cool. They only weigh 1700 pounds and could be both fast and fuel efficient. Ditch the stock engine and trans. I would go with a turbocharged 4 cylinder. I have even thought of looking into a turbo Saab front wheel drive. These are the most fun cars ever made.

  36. An english sports car from the 70s in the woods…. it would be a pile of iron ferite within a month or one rain storm whichever comes first.

  37. It looks like it has the high dollar Monza exhaust. Probably a solid lifter engine. Needs adjustment. May have been driven with the choke on. The brown (Maple) appears to be the same as my TR6. Good luck with the clutch and trans. The 1500 was a new engine circa late 1970s. You may be able to get the factory steel hardtop for it. The water control valve for the heater was defective on all BLMC products. I found a modern teflon replacement which forever solved the problem. Lucas electrics are sketchy. I had to solder all of the electric connections to solve problems. I hate points type ignitions. I got an electronic ignition and a Lucas sport coil. Beyond that Spitfires are real simple. Oh the Clear Hooters brand swittches on the dash are all crap.

  38. is it possible the car was stolen and abandoned? it looked in too good a condition for a British Leyland and had not been in the woods that long as there was no algae on it

  39. Another BS auto fix it site. A rust free British car with premium period rims, just parked in the woods. If they lie about the premise, how can you believe their work or advice is real?

  40. The car looks like it had been sitting there for less than 10 days. I'm sure the owner would like it back!

  41. I owned a '77 SPITFIRE 1500. Loved that little car.
    Heads up; scary on the highway next to a big rig.

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