Engine Patina


I understand the “Retro” craze has pretty much taken a stranglehold on all aspects of automobile culture. From Bryan Nesbitt-designed econocars like the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chevrolet HHR to performance vehicles like the Mercedes SLS AMG and the (much more pedestrian in comparison) Chevrolet SSR. All the way up to the 60’s/70’s mash-ups of the current crop of pony cars; grabbing bits and pieces in an attempt revive the mojo that can only be found in the golden age of automotive performance.

In hotrodding you have the H.A.M.B., who are ceaselessly devoted to their image of the traditional hot rod. There’s also the rockabilly-driven “rat rod” craze, which attempts to mimic the traditional hot rod, but with a modern touch. As well as the other side of the coin, which would be what some would call a “real” rat rod; designed intentionally out of different, mismatched or junk parts. Of course the lines blend and between the three hotrodding trends described (and the many others). But in all of them you’ll find the word “patina” thrown around quite a bit, whether in negative or positive connotation.

Patina has two meanings to a hotrodder: It can either be the naturally weathered paint/trim (in layers depending on what kind of life the vehicle lead) or it can be a simulation of weathered paint and trim. You’ll see this look often on 40-70’s trucks here in Arizona.

The vehicle above happens to be the engine bay of a 68-72 C-10 long bed (that has a homemade patina finish on the outside as well). What was under the hood is what was worth taking a picture, in my opinion. I personally have never gazed upon a matching patina’d engine. I’m not kidding: It shares it’s weathering and color scheme with the exterior of the truck.

There’s some cool things going on under the hood looking past the patina though. I mean, it has headers, which a real bonus to any engine. Having a good exhaust system is commonly overlooked by today’s “performance-oriented” youth. I blame it on a generation of F-body and 4.6L Modular cars that make headers a chore.

You may expect me to judge the aesthetics of this vehicle harshly, because I’ve been known to before. However, the owner was a very nice guy that bought the work-in-progress vehicle you see above and is trying to fix it while he uses it. I’m sure every gear head can sympathize with that situation. Though I must admit that I do get a kick out of the headers paint job, they make it look like it’s running super rich, even though the truck was dead cold when I snapped this picture. If anyone else has pictures they’ve taken of patina paint jobs on engines (especially if they match the truck) I would love to see them in the comment section below. Perhaps we’re witnessing a new phenomenon in car modification.

*Update 09/20/2012: Figured I would include this picture Mike took of the truck that night at the Pavillions:

Click here to go to it in the Gallery section.

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3 thoughts on “Engine Patina

  1. Wow, I didn’t notice the engine patina in person at all, that’s really interesting. Who’d have known you could get engine dress up products at Michael’s? Just like you said though, I can’t hate on it, he was a nice guy and it was a cool truck.

    • Haha, yeah me and Trevor were pointing and talking about the truck when you went to take pictures of that black roadster and it attracted the attention of the owner. I asked him to pop the hood and he obliged and told me some info about the history of the truck. His brother apparently owns a 68-72 as well.

  2. Pingback: Fake-Fake Patina | Generation: High Output

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