Part 3: An insider’s view of the inside job
By now we get the idea: Indoor storage ain’t necessarily safe storage. Roughly three months ago, when we first squeezed through the stuck-shut door of a sunken shipping container, we discovered a classic example. If by chance you missed the first two installments of this saga (July and August 2018), what happened was we discovered the decomposing remains of a 12,000-mile 1969 Ranchero GT. Stashed and steamed long-term in old container No. 2, Uncle Gary Bauman’s near-new/old Ranchero had not fared well. Since its exhumation, however, we managed to arrest and almost reverse the decomposition. To this point the rescue hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been cheap, either, but saving this low-mileage original still seems worth the effort and expense.
’Tween Parts 1 and 2 we have witnessed the once-over, twice. With its mechanical needs tended to by Ed Martin Garage, the Ranchero was passed along for heavy-duty detailing by Soft Touch. There, step by step, we witnessed the restoration of the Ranchero’s original finish and exterior brightwork, but so far we haven’t gone into detail regarding interior trim, until now.
Ordinarily when a muscular classic comes in for a complete detail job, Soft Touch proprietor Ricky Pope likes to begin with interior chores. Then with windows up and doors closed, he’ll continue as necessary with the vehicle’s exterior. Pope’s part of this Ranchero’s rescue was in fact done in the usual sequence, but our stories weren’t. So, know that as he puts a few more Mothers products through their paces.
Simply observing as a pro detailer goes about his business won’t prepare us for pro-detailing primetime. Along the way, however, we’ll likely gain some useful knowledge that just might help us make our own interior-detailing drudgery more meaningful and worthwhile. Let’s think of this as an opportunity—an insider’s view of an inside job, if you will. Pope’s bag o’ tricks is a deep one. Here we are all welcome to hang around and see what he pulls out.
Yes, it smells bad. It’s dark in here, damn near black as pitch. But following our noses we’ve gone straight to the source of the stench: the poor Ranchero’s mildewed interior. The new-car smell is gone. On the advice of our detailer, we will place two pie tins of coffee grounds on the carpet and allow some time.
You remember container No. 2, right? It’s the one on the right. Sometime during the Ranchero’s 29 years inside, the container began taking in moisture. As temperatures changed with the seasons, the container steamed up and became, you know, the tomb of doom.
As we mentioned in Part 1 (“Ranchero Rescue: Exhumed From the Tomb of Doom,” July 2018), Uncle Gary’s Ranchero was last serviced on February 7, 1989, at Ed Martin Garage. Now here’s conclusive evidence. An up-to-date sticker will be affixed to the same jamb, but this one must be preserved.