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5 minutes ago, knee-action said:

 

Extended careful loving usage. Actually, Pat and I just celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary. She still thinks I'm nuts. . 

 

Congratulations and Mazel Tov on your 53 years,

and we have to be a little bit "nuts" to persevere in this hobby,

as well as to survive more than 50 years of marriage-

as my bride of more than 50 years would agree !

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From time to time I have wondered whether the popularity of the worn and rusted look is related to the high cost of automotive paints these days.

 

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1 hour ago, Akstraw said:

From time to time I have wondered whether the popularity of the worn and rusted look is related to the high cost of automotive paints these days.

 

 

 In not so many words before it's a easy way out.

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Would this qualify as patina?

As far as we know the paint is original.

Been in the family since the early 60's and has never been painted since we've owned it.

Paint looks very original, shows cracking in some places and has scratches here and there.

Driver's door has thin paint where you rest your arm going down the road when the window is down.

Engine has never been out of it or had the pistons out, interior is original except for the driver's seat having been recovered in the 50's.

 

IMG_0208-1.jpg

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In the automotive context, "patina" means regular wear from regular use.  It means that it isn't perfect, but that it hasn't been abused. Just the regular wear from regular use.

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"a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use" . It's a pretty simple term if we can just agree on this dictionary definition. I Like the "survivor/barn find" look of the T pickup, but it is not an example of "patina" by definition. The operative element of "patina" is that the surface has retained it's original surface finish (this T has no paint left), and it has grown more beautiful (in some peoples opinions) by showing visible signs of natural aging. There are always extremes for any definition, and people who are prone to using them. The large 4 door blue 30's Sedan at one end of spectrum (assuming original paint?), and the '35/'36 Roger Walling posted Coupe (first page) on other end. Beauty, like Patina is in the eye of the beholder.  I know what it means, and now you do to!

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7 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

In the automotive context, "patina" means regular wear from regular use.  It means that it isn't perfect, but that it hasn't been abused. Just the regular wear from regular use.

 

When I was a kid the word "Bitchin" meant as in my peers language at the time meant really good looking or great. Bitchin chick, car, we had a bitchin time. However people in my parents generation thought otherwise and usually meant for us youngsters a trip to the bathroom sink to have your mouth washed out with soap.

 

Patina to the VW crowd means self inflicted patina and not something brought on by father time. You also see this in the rat rod crowd where body parts are stripped and then metal prepped acid washed to really expose and speed up the metal rusting process. Car patina doesn't always mean the same thing as in the antique store.

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There's two ways for this conversation to go (and it has already branched into those two directions).

 

One, of course, is a discussion of whether there's a preference for shiny restored perfection or a preference for obvious signs of use and age (and then trying to find the dividing line between original/patina/deteriorated).

 

The other is trying to nail down exactly what "patina" means. Does it mean significantly weathered paint and even rust, or does it mean really nice original paint with very few signs of deterioration?

 

My personal take is that none of that matters and that the word "patina" covers a lot of ground. Do your car the way you like and go have fun. My father taught me long ago that only a fool lives his life by what other people think. Smart people simply do what makes them happy.

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58 minutes ago, Pfeil said:

Bitchin chick,

 

This could be construed a couple of ways.

One you would keep and one you would dump.

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6 minutes ago, JACK M said:

 

This could be construed a couple of ways.

One you would keep and one you would dump.

And that means Patina has different meanings, even with the car crowd. 

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Pfeil, you have identified the problem I raise, that is people so often 'make up" their own definition, when you say "that means Patina has different meanings even within the car crowd. It is not that "Patina" has different meanings, it is that people mis-use the term. This mis-use of words is sometimes laziness (can't be bothered), sometimes intentional (a sales technique), sometimes ignorance (don't know what it means), sometimes carelessness. It's like the guy says his 1932 Model B is all original with, metalflake paint, 2" chop and power windows. He meant to say it has an original all-steel body! We are always free to use what ever word we like, we are just not free to re-define it.

