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proper care for original car.


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Photos would be helpful to give advice.  Certainly rust needs to be controlled so what is patina now does not become a problem later.  Preservation too has its challenges.  Congrats on your efforts to keep the car original as possible.

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The rust isn't "original" and it certainly isn't "patina" in my book.  The proper term for it is "deterioration."   Whatever you do, keep it from deteriorating further, unless you like he looks of a rusty old vehicle.

Terry

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This has been discussed on some other threads as well, so the OP might do a search on the forum to get some additional perspectives.

 

Just my two cents worth: I think I understand where the Rick is coming from. He may not want to refinish a car that hasn't been refinished anywhere at all. This is the same situation on one of my old cars. I think it will kind of depend on how much - if any - of the rust has eaten through underneath. If there's only a couple small spots of rust through or only surface rust, and you don't drive the car in rain or snow, there may be little if any advancement of the rust in the years to come. Still, any small rust through holes into the passenger compartment should be sealed for safety reasons. After that, there are products like Fluid Film - a congealing oily spray on coating - that can be used to de-activate rust (in the usual way that oil does.) This product will last (stay on the surface) a good deal longer than something like WD 40, but it still needs to be reapplied every so often - like maybe once a year if you don't drive much. Even then, there are some folks with preservation vehicles that don't see the need to treat the underside surface rust of their cars with anything. Be wary of how the car is stored, though. Even if you don't drive in rain or snow, the underside of a car can develop advancing rust if kept in a storage space with damp or dirt floors. Even more so if kept outside.

 

If your paint or interior or engine isn't original, then preservation has less importance, and you may consider the more protective measures that others mentioned.

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On 9/12/2020 at 6:45 PM, JamesR said:

Even if you don't drive in rain or snow, the underside of a car can develop advancing rust if kept in a storage space with damp or dirt floors. 

I am restoring what was probably the finest original car left in a marque and the owner put it in his trailer for a few years to open the door and find the car near destroyed - it sweated in the trailer and ....  And, plenty more examples are out there where this came from.  

 

I also sold a car to a fellow - the car was restored in 1959 and always very well restored.  He put the car in a garage slot in a million dollar home and opened and closed the garage door next to it all winter long driving in and out his new car - the paint literally fell off of the car. 

 

Point:  Yes, you need to be careful about how a car is stored.

 

As to rusty undercarriages though - it may make the car interesting at a show and perhaps nice for a day  to win your HPOF, but thereafter spend some time and clean it all up and get it properly protected - usually helps value, sell-ability, people like working under it more, far better long term protective solution, and ....

 

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Theres a fellow down the road from me that has an early mustang sitting outside that has been shrink wrapped like they do to winterize boats around my area. It has been like that for quite a few years now. I told my son I bet when they unwrap that poor thing it will be nothing but a pile of rust. Another one comes to mind, my then sister n law who was in the army was being deployed overseas for a year. She had just bought a new mgb. She stored it at my parents house, where I and my 2 other brothers still lived. She didnt want to take chances of us driving it whilst she was gone, so they put it in the back yard up on blocks and wrapped it tight with a few blue tarps. When it was unwrapped a year or so later the paint was about ruined, the top and interior had been eaten to oblivion by mice, and the tires were rotted! She would have been better off letting someone drive it for a year, so what if it had a few more miles on it.

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3 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

I am restoring what was probably the finest original car left in a marque and the owner put it in his trailer for a few years to open the door and find the car near destroyed - it sweated in the trailer and ....

 

Oh god, what State was this in?

(Tell me it was Florida or some humid southern State)

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1 hour ago, Ben P. said:

Oh god, what State was this in?

(Tell me it was Florida or some humid southern State)

Chicago, ILL, but a friend did it to his Stanley Steamer in Cincinnati, OH (fresh AAcA senior car near trashed after two seasons without opening the trailer door) and can tell you other examples too.   

 

As to Florida, my parents did that for 10 years in Jacksonville.  The cars came back moldy even though they had A/C and heat in the garage.  The cars with cloth interiors were a little worse for wear and the cars with leather had some mold etching that you could see if you looked real close and pretty much everything had mold etching to the undersides, but I was still able to do serious AACA and CCCA competition with them after a couple months of work each. 

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I’m glad you mentioned that, the Chicago and OH parts are scary. I’m barely farther north than that and store a car in an aluminum trailer for extended periods in winter and again in spring when it’s too troublesome to jockey a tractor out of the garage around it.

I might need to re-evaluate the situation.

Thanks!

(Have another question re. humidity changes and wood frames but will PM that so as to not hijack the thread.)

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I am entering my fourth or fifth year of keeping my 26X40' garage maintained at a minimum of 40 degrees in winter. My fuel cost has been about $300 per year. One of the best things I have ever done. Actually I had the heat on for a while yesterday afternoon and this morning. This is in western New York, not the friendliest of climates. The temperature ranges share the same numbers as the humidity. I have avoided condensation in the garage and extreme or freezing temperatures for the cars and fluids in the garage.

 

Quite often I raise the temperature and just enjoy spritzing detailer and polishing some chrome. Conditions seem quite stable.

 

Check the oil level in that Chevy. It might be low. GM cars start leaking early and preserve quite a bit of body and undercarriage. It's the Fords that are all dry underneath and rust. You don't see people out looking to replace a rusty GM oil pan like the Ford guys have to.

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Never had an issue like that since moving to central Florida away from any beaches. Also my garages have exhaust fans and are well insulated. Have a friend with several 40ft containers he uses for storage and all are power ventilated. Keeps the inside 15-20F cooler than if not ventilated.

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All true about storage in humid areas of the country. I remember one of those TV shows that search for antique cars that found an old Porsche that had been under a tarp for about 20 years in Florida. When they unwrapped it it was beyond restoration and was only a parts car.

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I put a window AC unit in my garage this summer as it was really humid for several days and I noticed some funkiness starting in one of my cars paint jobs.  It's super insulated and heated all winter to 50. Made it real nice to work in there at 64-66 degrees when it was 90 outside. Also dried the air up nice and the issues disappeared. 

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Judicious preservation of an original isn't a bad idea and probably doesn't hurt value in most cases. These are all photos of the same car.

 

Completely unsellable 29,000 original mile 1978 Trans Am that sat for nearly a year:

20181004_150831.thumb.jpg.50c16ce850c36ef2c4ec91a332071cee.jpg  20181004_150723.thumb.jpg.1a4eac9777de68470c045859c362537d.jpg

 

 

Sold in 2 weeks after a light clean up and some judicious use of paint, ScotchBrite pads, and undercoating:

20191023_132950a.thumb.jpg.a6feb41b40bbe31955f1033160ac5748.jpg  20191023_132903a.thumb.jpg.a61732a0f9fc48ee48a22b4bff5b9e8f.jpg

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19 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Judicious preservation of an original isn't a bad idea and probably doesn't hurt value in most cases. These are all photos of the same car.

 

Completely unsellable 29,000 original mile 1978 Trans Am that sat for nearly a year:

20181004_150831.thumb.jpg.50c16ce850c36ef2c4ec91a332071cee.jpg  20181004_150723.thumb.jpg.1a4eac9777de68470c045859c362537d.jpg

 

 

Sold in 2 weeks after a light clean up and some judicious use of paint, ScotchBrite pads, and undercoating:

20191023_132950a.thumb.jpg.a6feb41b40bbe31955f1033160ac5748.jpg  20191023_132903a.thumb.jpg.a61732a0f9fc48ee48a22b4bff5b9e8f.jpg

Usually what I end up doing too // leaving rust on something = giant cost hit or a lot of time sitting waiting for the needle in a haystack buyer.   There was a fellow in our local AACA by the name of Howard Rigg and he pulled me aside one day and gave me the "rust" lecture and said to repaint the underside of my 1941 Buick  - which was actually not too bad and probably the finer unrestored 41's on the globe (so, I did over the summer) and he pulled me aside a second time and said I must have misunderstood - nobody likes rust anywhere under a car and I was "close but no cigar" and  just because I had refinished the frame floor pans, fender wells, and suspension, did not mean that I was excused from leaving rust on the exhaust header pipe and the tailpipe.   Morale of the story - Howard was correct and I have been following his rules ever since. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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