J.G. Francis, owner at Mercedes Motoring, is out to prove his belief that, when cared for, the old Mercedes diesels produced from 1968 – 1985 can be driven till no end. Every one of his projects starts out as a well documented low-mileage example of these used cars. Francis says it normally takes about 8 weeks of work and restoration to get them looking and running the way people expect these low-mileage cars to look and run.
We can definitely appreciate the clean looks and attention to detail!
Part of the reason we work so hard at protecting our cars is because we love to spend our time enjoying their beauty. Being able to capture this beauty with the perfect shot has become increasingly easier thanks to improvements in electronics and specifically consumer cameras. Speed Hunters is putting together a series of articles specifically geared towards teaching fanatics about the intricacies of cameras and catching that perfect shot.
This particular article we’ve linked to talks about shutter speed. In brief, the slower the shutter speed the more movement you can portray. Go back and check out their “How to Shoot Cars:The Basics” article to bring yourself completely up to speed on this series.
We discuss the basics of the pH scale and how it is relevant to detailing and cleaning supplies. Special guests include my wife Victoria, who has her PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University, and Mike Musto, who will talk about the “Big Muscle” season premier. Enjoy!
Drive and Protect – pH Levels with Dr. Victoria and Mike Musto
ICON’s roots burrow back to 1996 when they started out as a Toyota Land Cruiser service center. They were commissioned to create Toyota’s new FJ Cruiser, but ICON took a unique direction after Toyota made design changes which strayed too far from ICON’s vision. Johnathan Ward, ICON’s CEO, set out to re-invent the original FJ40. He said it had to have purpose; there was enough garbage in this world. The result is this extreme expression of style and utility which you see pictured here. Parts are sourced from the military, marine, and aircraft sectors so you’re sure these 4X4s are built for longevity and adventure.
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Here’s an older story that we dug up, in-case you missed it.
Dutch artist Paul Veroude collaborated with Mercedes GP to bring us this one-of-a-kind suspended sculpture of the team’s W01 2010 competition car. At AMMO we are serious supporters of beautified racecars and this one is no exception. World class performance, engineering, and design, sit at the very core of these incredible machines and thankfully every bit of it has been put on display for enthusiasts to see. It also seems we are not the only ones with a serious case of OCD because this car took upwards of 290,000 hours to design and manufacture, and M. Veroude individually suspended each of its 3,200 pieces.
If you can’t get enough, check out more on Paul Veroude’s facebook.
We discuss the different product categories that have led to confusion amongst novice detailers. Whats the difference between Compound Polish and Glaze and why? (and much more) Then we chat with Mike Spinelli from Jalopnik.com, Savetheenzos.com and the Host of Drive Central and After Drive on the /Drive Channel. He answers the most frequent question he gets…”How did you get started as an automotive journalist and where did Jalopnik come from”. Mike’s interview is a lot of fun! Thank for listening and leave comments! -Larry
Drive and Protect – Product Confusion and Mike Spinelli
TRG-AMR WITHOUT AMMO IS LIKE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT PRESENTS.
At AMMO we can say with soul-smacking conviction that when a car is cleaned and polished to devastating effect, it just drives better. Whether you’re having one of those transcendental moments on a scenic drive with glimpses of the ocean through the dunes, or whiplashing your head to the back of the seat in a DE, or you’re the berserk go-fast TRG-Aston Martin Racing Team winning championships, when you’re driving a car that’s drop-dead gorgeous, you absolutely get better performance and better efficiency (and it is just conspicuously more fun).
On the last day of the New York Auto Show there was a party that would make anybody who is passionate about cars lose their composure. 500 supporters, along with the press, attended the launch of AMMO NYC. It was a night to dedicate TRG-AMR’s new factory-based GT4 Challenge series, and AMMO’s commitment to the “007” themed Vantage GT4 which is set to compete in the new series.