 

I am restoring a 1931 Chrysler CD8 Roadster, virtually nothing of the original car will be saved as it came from the factory (except maybe 80% of the bare sheetmetal and the serial number plate!). However when I am done, 98% of the car will be of 1931 Chrysler CD8 Roadster parts, refurbished, refinished, rebuilt, repainted, etc. I would never list it as an all original car. Maybe a faithful restoration to original appearance? I'm not sure what will be fair.

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This all actually brings up a good subject for me: The original '61 Mercury I posted earlier has decent (though far from perfect) original paint. Only a little rust in two or three  spots by where some of the trim is.

 

On the other hand, the bottom side of the inner fender wells and the chassis have a fairly consistent coating of surface rust. No rust through, though, and (just as Matt Harwood said) in the 13 years of owning the car I haven't noticed that surface rust getting worse. But the car has low ground clearance and I have no lift and I'm getting older so it's hard for me to inspect the underside closely.

 

I've abandoned the idea of using POR 15 on those surfaces because I want originality. Surface rust in these areas doesn't bother me...I just worry about it getting worse because the surfaces are downward facing and may retain moisture more. I never drive the car in the rain (unless I'm caught in it) and totally avoid snow and salt. So...I've wondered about maybe putting oil on these surfaces every few years (when I have access to a lift). The problem is I think oil might attract dirt and dust and create it's own problems, especially in the many nooks and crannies of the chassis. I'm also wondering if oil could deteriorate rubble components, bushings and tires. What are your thoughts, folks? If oil is a good idea on a chassis, what kind of oil?

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27 minutes ago, JamesR said:

This all actually brings up a good subject for me: The original '61 Mercury I posted earlier has decent (though far from perfect) original paint. Only a little rust in two or three  spots by where some of the trim is.

 

On the other hand, the bottom side of the inner fender wells and the chassis have a fairly consistent coating of surface rust. No rust through, though, and (just as Matt Harwood said) in the 13 years of owning the car I haven't noticed that surface rust getting worse. But the car has low ground clearance and I have no lift and I'm getting older so it's hard for me to inspect the underside closely.

 

I've abandoned the idea of using POR 15 on those surfaces because I want originality. Surface rust in these areas doesn't bother me...I just worry about it getting worse because the surfaces are downward facing and may retain moisture more. I never drive the car in the rain (unless I'm caught in it) and totally avoid snow and salt. So...I've wondered about maybe putting oil on these surfaces every few years (when I have access to a lift). The problem is I think oil might attract dirt and dust and create it's own problems, especially in the many nooks and crannies of the chassis. I'm also wondering if oil could deteriorate rubble components, bushings and tires. What are your thoughts, folks? If oil is a good idea on a chassis, what kind of oil?

Spraying drain oil on the underside of the car used to be a common gas station service and probably worked well to preserve against rust if done often enough. Not good for rubber parts though.

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From time to time I have wondered whether the popularity of the worn and rusted look is related to the high cost of automotive paints these days.

 

no doubt, when you can have twice as many cars by cost of paint, which only fades away like a lilly anyway!

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I think that it really depends on whether the owner is prepared to tell the car's story. Some people couldn't care less about the story of how, why, and by whom a car has survived throughout the decades. If an owner has never experienced, or had the opportunity to share the story with others, they will never know what an important part of the hobby it has become. The audience is going to be much different then the the audience who only understand shinny paint, but I have found the experience at least as fulfilling as showing a 100 pt car.

 

As I indicated before, refurbishment or restoration fundamentally changes the ability the to tell the story. IMO, thankfully, we have come a long way from the attitude during the 70's and 80's where everything had to be restored. We now have some common sense options if we are willing to listen.

Bill

 

 

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)
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The "patina" conversation is big topic of conversation that our family has had, and one we have had with lots of people at car shows that we attend with the 33 Studebaker. When I first got the car back out running again 20yrs ago my dad did not like how the car looked as it had deteriorated from when paint and chrome looked good. But after sitting for 20+ yrs it did not look the same when I got it back out and he was a little embarrassed by it, to the point when I was ready to take it to our first car show and wanted him to take it...he wouldn't. My dad is also from the generation where you restored your cars before you took them to shows. So I drove the car because i was just proud of the car and it looking pristine did not matter to me. Dad came but drove his Model T and sat on the other side of his T away from the Studebaker. From the time we got to the show till we left there was no less than 10 people around that car at all times and after 30 min or so dad warmed up to all the great comments we got about the car and its "patina" ,than most of his embarrassment went away. Most people were just glad to see the car and remembered it when mom and dad used to drive the car everywhere til 1980. 99% of the people we talk to say leave it the way it is but we get one every summer that say that it should be restored and we should not leave it that way as it is not appropriate for a "Full Classic" car.

