For about 15 years there has been the trend to keep vintage cars, which bear their signs of the time, as original as possible and to preserve the substance. But it is only in the last few years that it is noticeable that these vehicles are also increasing in value and the attention of these vehicles reaches the wider public. A few years ago, owners of truly original and unrestored vintage cars were given comments on classic car events such as “He can not afford a restoration”, or “look at this Scrap car”. Today the wide mass speaks of patina. But it is not only the patina, but also the history, traces of use and the traces of the times that make unrestored vehicles a special one.
A fine example is a Lancia, who had once belonged to a priest in Italy. The yellowed protective covers of the interiors, which he had maintained since his delivery, tell of the story. At the driving door the lacquer is worn along the lower window frame and has black traces. These came from the priest’s gown, which always hung an arm out of the window, to greet his lambs in the village.
Not each of these vehicles has a so-called patina, some of them are still in very good condition.
Of course not everything is patina
The patina is a professional track that describes the vehicle’s history. This includes, for example, a heavily faded varnish – created, for example, by the sun in the south of France, dull chrome – since the vehicle already has a high age or a worn leather seat which has undergone intensive wear over the years. Small cracks, lacquer spots or small rust spots are legitimate. Patina must be maintained to further decay.
Wear marks due to poor maintenance, severe accident traces or unprocessed rust spots on technically relevant parts, dirt, dust or even mold has nothing to do with patina. Unless it is a racing vehicle, which once traveled the PanAmericana and still bears the original battle tracks. You soon realize that this field of the definition “patina” can be interpreted very widely, but it always leads to a point: the vehicle is patinated when the tracks describe a real story or signs of the vehicle’s development.
Barnyard or disused vehicles? Or do you rather repair the substance? A few years ago, such vehicles were mostly still sold as part carriers or body-off restoration objects. Today consciousness has also changed considerably. Such vehicles are generally preserved in their substance completely and absolutely original. Sometimes it is not necessary at all to bring such a vehicle back onto the road – as a timepiece with the corresponding traces. Oldtimers who have already fallen victim to disintegration can only be conditionally preserved, because, of course, technical driving safety is of paramount importance. The art, however, is to make the vehicle as in art.
A painting, to preserve substance. We are not talking about a restoration, which involves a repair and in which parts are completely renewed or replaced. For example, a sil, slatted from the rust needs to be repaired, but the varnishing on the outside is preserved as far as possible and in the case of the lacquering, care is taken to reconstruct the old lacquer or “imitate” it. The technical functional parts such as brakes, steering, or even the engine and gearbox have to be overtaken by themselves, and is also part of the maintenance process of a vehicle. A measure-preserving measure on a vintage car can be considerably more complex than a restoration and also requires some specialist knowledge.
Classic cars with a history and vivid traces of the time, are one hundred percent rolling cultural property. For this reason, the CfC Preservation Concours will be held for the second time in Munich on 2 April, with only original, unrestored vehicles permitted.
This year around 25 vehicles will compete for this unique competition. There are many highlights: from the powerful and very rare Alfa Romeo RL S to a tiny Fulda Mobile, a pre-war Austin Seven, to an armored Alfa Romeo Alfetta sedan, which once belonged to an Italian mafia boss. From the hill climb race car to the Volkswagen Beetle and also rarely seen prototypes like the Citroen MX35 – the span width in the individual competition classes is great. In addition to a high-profile jury, this year, for the first time, an apprentice jury will be able to apply for apprentices, students and interns. This young jury, between 16 and 20 years, will award their own “Best of Show” award.