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Patina or paint?

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Greetings Folks,


I've got this old '72 which I've had for a while now. It is looking rather terrible

at the moment and the question about what to do about that is on my mind.

I am planning on a small drop and painting the wheels.


But body wise, I am not sure yet. I've seen some patina'd cars look pretty cool

but not sure if this is a good candidate or not. The car was repainted above the

belt line at some point so it's not consistent. It's kind of faded and turned to rust.

The hood and roof have the texture of sandpaper. I figure I could sand that

down, but then I'd pretty much be at bare metal. What do you guys think?






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What will give you the most enjoyment -- driving it as it is (with a bad paint job), or having nice paint? Make sure you take into account the downtime for painting, too!


With my car being as rough as it is, I'm firmly in the patina camp personally, but you can DIY some things to make it more attractive to your eyes. I've had good results using CLR + green scotch brite to remove surface corrosion and rust staining on paint. After that, coat with some linseed oil, penetrol, fluid film, or wax to add some water resistance and luster. I've been wanting to have a go with some polishing compound and an orbital sander, but haven't had the time recently.


In your case, the original enamel paint might be underneath the sandpapery surface, and that'll  be much more durable than the respray. On my car, I've been able to scrub away the 80's respray in my engine bay and other spots to reveal some original chamonix that has a much nicer luster. 

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I played “patina or paint” years ago with my car but decided that the hole-y front fender and door lowers, sprayed with all colors of Rustoleum were not patina, they were shit. So I embarked on a many year misadventure, learning all things 2002 and missed out on just driving that damn thing. I’m glad I did it because I’m happy with how it turned out, but it was hard-newly married, bought house, had two kids etc etc. Took me SIX years to get it driving again!


Someone said here: never take a car completely apart and I think, in retrospect that is sage advice when contemplating “patina or paint.” From these pics, patina might be really cool-do a thorough mechanical resto/comb through and get the interior dialed maybe? I dunno if that’s good advice, but it’s my .02…

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That’s beyond “patina”

I see you live in snow country, somewhere salt etc is applied to the roads?

Looks to me like your car is basically under direct chemical attack. Its disintegrating.

Especially the roof, hoods and trunk lids can be replaced but not so easy to replace a roof.

Would do something, anything about the roof before it turns to Swiss cheese.

Looks like it’s pretty close to that now.

But if you don’t have a protected space to park, a full on refinish is kind of difficult to justify. Not to mention an easy $5,000-$8,000


Edited by tech71
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If you're not ready to repaint yet, at the minimum protect the sheet metal (both seen and unseen) from further deterioration--which will make the eventual re-do even harder.  This isn't a rat rod.  My vote is to enjoy the car as you wish, but protect what's there for an eventual repaint. 


My '69 was a "work in progress" for over five years--five different shades of primer--my wife was threatening to get me the license plate "RDNKBMW" because quoting Jeff Foxworthy, "You may be a redneck if the predominant color on your car is primer."  But except for just before taking it to the shop for paint, I continued to drive it--primer and all.  Even with no front fenders for a couple of months.  I fastened motorcycle turn signals where the normal ones went.  It was worth the effort as it turned out great.



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In the beginning stages of having a total repaint on my '74 tii. It's exciting, scarry and frustrating.  The scarry part is the unknowns that are bound to come along as the paint is stripped to bare metal, and the financial and time impacts of those discoveries.  The frustrating part is how much is out of my control.  The body shop has its regular business, so my car is on a vague schedule that sems to change every time I inquire.  It's going to be expensive.  The exciting part is finding the best bits and knowing it will be a sweet ride when done.  It's going to take lots of patience, some treasure hunting and plenty of cash.  Oh, and lots of worrying that the body shop delivers (had shops close mid project twice), and everything fits and works properly afterwards.   

You haven't mentioned a third option: sell what you have, add half of your expected paint costs to the proceeds of the sale and buy yourself a decent going down the road car that you will enjoy.  

I'm now afraid to look at other cars for sale for fear that I might start wishing I took that option.....

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I prefer patina, and wish the PO of my car hadn't painted it. Painting it makes it too precious for my lifestyle. I don't like having to worry about people dinging it and that gives me peace of mind.

But there's a difference between patina and just old junk. I think for patina to look right, it has to look intentional. For my car, my intention is to have the interior look well done, not junky, for the car to be well sorted mechanically, but I'll leave the outside as is with its little foibles. 

Also, with the finish on yours I would recommend TheSweetPatina products to make it look more intentional. 

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10 minutes ago, BLUNT said:

Id run it as is. Ive done the full resto thing and really enjoyed it, But my tastes change and I dont want to worry about a car all the time. Id rather drive them and set wrenches on them guilt free

You can do this with the full restos too. It just takes 3 beers and a "what's the worst that can happen" attitude. 




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