We have had discussions about repainting the car either back to its current green or back to it original colours but the car has some great history and I like being able to open the doors and the hood and show people the bright yellow over its original colours, then see it current colour and tell the story about it being hidden away in a barn and covered in straw to hid it from the metal collectors for the scrap drive during the war. For some of us telling a cars history though its patina is a huge part of the enjoyment of the car and the joy of being able to share that with other people.

I will also add after I drove the car to that show I have not driven it again as my mom and dad take it everywhere they go, and that  is just fine with me.

 

33 Stude Hershey Dad with George.jpg

at Judging meet.jpg

original colours.jpg

Edited by coachJC (see edit history)
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CoachJC I love your story and the car, both as a car and because of it's condition. To me, that is exactly the way an old car should look, aged but not dying, and with no facelifts, makeup or fancy clothes. My experience is like yours, when you take a mostly original car to a show, people feel comfortable looking it over, asking questions, and in some cases marveling at how a car can be in such good shape after 90 years. I know someone who spent $100K restoring a 1970 era Chevelle, a great looking show car, likely $3000 when new, but most show patrons walk by without a second glance. The survivor Model A next to it gets a constant crowd. For some viewers, a 100 point Classic car seems unreal.

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Out of the approximately 600 "big" 1933 Studebaker President Speedways that were built, only about seven have survived, and  there are only two convertibles that exist. You'd have to be very lucky or be a well versed Studebaker  person to ever see another one.

Bill

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, JamesR said:

This all actually brings up a good subject for me: The original '61 Mercury I posted earlier has decent (though far from perfect) original paint. Only a little rust in two or three  spots by where some of the trim is.

 

On the other hand, the bottom side of the inner fender wells and the chassis have a fairly consistent coating of surface rust. No rust through, though, and (just as Matt Harwood said) in the 13 years of owning the car I haven't noticed that surface rust getting worse. But the car has low ground clearance and I have no lift and I'm getting older so it's hard for me to inspect the underside closely.

 

I've abandoned the idea of using POR 15 on those surfaces because I want originality. Surface rust in these areas doesn't bother me...I just worry about it getting worse because the surfaces are downward facing and may retain moisture more. I never drive the car in the rain (unless I'm caught in it) and totally avoid snow and salt. So...I've wondered about maybe putting oil on these surfaces every few years (when I have access to a lift). The problem is I think oil might attract dirt and dust and create it's own problems, especially in the many nooks and crannies of the chassis. I'm also wondering if oil could deteriorate rubble components, bushings and tires. What are your thoughts, folks? If oil is a good idea on a chassis, what kind of oil?

If you are thinking of going the oil root,  use Fluid Film.  A little stinky but on a car like yours will last a very long time.  A case of spray cans is about 100 on ebay and enough to do the car as you wont need to submerge it in it like we have to do in the Northeast to try to fend off winter.  Flows well and sticks good.   It's a bit stinky though so if you store this in a garage attached to the house,  you might want clearance from the wife first.  It also stays wet for a long time, so repairs are easy down the road. 

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I find it amusing that folks can on the one hand extol the beauty and value of patina while doing their best to stop the process that created that patina. Patina doesn't "get worse". The process of slow but inevitable decay that we call "patina" if and when it pleases us just continues. "Patina" sounds better than "rust" or "decay" but don't pretend it is anything but. Just like "barn find" the concept of "patina" makes it easier to sell cars with obvious deterioration than using words like "surface rust" or "paint failure". Yes there are many cars that should be preserved in their "as found" condition but they are only representative of a particular point in time and represent what conditions they were stored under rather better than their original factory condition.

