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Original Patina - Popularity Rises at Scottsdale Classic Car Auctions

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Original Patina - Popularity Rises at Scottsdale Classic Car Auctions

Old 01-25-14, 01:28 PM
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oddjob2
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Original Patina - Popularity Rises at Scottsdale Classic Car Auctions

Maybe this will curb the debate a wee bit here. Original NY Times story is here.
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Old 01-25-14, 01:49 PM
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Thx for the link.

Yea, that'll buff out...

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Old 01-25-14, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cache View Post
Thx for the link.

Yea, that'll buff out...

I think that's the rare Bugatti that was driven into a lake a long time ago (in the 30's?), because of the owner's tax problems....
It was recovered just a couple of years ago...
A lot of C&V cars had been restored back to original condition from much less than what's left of this one....
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Old 01-26-14, 09:40 AM
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It used to be said in airplane circles that with a data plate and a set of log books, it could be rebuilt.

People get weird about this sort of thing, I think.
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Old 01-26-14, 09:59 AM
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What's there to debate. I'm not a collector or looking for a few extra bucks. I'll continue to repaint as I see fit.
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Old 01-26-14, 10:34 AM
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Preserving a bike (or car) with an interesting history, in it's original condition is worthwhile in my opinion. Preserving abuse and calling it patina is a little silly. Most cases of preserved patina I see are just bikes that were abused. Sorry if I sound harsh. I have strong feelings about proper care of a nice bike.
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Old 01-26-14, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Howard View Post
It used to be said in airplane circles that with a data plate and a set of log books, it could be rebuilt.

People get weird about this sort of thing, I think.
Sometimes without the log books. I have seen it done. Flying a essentially new airframe probably is better than flying one 70 years old and patched.

A few years ago at Laguna Seca a "birdcage" Maserati got crashed. Do you think they were afraid to repair it?
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Old 01-26-14, 11:33 AM
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As to Pebble Beach accepting the barn find vehicles cited in the article, probably they would if they can move under their own power and start on command. The Concours also gave points (or at least did not subtract points if you drove your entry on the 17 mile parade drive and collected wear)

For me, there are two things that bug me when I see a vintage bike on display, tires not glued on and a lack of pedals. Flat rotted tubulars sometimes are okay. I am thinking of a motorpacing machine where the front tire may be shellacked and silk sections bonded up and over the rim to help hold the tire on, so there are exceptions of course.

Original is good, but sometimes to leave it original hinders current use. Very few vintage bikes fall into the category of being so unique that refurbishment is out of the question. The value of most collectable bicycles just does not justify the absolute concern of keeping everything absolutely as found.
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Old 01-26-14, 11:38 AM
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I think car and bike enthusiasts share the same dilemma: Where does one draw the line between patinaed and trashed?
- A perpetual gray area IMO.
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Old 01-26-14, 12:45 PM
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You hear the saying "it's only original once" often, but what is original? As a car, bike, etc. came off of the assembly line, there was no wear on the mechanical componants, fading and chips on the finish or other signs of use. So one could say that as soon as the item is used once it is no longer "original". Ettore Bugatti never intended that pictured Bugatti to look like that and I think would shed a tear if he were able to see it. IMO original means what the designer/builder intended the item to look like; they never intended the machine to be unmaintained or not repaired when damaged or parts worn out.

To me, unless the car, bike, etc. was owned by a significant person or used in a significant event, e.g. one of Greg Lemond's race bikes where any wear is part of history; a proper restoration (original colors, original era parts, etc.) enhances its value. I know others feel differently and that's fine!
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Old 01-26-14, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
You hear the saying "it's only original once" often, but what is original? As a car, bike, etc. came off of the assembly line, there was no wear on the mechanical componants, fading and chips on the finish or other signs of use. So one could say that as soon as the item is used once it is no longer "original". Ettore Bugatti never intended that pictured Bugatti to look like that and I think would shed a tear if he were able to see it. IMO original means what the designer/builder intended the item to look like; they never intended the machine to be unmaintained or not repaired when damaged or parts worn out.

To me, unless the car, bike, etc. was owned by a significant person or used in a significant event, e.g. one of Greg Lemond's race bikes where any wear is part of history; a proper restoration (original colors, original era parts, etc.) enhances its value. I know others feel differently and that's fine!
Except there is by no means the ability to restore a car to original, by your definition. Unless of course you have a time machine.

Either something is altered from original by "normal" wear and tear or it was altered by intent, restoration or destruction.

Unless you are in the decorative plate business, manufacturers do not produce things to be collectibles. Their intent is for the owner to use their product and then buy another when the original is worn out. Anything otherwise will hasten their bankruptcy.
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Old 01-26-14, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
...Ettore Bugatti never intended that pictured Bugatti to look like that and I think would shed a tear if he were able to see it. IMO original means what the designer/builder intended the item to look like; they never intended the machine to be unmaintained or not repaired when damaged or parts worn out.


