HomeCar CultureWill It Run? YouTuber Revitalizes Abandoned Classic Cars

Will It Run? YouTuber Revitalizes Abandoned Classic Cars

Never say never


There is something satisfying about breathing new life into a car that has been abandoned in a garage, a barn, or a field for decades at a time. If you have ever restored a vehicle, you know how thrilling that “first start” can be – and even better yet, the first drive.

Dustin Jennings of Arkansas has demonstrated a keen ability to take a tired, old engine and get it running. His YouTube channel entitled Jennings Motor Sports has amassed about 250,000 subscribers as of the time of this writing. Dustin has done dozens of revivals (there are 70 videos on his channel at current) and the vehicles in question usually center around 1940s to 1960s American classics. Dustin has worked on a fair number of classic dump trucks as well as a 1979 Datsun and a 1972 BMW.

I’m not one to binge-watch anything on television, but I could sit and watch these types of videos for hours. Perhaps that is because I’m hellbent on achieving maximum mileage on some of my long-lived cars like my 590,000 mile Acura. After seeing some of Dustin’s handiwork, I’m starting to wonder if there is anything he can’t get running again.

Usually, his process starts with clearing out rat nests, spider webs, leaves, and anything else that can accumulate in an engine bay that’s been left untouched for years. The checklist can vary from there but it usually involves sorting out the fuel system, electrical system, and other areas in order to see if a motor will fire up.

In some cases, a motor that has been sitting for a long time may be completely stuck from having sat for so long, so the initial steps involve lubricating things overnight with a product like PB Blaster to loosen it all up. The troubleshooting sometimes leads to discovering additional problems, and usually, through the entire process, Dustin finds evidence as to why the vehicle may have been parked in the first place.

Not every episode ends in a success story with an old engine grumbling back to life, but many of them do. The uncertainty is part of the thrill. Even Dustin himself doesn’t know what will come of his efforts.

The channel’s top five viewed videos are:

  • 1929 GMC Pickup (sitting for 81 years) – 10 million views (LINK)
  • 1917 Cadillac V8 (sitting for 93 years) – 2.2 million views (LINK)
  • 1931 Ford Model AA (sitting for 30 years) – 2.1 million views (LINK)
  • 1947 International Wrecker (sitting for 53 years) – 1.2 million views (LINK)
  • 1953 Plymouth Cranbrook (sitting for 59 years) – 1.1 million views (LINK)

Have a look through some of the content and let us know what you think. Have you ever had a success story of your own with getting a barn find back to life? Let us know in the comment section!

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine,, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


  1. When my husband was alive, he could (and did) revive ANYTHING…….Cancer took him and I am lost. I wish I had learned more from him. I own a 61 Volvo & a 57 Chevy 3100 Panel, I had them both running in 2022, but they’re both sick now & I can’t get them restored (seems no one knows what they’re doing anymore. I was hoping to get both of them running again so I could drive/enjoy them one more time before I croak……how I wish I could run into a Dustin somewhere here in WA……thanks for your great articles!! Slick


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