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Patina or Pristine?

10 August 2018
Patina VWs or Restored?
There’s been a growth in the interest of original unrestored ‘patina’ cars across the classic car world, where do you stand?

Over the last 10 years, there’s definitely been a move towards appreciating original unrestored cars with their patina. It’s almost become a competition to find something with the most rust, to have the most extreme patina. But there is also still a strong contingent of people who don’t understand why you would want to drive anything that is rusty and who prefer to see fully restored cars with immaculate paint.

Is it wrong to take an original car with patina and restore it? After all, it’s only ever original once... but then again, restoring the car will more than likely ensure that it lasts much longer and preserves it for the future.

It’s a difficult question to answer as it’s down to personal taste. What about cars that have been so modified in the past that their originality has already been largely lost? I’m thinking specifically here about the VW38 that was found on a Volga chassis with a big a back window. 

I remember people at the time saying that it should be preserved as it was and not restored, and all of the cars ‘updates’ were part of the cars history. But this VW was one of the most significant finds of recent years, surely it should be restored to its former glory so everyone can see how it would have looked when first built?

The end result was spectacular and had such an attention to detail, I can’t help thinking they made the right choice. 

My personal view is that I love to see both, wear and tear on an original survivor car is something that can’t be recreated, although the popularity of the patina look has caused a few people to try. But when time hasn’t treated a car well, the patina has turned to holes, or the car has been subjected to years of shoddy repairs, then restoration seems the best choice. What about something inbetween, just a good looking every day car with a few battle scars?

What’s your opinion on the subject? Are you in the Patina or Restored camp?

Vintage VW 

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