For more information and TRG-AMR’s race schedule visit:
Understanding how paint polishers have evolved based on the progression and advancement in paint technology is important to think about before deciding which polisher is right for you. -L
Drive and Protect – Evolution of the Polisher and Zack Klapman TST
No, its Dekotora! (Short for Decoration Truck) Dekotora is a Japanese phenomenon in which your everyday industrial vehicles gets a Vegas style makeover. The makeover comes complete with neon lights, mirrors, gold paint, and anything that glows, flashes or is just plain shiny. Despite the occasional title of “Art Truck,” the vehicles usually fully function as commercial vehicles. The trucks conjure images of the old nickel arcade, real life Transformers, and Gundams. Even though they resemble all of the glam of the Vegas strip, or Times Square, on wheels, they are created by the workers who drive them. When comes our own car, or truck, or portable night club, we could all take a lesson from these guys: Obsess over the details, look amazing and drive the hell out of it.
You can find more about Dekotora at:
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This is our first podcast and we are extremely excited to discuss the detailing world and tricks that can help business owners and weekend warriors alike. in this episode, we discuss the origins of microfiber towels and how to determine if one is “good” or “bad”. We also chat with Mike Musto of /Drive Channel’s Big Muscle about the muscle car culture and what defines a muscle car vs another. Thank you for listening and appreciate any feedback! -Larry
Drive and Protect – Introduction to Microfiber
Speedhunters is really telling some great stories, this one about Magnus Walker, we found particularly impressive. Not to mention that there’s a pretty great set of images to go along.
Magnus is seized with an unquenchable obsession with Porsches. He’s been restoring, building and customizing old 911 models for nearly three decades. The best part is he not the store-it-in-the-garage, keep-a-cover-on-it type of guy. As he races his cars at the track he learns new ways to customize, which helps him drive better. Consequently, he’s been able to develop some trademark modifications. With models ranging from 1964 – 1972, Magnus’ collection of Porsches 911′s is quite impressive.
Magnus owns a fashion label with his wife Karen that they run out of their warehouse in the LA Arts District.He also has a collection of vintage guitars signed by little bands like The Eagles and Van Halen, and is featured in a short documentary, Urban Outlaw.
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What an incredible photo essay over at The Selby about consultant, business owner, and collector Hideto Irikawa. Between his collection of vintage cars and mid-century home decore you can be assured that this man has impeccable taste. To see more of his inspirational collections click here.
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Ready for your next road trip? Roadtrippers is a simple and intuitive road trip planner that helps you discover, plan and book the best places and experiences along your way, curated by local experts and travel writers. Eccentric roadside attractions, breathtaking natural wonders, or mouthwatering foodie feasts. Whatever your interests, you’ll discover your America on Roadtrippers.
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Again, here at AMMO we’re always on the look out for people who are just as passionate as we are. Well, Achim Anscheidt, the head of design at Bugatti, has passed the test. He shows his obsession for design and cars in this episode of Driven, a station of the youtube Drive Channel. Hopefully, you find this as inspiring as we did.
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AMMO is all about a passion for cars, their looks as much as their performance. That’s why Jason Clason’s project depthofspeed.com is so riveting. Traveling around the country to find the most passionate automotive tales out there, in a 13 foot Scamp trailer isn’t the most luxurious way to spend your year, but he’s uncovered some real treasure. Not too mention the video work is stunning. We’ve posted his work a couple of times before and this probably won’t be the last, but his latest work with petrolicious.com is stunning.
You can check out more of his work, as well as other incredible videos, the Petrolicious vimeo page.
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This is a story of one man’s 28 year journey to own a Porsche 930. Jim Goodlett’s 1984 grey market 930 Turbo is a beautiful example of a classic Porsche 911, but it also represents the accomplishment of a goal he set for himself as a young man who could only dream of one day owning this supercar.
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In celebration of the new Ferrari Maserati showroom in Repulse Bay, Ferrari Maserati of Hong Kong and I.Thosted an invite-only party earlier this week with a special project at the helm. Unveiled at the event was a special edition of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Created in conjunction with A Bathing Ape and NIGO, the Italian supercar turned GT racer appears in BAPE‘s signature 1st CAMO motif and was undoubtedly the showstopper of the event as it was prominently displayed in the state-of-the-art 19,000-square-foot facility. The small gathering also included music by NIGO as the brand founder continued his interest in the automotive world.
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The Story of James Dean and the Porsche 550 Spyder
“On February 8, 1931 2:08 AM at the Seven Gables apartment house in Marion, Indiana a legend was born. Twenty-two years later and 4,117 miles across the world, a different kind of legend made its debut at the 1953 Paris Motor Show. This is the story of the Giant and the Giant Killer – two icons forever intertwined, entangled, enlaced since this day 57 years ago.”
This article about James Dean and the Porsche 550 Spyder, by Shirin Behnia, is well worth a read. The vintage photos are great too.
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Michael Richards opens up to Jerry Seinfeld about his infamous n-word laced meltdown seven years ago. Repentance and redemption in Comedians in Cars.share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
A stunning set of photographs by David Ryle showcasing the new McLaren Production Center in Surrey, UK.
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This is one of the coolest video’s I’ve ever shot. I asked Leh and Doug if I could stick a Go-Pro on the inside of their Topspeedtuned.com GTR, just to see how Leh prepares for a race. I never would have guessed his routine. Check it out! BTW, both Leh and Doug are super nice guys and it was a pleasure racing with them this year. Visit lehkeen.com and topspeedtuned.com for more info. Thanks guys!share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
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AMMO NYC’s very first DRIVE Channel video is now live on YouTube! In it, we give our take on the basic Sunday Morning Wash. Make sure to check out the DRIVE channel home page to see lots of other great videos.share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
A great video put together by Drivers Republic on the power oversteer.share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
Most car guys believe the difference between traditional car soap and dish soap varies widely, but unfortunately they would be mistaken. Despite having different purposes, different colors, and different scents, they are similar in one very important characteristic: REMOVAL. Traditionally, car guys would only use dish soap, on a rare occasion, to remove or “strip” old wax and start with a fresh “naked” surface. Likewise, they would use car soap for their daily, weekly, or monthly car wash routine because the car soap only removed the dirt, and not the wax. Sound about right? Wrong!
As most of you might know, I learned how to make chemicals (on a commercial level) a few years ago when I became obsessed with creating the best products for my own personal clients. (at the time , I was learning the chemistry/formulas/mixtures during the day, and working on my clients collections at night and on weekends) I was taught to follow certain formulas and guidelines because “people didn’t know the difference”, and “it was the way it had been done for years”. As I became more comfortable with the mixtures, and learned “how the industry works”, I couldn’t help but notice that most of the ingredients in car soap were moderate to highly corrosive, which is not exactly good for paint… Including various forms of harsh sodiums, aka SALT , and sulphonic acids. (amongst others I won’t begin to spell). Needless to say, I decided to go in another direction.
Here’s my point. Traditional car soaps (cheap, off-the-shelf, water down stuff) and dish soap are “basically” the same thing, because they have similar end results. Both are designed to remove unwanted deposits from wanted surfaces. The problem is they are not scalpels or laser guided missiles. They are more like butter-knives and A-bombs. They can effectively achieve their respective goals, but leave large collateral damage. In this case, the vehicles’ wax is weaken and/or removed when cleaning the paint. This means that you, (the car guy), is removing more and more protection from your paint every time you wash your car in the old fashion routine with traditional car soap. If you are paying $7 to $10 (or cheaper) for a gallon of brightly colored, heavily scented car soap, and using it on your “baby” in the driveway…Probably not a good idea. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Think about it, your wife pays $15 to $25 for 16 oz of special shampoo that doesn’t strip her hair of “essential oils”, leaving it dry and brittle etc…Same goes for your paint and its protection (ie…wax, sealant, resins, synthetic polymers, petroleum distillates = ESSENTIAL OILS for your paint conditioning) If you are extremely fussy about the look and feel of your car, this is not the place to be cheap or misinformed. Poor products and improper wash techniques account for 80-90% of paint issues (marring, fading, dullness, light scratching or “love marks”, and insufficient UV protection etc etc…)
If you spend your time focused on proper car care, you will avoid (seeing me) and spending big $$$$ for paint correction. Save your money for fuel! (nowadays are sport, hobby, and joy, is getting pinched at the pump…I digress)
Although my FOAM soap is extremely soft, safe, and compatible with my other product layers, I still only use it if:
1) The vehicle is completely trashed (mud, salt, dirt, grossness everywhere)
2) The vehicle hasn’t been cleaned in weeks/months and is not garaged.
3) I’ve never seen (or work on) the vehicle before and want to start out fresh, or plan on doing paint correction.
