I own one car with heavy "patina", every flake, scrape, tear and hole of it earned honestly over the years, and another that went thru that sort of a phase and has since been tarted up. My cars the way I like them (or are moving towards that state) and the reactions of others are fun to observe but not my motivation.
1924 Model T Speedster: assembled from a big pile of somebody's left-overs in the early '90s and modified/improved from time to time since. There was a phase from 2003 to 2010 when it was a stripped-down "barnyard cruiser", single seat, bare bones, and looking at first glance like it had been that way for decades. I drove it regularly over that period and got lots of thumbs up and positive comments, and, remarkably, not a single pull-over-please from our local constabulary. It's my avatar car and a favourite for long-distance touring. Here's an example how the general public felt about it vs the T street rod on the right (the pallet to the side held all the supplies one needed for a day at the track — lift it off for racing, put it back on for the drive home):
1947 Dodge sedan: Owned since 1992, repainted 1975, mechanicals stock but maintained, original engine rebuilt 2011/12, regular driver, outdoors year 'round and the closest thing I own to a truck. This too has been a good long distance car. We've driven this car through three provinces, two territories and 35 states, been to Hershey, Pikes Peak, the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, and Coast #4, up the ice roads to Tuktoyaktuk NWT on the Beaufort Sea, the furthest north once can drive in mainland Canada. I'm pretty sure none of these wonderful adventures would have occurred had this car had been a cherished original or nicely restored.
Car people tend to get the appeal and the general reaction is "right on — cool car", the general public not so much where a common sentiment is "sure going to be nice when you fix it up" or "why would you ruin such a nice car driving it in winter??" In fairness, my car club friends tend to be nice folks, so many might hide their true thoughts until I'm out of earshot.
Cosmetically, the Dodge is not nearly as nice as it appears in the photos. The interior is as bad as you'd expect but fortunately no rodent damage. Driver's floor is rusted through, along with many of the lower edges. Chrome and paint were already shot 25 years ago (and that's the good thing about Patina — if you actually like the look, then the move you drive it and park it outside and drill holes for the roof racks, the better it looks. Try that with yer Pebble Beach pretties!)
To those interested, I explain this car was never worth "restoring" not even when I bought it. So I am using it up, wringing every last bit of fun and utility out of the old heap until there just isn't enough left to drive more-or-less safely. Not much different than the many comments we read here about cars too far gone to restore so they continue to rot in the back 40. Mine rots in the driveway but pays regular dividends of utility and enjoyment.
It's not for everyone, and my other oldies aren't like this but for me, this car, in this condition, with this philosophy, is exactly right.
Besides, what does the general public know anyway? The other day at a stoplight a pedestrian came over to say "wow, great car! You did an awesome job on it — congratulations!"
I don't do a lot of car shows with any vehicle, but this is a fun example of the appeal of two nominally similar Dodges: