rocketraider

"Patina"

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TexRiv_63, be careful about the please touch signs.  When I got my Sunbeam Tiger safe enough to drive after the previous owner had wrecked it, I did exactly that.  All my buddies thought I was nuts, but I thought it was neat watching the responses and the few that actually did touch or open the door to set in it (also had that on the display card).   THEN, some joker set down in  it, lit up a cigarette, and proceeded to knock his ashes off on the shifter knob after he had flipped all the switches to see what they would do I guess !!!!!   I was close enough to see this while talking to friends, and trotted right over and put his "Ashes" right out of the car, and not too politely.  There is always one......

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i once had to have my '21 Chevy appraised for insurance purposes.The car was restored in the early '70's, when multiple coats of hand rubbed lacquer was the way to get a show finish. Over the years,the paint on the front fenders had cracked noticeably due to vibration. The appraiser,a good friend, said simply , "we call that patina". 

My '29 McLaughlin Buick was restored over 30 years ago. In a few spots,like the hood, the paint is getting a bit thin. The mohair upholstery on the driver's side has lost some of it's "hair". I've had people come up to me and ask where I found such a beautifully preserved old car.

Patina ,stage two, I guess.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Ed Luddy said:

after

66stude 010.jpg

 

Great job on the Studebaker, Ed. I love it! It's like you've given a beautiful 53 year old lady a lovely new gown to wear...and she looks fantastic!

 

A lot of the people see an all original car for a moment and think it should stay that way. I usually agree with that perspective, but those folks don't necessarily see how the car and finish have declined over the years, like the owner does. They don't see how the dime size rust holes have eventually become quarter size...and will eventually become larger. There comes a time (IMHO) when people who really love all original cars (like me...see the '61 merc earlier in this thread) have to acknowledge that having rust properly fixed and body, trunk  and floor surfaces properly protected becomes necessary for the car to survive for future generations. I totally love all-original cars with scars and wear, but I had to face the fact that my station wagon was going to need work to keep the body from declining and the floors from rusting through. When I had that work done, I found that there was some bondo and localized touch up paint there, so the car wasn't as original as I'd thought. I've never regretted having that work done.

IMG_0298_LI.jpg

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

I don't normally use the word "patina" unless I'm listing something on ebay. I prefer to use "original". I agree with others that my personal appearance and abilities have acquired lots of "patina" so maybe that is why I appreciate original cars now a lot more than shiny restorations. I also think the word "honest" needs to be mixed with "original" when it comes to cars. Two of my current hobby cars are honest originals in greatly varying condition and I love them both. I am actively working to make them dependably driveable but I am not planning on changing their appearance. I am thinking about getting a couple of "Please Touch This Car" signs for use at car shows....

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15.JPG

 

Man, you have the coolest cars! That wagon and Chevy coupe are beyond cool, in fact.

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Here's mine, I special ordered this in the spring of 1976. Original complete driveline, exhaust, interior, paint and chrome. 44 years old this spring 115,000 miles.

 Image result for 1976 Oldsmobile Omega Brougham

CC170-dR-02-450x362.jpg

everything under the hood including the engine is original paint.

CC170-dR-05-450x291.jpg

 

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"Patina" is like pornography:  I can't define it but I know it when I see it (or not)................Bob

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When topics like this get posted, the first thing the poster should do as a courtesy to everyone is look up the definition of the word, in this case as it might pertain to our Hobby. "Patina" per Webster says "a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use". As previously noted it is a very valuable, indeed priceless attribute to most artwork, antiques, old coins and other collectibles, and I think Automobiles. However "Patina" is not a substitute for fully surface rusted, worn to the bone, ripped and torn, etc. It is a very proper and particular word only intended to be used when referring to an object that is in largely original condition, and has it's original surface finish, notwithstanding that the finish has the expected signs of wear for a piece so old. Like many words, of course people mis-use it.  Most old car guys buy restored cars, or plan to restore them, and the show category is often measured by how pristine a car is as it would have come from the showroom. I.e. patina" is not a positive (except in HPOF). Many serious collectors however only look for wonderful un-restored cars, which show their age beautifully without needing a lot of attention.

 

However an old car is not like a piece of old furniture. It is much more complex. A 200 year old Oak table with it's original "patina" can be used for another 100 years as a table. However old cars need to be able to be driven safely, reliably and affordably. So when an owner decides to maintain the "patina", including the paint, brightwork, maybe even the tires, and interior, I applaud them. As for the mechanicals, safety, reliability and affordability often dictate some at least minimum level of attention, and in some cases complete re-building (such as a new wiring harness). So as I opened, "patina" refers to what you can see and appreciate as natural aging. And there is an un-defined limit of where "patina" ends and worn beyond it's useful life begins.  The Coupe pictured earlier is an excellent example of patina, and nearing the point of needing attention. Any efforts by the owner to retain the patina should be endorsed (waxes, WD40, other non-invasive surface treatments). I also like patina on a rebuilt engine, a re-build does not demand repainting, re-chroming, etc, surfaces should be allowed to show their wear.