To me, unless the car, bike, etc. was owned by a significant person or used in a significant event, e.g. one of Greg Lemond's race bikes where any wear is part of history; a proper restoration (original colors, original era parts, etc.) enhances its value. I know others feel differently and that's fine!

This, especially the first part...


Originally Posted by iab View Post
...Unless you are in the decorative plate business, manufacturers do not produce things to be collectibles. Their intent is for the owner to use their product and then buy another when the original is worn out. Anything otherwise will hasten their bankruptcy...

And this.




Both are true.


In the consumer machine things are generally built to the minimal requirements that technology allows so that you have to continue replacing them. Engineered obsolescence was the term coined for this, and it was originally frowned upon because people took pride in the products they made and this concept was seen as unethical. Something like that Bugatti was never intended to be trashed or to self destruct. People don't need things to built in a disposable manner to force them to buy new stuff, they buy new stuff because they want the latest and shiniest things. An automobile, bicycle, dishes, or anything else can be engineered to last forever and people will continue to buy new ones as often as their financial situation allows. For most people it is simply an issue of them not wanting to take care of things. Most people just don't like maintaining anything. It also feels good to reward yourself/others buy buying something that's brand new. A lot of people also like showing off as well. People also don't expect things to really change in respect to how long they are intended to last, so they freely get rid of their things because they think at the time that they will always be easy to replace with something just as good.


It's a shame to see pre-atomic aged steel rotting like that. It is the purest steel ever manufactured, and is a real pleasure to work with.


While I think that patina is cool, rust is one of the most awful things on this earth.


Aluminum oxide, as well as other metal oxides, create a layer that is overall impervious to water allowing the corrosion to form a protective layer that prevents the underlying metal from oxidation. Iron oxide, on the other hand, is permeable and allows water to run through it's pores and attack the underlying ferrous metal (steel, iron, etc.), lifting up the overlying layer as a flaky crust. This process repeats itself over and over attacking the metal and forming pits until there is nothing left of the metal.


I personally will not leave rust on anything. It's fine for a while as a surface layer, if the rusted bicycle/automobile is kept in a safe environment indoors. I will personally repair and repaint anything I own because I believe in taking care of things, and because I only own things that I would want to own for a lifetime. I think it's great that people will preserve weathered but unmolested bikes and cars, but I get them to use and enjoy so I am going to take the best care of them that I can.
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Old 01-26-14, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CustomSteel View Post
In the consumer machine things are generally built to the minimal requirements that technology allows so that you have to continue replacing them. Engineered obsolescence was the term coined for this, and it was originally frowned upon because people took pride in the products they made and this concept was seen as unethical. Something like that Bugatti was never intended to be trashed or to self destruct. People don't need things to built in a disposable manner to force them to buy new stuff, they buy new stuff because they want the latest and shiniest things.
Hold on there.

Planned obsolescence has been around since the beginning of civilization, it is a term that was coined "recently". As you pointed out, it is driven by the consumer's desire to have the latest and greatest shiny object. The shortened timeframe of obsolescence is directly due to advances in manufacturing. I can quickly and cost-effectively change tooling for new shiny objects. Obsolescence is not "engineered".

And the designers of that Bugatti always new they would never make that car forever as they also knew it would never last forever. Chit happens.
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Old 01-26-14, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Except there is by no means the ability to restore a car to original, by your definition. Unless of course you have a time machine.
I'm not sure what you mean. Reproduction parts made like originals are proper to me and there are also NOS and reconditioned parts that are correct era. And manufacturers make replacement parts specifically so owners can maintain and replace worn or damaged parts. Many items built today may be designed to be disposable but for an automobile maker to build a car designed to last a short period and then disposed of would also hasten their bankruptcy. Not everyone can afford to purchase a new vehicle every 5 years! How many advertisements do you see where makers brag about the longevity of their products? Manufacturers may not produce items to be collectable but they do encourage the collecting of their items, if not most auto makers would not have museums showcasing their products.

For people who want everything to be the exact part on the machine at assembly to be original, don't new tires, grease and bar tape on a bicycle or sparkplugs, oil and fan belts on a car ruin that "originality"? For the "It's only original once" crowd, I would think it would be needed to have an item that was never used but simply put in storage.