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Interesting topic. To me "patina", whether we are talking about antiques, tools, furniture or automobiles exists on those items that have been used and cared for over the years. Well cared for guns develop a patina through constant cleaning and use - worn bluing, checkering smoothed through decades of handling, a butter smooth action through use. Old tools with wooden handles smooth and worn, sharpened to a fine edge - they become an extension of ones arms. Furniture with worn armrests and rails, stairs gently worn in the middle through a century of use.  Cars with the paint worn down to the primer from polishing on curves and edges, controls worn smooth through use, real wood and leather showing the effects of decades of care - muted rather than fresh.

 

My ideal of "patina" is felt as much as it seen seen, perhaps moreso. It cannot be replicated, once lost through misuse or attempts at duplication it is gone forever.

 

Sorry for my long winded and somewhat idealistic description. Am I the only one who "feels" or "senses" patina?

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I think the biggest reason cars like our Studebaker don't get restored really has to do with the cost. It cost us about $2000 to get the Studebaker back on the road 20 yrs ago, to do a full reforestation is well into the 6 figures. Dad has put more money in to it since with getting things chromed but for the little amount of money spent there is a really neat car back on the road for my parents to enjoy driving and other people to enjoy seeing it in its "Patina".

Edited by coachJC (see edit history)
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I guess I'm beating a dead horse. Patina is a word used to describe a surface finish that is considered by admirers to have gotten more beautiful with it's signs of natural aging. I've underlined the key descriptors of this term. This term applies to a painted surface that has been worn down due to wash and wear, or has cracked/crazed due to aging, or has small dings or dents due to mishaps, or has faded due to the sun etc. It also applies to leather that has cracked, faded, or stretched where your bum has been. It applies to chrome that has lost some of it's luster, pitted a bit, or otherwise just shows aging of the surface. It applies to glass that has shown signs of delaminating, dis-coloring, or may have a small crack or chip. It applies to top fabrics that show similar signs, fading, wear at edges/corners, cracks, creases from folding, etc. It applies to exposed wood that has had varnish worn off in some spots due to normal wear, but not where rot has set in. So it is a term for acceptable (and for some people desirable) aging of surfaces.

 

It is not a substitute for decay, rust, broken, damaged, rot, or any like damage some consider included. However, a car can have both patina, and damage at same time. Often a survivor car has wonderful patina on maybe 70%-80% of it's surfaces, and damage on the rest (rust, decay, major dents, etc). In these cases, the owner has the challenge of wanting to keep the patina while "stopping/fixing/arresting the damage". Some do an excellent job of restoring the damaged finish in small areas as best they can and maybe even making an effort to replicate the old patina (maybe by installing a badly damaged fender with one from a similarly colored car), not an easy exercise. The objective is to prevent further deterioration in these areas to the point that more serious work would be needed. 

 

I've said my piece on this subject. I've been collecting and observing antique furniture for over 50 years. Original finishes are an absolute essential for top value, even with natural patina. Pieces with provenance can have considerable patina (age wear) and still bring strong value. Damaged pieces (but with original finish) can bring good value if provenance is there. However, stripped and re-finished pieces seldom hold strong value, even with provenance. I think the same principles apply to old cars. Over and Out.

 

 

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IMO the word patina began to be used with regards to original things automotive, as a joke. People knew how it was applied to fine art or furniture, but it became a Haha, snooty term used as a way of, jokingly, shrugging off some point of deterioration to one of our original vehicles. I doubt that anyone truly took the term seriously when it was first used. So it is kind of astounding that we have spent three pages on the subject. It seems to me that we are trying to apply a term that does not really apply to our cars, in an attempt at legitimatizing preservation. It's another one of those automotive terms that will have to be defined by how it's used, by the person with whom we are speaking. For me it will always be a joke!

Bill

Edited by Buffalowed Bill (see edit history)
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The late Jack Passey introduced "patina" to the Pebble Beach Concours with this Locomobile Gunboat Speedster, now owned by his son Bill.  This extremely original car was so well received that a class was developed for unrestored but gently-used cars was created, and many marvelous examples have since been displayed.

