Sometimes you have to dig through the mud to get to the gold. That was the case for what was unearthed in a junk-filled van belonging to retired engineer, Ollie St. Jean.
“I bought this car because I could collect a few things,” the 85-year-old told Inside Edition.
Inside Edition enlisted the help of retired Wall Street investor Larry Kosilla, who runs Ammo NYC and restores classic cars, to help St. Jean out.
“I think this is going to help him a lot. He seems pretty excited about it," Kosilla said.
"I'm glad you're doing it, because it's going to be interesting. Because I'm going to find a lot of stuff that I forgot about," St. Jean said.
The van was packed to the gills before it was cleaned out — the first time in nearly a decade. It took Kosilla and his buddy, Dan Miele, twelve hours just to get everything out. There was a lot of junk, but also some real treasures, including paintings, an antique rocking chair and even an old newspaper from 1955.
There were also miscellaneous tools, like fishing pools and a gas can. But the strangest item we found was what looked to be a bundle of dynamite.
“You gave me a little bit of a heart attack when I opened this,” Kosilla said to St. Jean, who explained that the dynamite was just a prop someone gave him.
And out of all the mess, St. Jean was ecstatic to find his long-missing eye glasses.
Next, the van was power washed and the interior debris was swept out. It was also steamed and received a soapy scrub down. The end result—a stunning transformation that St. Jean almost couldn’t believe.
“I wanted to make sure that we were one, being respectful of him, and two, we're making the vehicle safe,” Kosilla said.