What should you be doing instead?
Be less focused on full soap-downs, and more focused on building layers of protection. Your clear coat is most susceptible to UV light damage, and needs to be protected. That’s what causes your paint to fade and break-down over time. Defend your paint by adding layers of protection, NOT REMOVING THEM. Constant unnecessary washings with cheapo car soaps are removing layers of protection that immediately need to be replaced. So, in effect, you are removing (wash), then adding (wax), then removing (wash), then adding (wax). It turned out to be an endless cycle. This is why I created very specific formulas and techniques, that work with each other, and consistently add layers of protection, instead of removing. It’s actually a pretty simple idea that works, however, doesn’t require you to buy a lot of products….which I think is not mentioned or encouraged by the BIG BOYS because that would kill their P & L sheets.
“So how do I clean my car after a drive?”
I’ve designed a new method for cleaning your paint, when it isn’t necessary for a full complete soap down (which is 70% of the time). Its much easier, 10x quicker, and most of all, it adds another layer of protection while its cleaning. (This is NOT: an “all-in-one, space age, super duper, dirt disintegrateor, bullet-proof-wax-polish-body-armor-sealant”, and whatever else I see in million-dollar marketing campaigns. Btw: if you ever hear someone claim they have an “all-in-one” product that cleans every part of your car, don’t be lazy. And don’t buy it. It doesn’t work. They are taking advantage of something you HOPED for, but doesn’t exist. Good detailing products are much like successful businesses, they focus on 1 thing, and are the best at it. Don’t be everything to everyone. Doesn’t work….I will get off my soap-box now. Pun intended.)
Well, if you’ve made it this far though the article, you passed the test. My method and product is called AMMO Hydrate (paint moisturizer). This product is the culmination of years of work. If you don’t think Hydrate is absolutely, overwhelmingly amazing…give it back. (I’m running out of this stuff almost everyday. If it’s not going be used, I will donate to someone who will. ) It’s that good.
I created this method/product because I have the privilege of maintaining some of the worlds rarest cars on a weekly basis, and they are driven almost daily. Yes, I said driven daily and priceless. (that’s why they are great clients. Real car guys. What good are cars, if you dont drive them?…anyways) All of these cars are iconic pieces of history, and CANNOT BE REPLACED OR REPAINTED. So, clearly, I could not wash and chamois dry, wash and chamois dry, priceless paint every other day. Especially because they were never more than a bit dusty or what one of my clients refers to as “annoyingly imperfect”. So, I realized there was a need for a product that worked perfectly with AMMO Skin, dried wet paint, and added another layer of protection. AMMO Hydrate is used after you rinse down the car. It’s applied with a wet microfiber towel and a few squirts of Hydrate that clean, moisturize, and removes water from the paint. WAAAAAY safer than a chamois.
Check out all my detailing videos and remember that less is more in the car care world.
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The Smoking Tire is my favorite car show on the web. Matt, Tom, Thad, and Zack have been hugely helpful to the success of AMMO and we are excited to have them on board. All of their articles and video’s can be found at www.thesmokingtire.com
Also subscribe to their podcast on itunes: The Smoking Tire (it’s hilarious!)
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Clay is one of the most important tools when “cleaning” your paint. It safely removes contaminants from the surface of the paint or clear coat, but DOES NOT REMOVE SCRATCHES. I get asked at least once a week, “does clay removes scratches?”…the answer is NO. (sometimes people confuse the word scratch, with “transfer”. Transfer is when another object leaves its mark ON TOP OF your paint, while a scratch goes INTO your clear or paint) Clay usually removes transfer because the blemish sits on top of the paint, much like over-spray
In this video, I washed the BMW to remove any old wax, and to begin “eating away” or loosening-up contaminants before using the clay. This is a good example of when you should wash a car with car soap. The soap (aka detergent) will help you break-down and soften the contaminants on the surface of the clear coat, making the claying process easier. Also, I often use soap as the lubricant when claying the entire vehicle because the combination of the detergent and the clay makes the removal process faster. (Especially on a car that is completely covered in contamination. If there is only spot-contamination, use AMMO Spit…no need to soap the entire car.)