Everyone has their own definition of what is original or not. I have given mine and some of my reasoning why I feel that way. For those whose definition is different, c'est la vie!
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Old 01-26-14, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
are proper to me
You are certainly allowed to have what is acceptable to you. But then don't use your definition for the "it's original only once" crowd. Maybe they define normal wear and tear as original and considered a purposeful restoration (typically "better" than "original") not original.
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Old 01-26-14, 06:04 PM
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here is my case study for this discussion - '71 gitane tour de france, never ridden, as found:


And after:


I replaced the dry rotted tires, found some pedals, and replaced the cracked housing. And I serviced it and cleaned it up. I saved the old tires and housing for the next owner to put back on it if desired.
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Old 01-26-14, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
But then don't use your definition for the "it's original only once" crowd.
Exactly why I prefaced it with "I would think"!
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Old 01-26-14, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
But then don't use your definition for the "it's original only once" crowd.
Exactly why I prefaced it with "I would think"!
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Old 01-26-14, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Hold on there.

Planned obsolescence has been around since the beginning of civilization, it is a term that was coined "recently". As you pointed out, it is driven by the consumer's desire to have the latest and greatest shiny object. The shortened timeframe of obsolescence is directly due to advances in manufacturing. I can quickly and cost-effectively change tooling for new shiny objects. Obsolescence is not "engineered".

And the designers of that Bugatti always new they would never make that car forever as they also knew it would never last forever. Chit happens.
The term engineered obsolescence is definitely a relatively new term. However I disagree that planned obsolescence was around since the beginning of civilization. Granted things broke and wore down over time certainly, which is in accordance with the law of entropy. Things were generally built as well as they could possibly be with whatever technology and materials a given people had. Over time advances in technology allowed things to last for generations. Intentionally designing things to fail is a relatively new concept in human history, which is the practice that the term was coined for.

I never said that anyone at Bugatti thought they would make that car forever, nor that it would last forever. My point was that they built hand built their cars with pride, and intended for them to be solid and well-built automobiles, and that Bugatti's engineers did not purposefully design them to fail at any point. The people at Bugatti were also pursuing the latest advances in performance to build even better cars without question, so of course their models would constantly change as the years would pass. This is why I pointed out that things don't need to be designed to fail in order for people to want to buy new things. It doesn't matter how well built something is, people as a whole always gravitate towards what is new.
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Old 01-27-14, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by busdriver1959 View Post
Preserving a bike (or car) with an interesting history, in it's original condition is worthwhile in my opinion. Preserving abuse and calling it patina is a little silly. Most cases of preserved patina I see are just bikes that were abused. Sorry if I sound harsh. I have strong feelings about proper care of a nice bike.
Abuse and/or neglect can be contributing factors to what could be called "patina", it's just a stage in the life of an object and the patina it acquires is signs of use.


On metal, patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonates, sulfides, or sulfates formed on the surface during exposure to atmospheric elements (oxygen, rain, acid rain, carbon dioxide, sulfur-bearing compounds), a common example of which is rust which forms on iron or steel when exposed to oxygen. Patina also refers to accumulated changes in surface texture and colour that result from normal use of an object such as a coin or a piece of furniture over time.[SUP][2][/SUP]
What you call normal care may not be what others call it. For example, I treat my Transport bike more harshly than I do my Vintage road bikes, does this mean my transport bike is not acquiring a Patina? Certainly not! You may not appreciate it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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Old 01-27-14, 06:09 AM
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Don't get me started......PATINA is in the eye of the beholder!! That's it. All original rare bikes should be preserved as mush as possible. Everything else gets restored to whatever the owner wants.
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Old 01-27-14, 06:25 AM
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Of course, what constitutes a rare bike is also subjective.
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Old 01-27-14, 06:37 AM
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I like my bikes to look really nice so I repaint them if I think they need it. The amount of money involved in bikes is generally so low compared to classic cars that whatever is lost by a redo is peanuts to most people.
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Old 01-27-14, 07:08 AM
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As a guy who has also been chasing older cars, I get the urge to do very mean things every time I read the word "patina" in a craigslist ad. TV shows and car auctions have been spouting the word off like crazy. This makes everyone and their brother also think that is a word to use. In the hands of your every-day-craigslist-seller, what was a rusted ass POS 10 years ago, now has "patina".

Patina, by definition, is a surface coating. When there are holes, we're beyond patina.
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Old 01-27-14, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by CustomSteel View Post
and that Bugatti's engineers did not purposefully design them to fail at any point.
My point is that neither do engineers of today. They design to a purpose. They are not the ones driving obsolescence. Its you. The consumer is driving obsolescence.

Of course we can design something that will last for years. Except that drives up cost. If cost is too high, profits suffer. So if the consumer demands a new shiny thing every 3 years (or whatever timeframe you want), which will they choose? The expensive one that they need to store in their basement after 3 years or the cheaper one that will wear out in 3 years?

And no, not everything was made as well as possible up until recently. There always has to be different levels of quality as there have always been different levels of income.
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