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15 minutes ago, Gunsmoke said:

When topics like this get posted, the first thing the poster should do as a courtesy to everyone is look up the definition of the word, in this case as it might pertain to our Hobby. "Patina" per Webster says "a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use". As previously noted it is a very valuable, indeed priceless attribute to most artwork, antiques, old coins and other collectibles, and I think Automobiles. However "Patina" is not a substitute for fully surface rusted, worn to the bone, ripped and torn, etc. It is a very proper and particular word only intended to be used when referring to an object that is in largely original condition, and has it's original surface finish, notwithstanding that the finish has the expected signs of wear for a piece so old. Like many words, of course people mis-use it.  Most old car guys buy restored cars, or plan to restore them, and the show category is often measured by how pristine a car is as it would have come from the showroom. I.e. patina" is not a positive (except in HPOF). Many serious collectors however only look for wonderful un-restored cars, which show their age beautifully without needing a lot of attention.

 

However an old car is not like a piece of old furniture. It is much more complex. A 200 year old Oak table with it's original "patina" can be used for another 100 years as a table. However old cars need to be able to be driven safely, reliably and affordably. So when an owner decides to maintain the "patina", including the paint, brightwork, maybe even the tires, and interior, I applaud them. As for the mechanicals, safety, reliability and affordability often dictate some at least minimum level of attention, and in some cases complete re-building (such as a new wiring harness). So as I opened, "patina" refers to what you can see and appreciate as natural aging. And there is an un-defined limit of where "patina" ends and worn beyond it's useful life begins.  The Coupe pictured earlier is an excellent example of patina, and nearing the point of needing attention. Any efforts by the owner to retain the patina should be endorsed (waxes, WD40, other non-invasive surface treatments). I also like patina on a rebuilt engine, a re-build does not demand repainting, re-chroming, etc, surfaces should be allowed to show their wear.

 

I agree with your definition however in the car hobby people have distorted automobile terms quite often such as the word "CLASSIC CAR" when they refer to a Camaro!! 

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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):

 

1938700611_24Tcarshow.thumb.jpg.5f1696365a7a8d75a0266013983736cb.jpg

 

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!"

 

318242900_122047Dinsulationuptopcopy.thumb.jpg.cc23affab1ab165f59cd09dc9fd2d0e8.jpg

 

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:

 

178634663_47DCrystalKidsshow2011.thumb.jpg.d7bf708d02296750e29011c3d5032c8c.jpg

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1 hour ago, knee-action said:

When I was in high school, I dated a girl named Patina Martin.

 

Did Patina hopefully display moderate wear from extended careful loving usage,

or symptoms of abuse and neglect?

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Is thin spots of paint patina? 

Or is only rust patina? 

I have original paint on my 38 Studebaker with one front fender showing primer paint where the black has worn off but no rust. So is that patina or worn paint? Does it matter? Not to me, it’s just a fun machine to drive as my every day driver. 

Rust is a problem I think needs to be fixed before it causes real problems. Either way have fun

dave s 

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1 hour ago, Chris Bamford said:

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:

 

178634663_47DCrystalKidsshow2011.thumb.jpg.d7bf708d02296750e29011c3d5032c8c.jpg

 

Perfect example of imperfection being more interesting. It's very hard for people in this hobby to break away from the "must be perfect" mindset, but I see this at every show I attend. Shiny cars are boring. They have no stories to tell. A car with some use on it, some bumps and bruises--that car has history! It's going to take a long, long time for that mindset to change, but I see more and more cars like this with people who love owning them, and that's very promising. Perfect isn't the only "correct" state for a car to be in.

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4 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

Is thin spots of paint patina? 

Or is only rust patina? 

I have original paint on my 38 Studebaker with one front fender showing primer paint where the black has worn off but no rust. So is that patina or worn paint? Does it matter? Not to me, it’s just a fun machine to drive as my every day driver. 

Rust is a problem I think needs to be fixed before it causes real problems. Either way have fun

dave s 

 

I think there's an important distinction between rust and rot. Look at Don's '34 Chevy coupe up at the top of this page--plenty of rust on the fenders, but I don't find that objectionable. it's harmless, on the surface, and not creating holes or structural issues. It's just there. And given how old cars are typically used, it will never, ever get any worse even if you leave it untreated indefinitely. Rust that hasn't compromised the panel is perfectly OK with me and I usually would choose to leave it alone.

 

Same with thin spots in the paint--that's love personified. Someone polished that car so often they polished the paint right off. I'd call that the "right" kind of patina.

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54 minutes ago, Marty Roth said:

 

Did Patina hopefully display moderate wear from extended careful loving usage,

or symptoms of abuse and neglect?

 

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

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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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Just might be patina indeed. Please show more pics inside and out to confirm.    -    Carl 

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I took this one about two years ago..  Not really patina  -  A Change in color..

 

Most of the kaiser we had show a lot of patina  on them...

wwow.jpg

IMG_6025.JPG

lots of cars.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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I guess mine has some. 
people love it and we drive it often, this was last Christmas Eve,.

 

 

E3451BD0-4650-4235-A1B7-14C3DFD91EF2.jpeg

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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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