Remember, after you wash and clay the car, your paint is now “naked”. You must add AMMO Skin to establish a paint foundation. Then follow the AMMO Regimen, and car care becomes 100 times easier. If you prepare the paint BEFOREHAND, you will always have a “just detailed” appearance, and I assure you…people will notice.share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
Its amazing to think about how many people, machines and parts are used to build a car. Its a precise and beautiful dance that takes place along an assembly line. Hand built, means hand built.
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My buddy Mike Musto and I went on a road trip in his Dodge Daytona that was filmed for an episode of Road Testament. What a beautiful day to call in sick!share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
At least once a month, me and a few friends would drive through Times Square and enjoy the scenery. The sound of thousands of combined horsepower, echoing off the buildings was amazing. Although, I may have freaked-out a few mid-westerns looking like this…share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
The screaming exhaust is intoxicating…share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
“There’s OCD, and then there’s Larry. If you either wanted to go on a wild (but legal:)) drive through the twisties of New York/Connecticut or have your ride looking factory fresh, Larry and the New York Motor Club was the place to go.
When I heard Larry came out with his own line of car care products, I knew they would be a hit. We’re all busy people. We don’t have time for nonsense: AMMO products are designed to work together and they don’t make any false claims.
In those rare free moments between work and family, I enjoy tearing it up on the track or mountain roads and have had the privilege to do both in the weather extremes of New England, the deserts of Arizona, the woods of Alabama, and the Mediterranean climate of Southern California. When I’m driving, AMMO protects my car and gives it that extra POP we’re all looking for…”
“Since I was introduced to Larry I sensed his passion for cars and keeping them looking immaculate. His 4 step process (AMMO Regimen) had my daily driven and heavily tracked car looking brand new. After a hard day of racing, my car was extremely dirty and then given a quick rinse and wipe down with HYDRATE. It was back to looking perfect again, quick and easy because of the layers of AMMO Skin. I will continue to track my car as much as possible, knowing its protected. For me, racing is the greatest feeling in the world. All the years of hard work that Larry has put in, has payed off with a top quality products that work wonders. I look forward to seeing what you’re working on next.”
Michael Heintz is a Southern California guy who is crazy about racing. His current car is a 2011 Mustang RTR designed by Vaughn Gittin JR . It has been featured on several websites including HOT ROD, StangTV, and Mustang Evolution, and was a feature car for Hotchkis Sport Suspension at the 2011 SEMA show. He has taken home a ton of trophies: Mustangs At The Queen Mary, South Bay Show Down, and the NMRA/NMCA west coast shoot out, to name a few. He has tracked his car on every Southern California Raceway including: Buttonwillow, Streets of Willow, Big Willow, Auto Club speedway Roval, and Irwindale Drag strip. This car is equipped with a Magnuson Supercharger TVS 2300, Hotchkis Sport Suspension Total Vehicle System that includes sport coil springs, sway bars, lower control arms, upper control arm, panhard bar, subframe connectors, and a K member chassis brace. Bassani Exhaust long tube headers and 3 inch cat back, Wilwood big brake kit front and rear, 6 piston front and 4 piston rear with 14 inch rotors. Corbeau CR1 racing seats with harness bar and harnesses. AEM electronics gauge setup AFR, BOOST, and WATER TEMP. Tires are 275/35/19 Yokohama Advan AD08. Mike is also a proud member of the Hotchkis Sport Suspension team in So. Cal. and couldn’t be happier with his career.share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature
“I’ve used AMMO and the “Regimen” for as long as I’ve had my R8. I’ve raced Blackbird across the country in Bullrun 2008, and after everyday (400+ miles), I’d rinse her down with water and clean the paint with AMMO Hydrate. Done. Perfect. I wish Larry luck with his products, but wished he kept AMMO a secret. My car was always so clean, people thought I had a hired a full-time car detailer! The AMMO Regimen is quick and easy, it made Blackbird look freshly detailed for every drive. Good luck and don’t run out of products. (Can’t drive without it)”
The Audi R8 Blackbird has appeared on numerous websites, blogs, and is arguably the most recognized R8 on the planet. Voted “Most Ridiculous Car” by West Coast Customs in 2008. Much like “Blackbirds’” secrecy….AB will always remain MIA.share this feature on Facebook tweet this feature