20190922_133524.jpg

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19 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

If you are thinking of going the oil root,  use Fluid Film.  A little stinky but on a car like yours will last a very long time.  A case of spray cans is about 100 on ebay and enough to do the car as you wont need to submerge it in it like we have to do in the Northeast to try to fend off winter.  Flows well and sticks good.   It's a bit stinky though so if you store this in a garage attached to the house,  you might want clearance from the wife first.  It also stays wet for a long time, so repairs are easy down the road. 

 

 

Thanks a bunch for that recommendation, auburnseeker. I researched the product online, and it seems to get high ratings.

 

There was a guy on youtube (who really likes Fluid Film) who tested a lot of spray on undercoating products, and there were some products that he called "cosmoline type" sprays that also worked good. One in particular was called CRC Marine Corrosion Inhibitor. The good thing about it is that it kind of dried to a waxy consistency - didn't stay wet - so that it wouldn't attract and hold dirt, leaves and dust. My misgivings about CRC is that I'm wondering if, not being an oil, if it's okay to use on metal that already has surface rust on it. If water happens to get under the waxy film will it encourage existing rust? Oil wouldn't have that problem.

 

There is a product called rust neutralizer (I think CRC makes some) that I've used before that isn't really a paint per say, but it does turn the rust black. I've had good results. Since it's not paint, I don't really see that as adding an element on non-originality to my car. I guess I could spray that first then use the CRC corrosion inhibitor. Fluid FIlm seems easier to use by comparison, but putting in on every year may not be something I can get in the habit of doing.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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For your use you wouldn't need to put Fluid film on every year.  We have to every year because hours of salt spray driving eventually does wash it off like any coating that doesn't dry 100 percent even though it's not water based.  I like the stuff,  but some dust and dirt will stick in it,  though unless you are running on dirt roads it would probably be minimal. It's not sticky even when it sort of dries.  I like it because of the durability and the ease of application.  You will find yourself using it for lots of things as a lubricant. Sticky window regulators,  spray it in the doors on them.  They will work like new,  same as door latches, squeaky springs,  you name it. 

I use WD 40  to rejuvinate it and under the hood of my truck.  That might even work for your car.  It has alot of Corrosion inhibiting properties and does get into places where I can't quite get the fluid film as it's more liquid.  I put it on with a pesticide type sprayer and buy it by the gallon for about $20.  We do what we have to , to try to combat the salt up here. 

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52 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

For your use you wouldn't need to put Fluid film on every year.  We have to every year because hours of salt spray driving eventually does wash it off like any coating that doesn't dry 100 percent even though it's not water based.  I like the stuff,  but some dust and dirt will stick in it,  though unless you are running on dirt roads it would probably be minimal. It's not sticky even when it sort of dries.  I like it because of the durability and the ease of application.  You will find yourself using it for lots of things as a lubricant. Sticky window regulators,  spray it in the doors on them.  They will work like new,  same as door latches, squeaky springs,  you name it. 

I use WD 40  to rejuvinate it and under the hood of my truck.  That might even work for your car.  It has alot of Corrosion inhibiting properties and does get into places where I can't quite get the fluid film as it's more liquid.  I put it on with a pesticide type sprayer and buy it by the gallon for about $20.  We do what we have to , to try to combat the salt up here. 

I bought a 1962 Pontiac Catalina in 1992 from the original owner. Everything was original. The bottom of the car had 1/2 inches of what I thought was mud and it took everything my 4,000lb. pressure washer could do to get it off. Once  the mud was off I was looking at pristine red oxide factory primer on the underside body. A few days or so later I went back to the original owner to asked about all this stuff. The original owner was from the Philippines and he told me that he applied the old rust preventative solution they used in the islands. Heat up 140W gear oil so that it can be used in a sprayer and spray the entire underside with it, and immediately drive the car in a field to get all the dust/dirt to stick to the underside of the car. Apparently it worked as this car has zero rust on it!   

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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My dad will get a new car via any paint chip or door ding - he puts up with my "driver" quality cars, but it is rough for him. 

 

His reply to the "driver" quality cars - they would not have put up with a spot in the paint for 2 minutes when it was a new car. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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