|There has always been products available to preserve and refresh your car's paint.|
photo source: ebay
Maybe you should try to save what you've got. First.
New paint on an old car.
It's kind of a car keeper's dream. Or nightmare.
No matter how careful and attentive you've been to your car's present paint, the time comes when it can't be rescued any more.
It has become a bit faded, with the color less vibrant, and no matter what you try, it won't maintain a shine.
There may be noticeable scratches, stains, discolored or rough spots. Yeah, you should have wiped off that bird crap right away!
Maybe a little (or a lot) of minor body damage and dings.
Is it time for some body work and a new coat of paint?
Well, what's wrong with a little patina?
A car can be original only once? Right?
Aren't survivor cars the hot thing right now?
If you really don't have any pride in the appearance of your car, couldn't you just claim that it was a Barn Find?
A barn find that was found parked in your driveway!
There is a certain attraction to collectors and hobbyists of a well maintained, preserved through sympathetic use, vintage car. The paint, trim, interior and upholstery are just as they came from the factory. Just a bit worse for the passage of time, just like us.
If the particular example has been well maintained since new, there is no real need for restoration, in fact to restore the car would be to destroy an original.
The older and rarer the car the more attractive this concept is.
Original owner cars can fall into that category. That is unless of course, the original owner was a real slob!
Generally the original buyer won't do irreversible damage to the car during the first few years of ownership. Although there are those that try very hard. Unfortunately some succeed. Unless there is outright abuse most can be cleaned up and saved. Modern paints are quite resistant to fading and staining. At least for the first five years or so.
If not, there is still plenty of paint thickness for cutting and polishing.
One of the plum finds for car guys is the well maintained and preserved millennial or older car.
A good cleaning and waxing, a general detail, can make them look like they've been stored in a time capsule.
They are valued because they are rare finds.
I once went to see an early 50's Cadillac that had been sitting under a tarp in a grove of trees for over thirty years.
It seems as though the tarp was regularly replaced, because it doesn't appear that too much moisture broached the interior. The finish outside was faded, with surface rusting on the top surfaces, There was some body rust through. Even the grille was rusted through in spots. But open that door and the interior was unbelievably intact and preserved. The dash wood grain and chrome and steel was flawless. The wool mohair upholstery and carpets were like new. It didn't even smell too musty.
I'm sure that the upholstery would start to pull apart if it was placed back into daily service. My '56 Cadillac had a rear seat that appeared to be in beautiful original condition. After I started using the car regularly the foam rubber cushions began to crumble, the stitching began to fail, and the upholstery fabric stated to disintegrate.
Pretty soon the seat didn't look so beautiful anymore.
So what's the point? Protecting interior surfaces from UV light exposure is important to their preservation.
All this work washing and waxing my truck and Explorer reminded me of what I had read in the Car- Keepers Guide.
Preservation is always the key.
Try to avoid having to repaint your car for as long as possible.
|I just finished re reading this book.|
Refurbish the existing paint by carefully polishing and waxing and touching up chips and damage.
Always the best idea, when possible.
Not only cheaper, but it usually looks better. It also preserves it's value.
I went back to re- read the book, Ultimate Auto Detailing by David Jacobs Jr. It's part of my personal library.
|Lot's of good tips on preserving your car.|
This is the complete guide to detailing your auto for Concourse competition or just your own enjoyment and satisfaction.
I seem to find myself in a detailing frame of mind lately. First my truck, then the Explorer, then my XJ6.
The Explorer came out pretty nice, but there had been years of neglect before I bought it. The car lot had professionally polished and waxed the paint before I bought it. But realistically it was just a cheap old truck and it was just clean enough, but still it was mechanically well maintained. It's a bit of a hobby trying to get it back to looking as good as I can. Still I only paid a couple of grand for it. There are limits to what I'll do.
The stakes with my F 150 were much higher, I bought this vehicle new, so I'm the one responsible for it's lack of care. I paid much more for it than any of my old cars.
Luckily, I acted before real irreversible damage had been done. I plan to keep up with the need to wash and wax and to continue improving and maintaining the paint.
My XJ6 has been babied a bit under my ownership. A wash and wax did the trick. I also washed the front floor mats and carpet where I had a huge coffee spill. The rest of the interior looked nice and clean.
Of course I should have been on top of things from the beginning. The best time to preserve your vehicle is as soon as you get it home.
No need to assign blame. Life gets in the way. Pay now or pay later. It will only get more expensive.
All of my vehicles except the '51 Jag can be cosmetically rehabilitated. Actually most of them already have, as they get the attention they need. I keep the XJS, XJ6 and "96 Mustang under covers when I'm not driving them. My cul de sac kind of looks like one of those old mansions in a horror movie where the furniture in the abandoned house is covered up in sheets. I don't use expensive covers, but I do use covers. Religiously.
I've had discussions where some guy will say that it's bad to use cheap single layer covers. They don't last and they can scratch your paint with grit from the dust that works through the fabric. Sure that's true, but I'd rather deal with those micro scratches than the discoloration that comes from finding a huge blob of bird crap or tree sap that's been sitting on the finish for days. Or the discoloration and damage that UV rays can inflict on the paint and the interior. There is a build up of dust on the car but I deal with that with a car duster.
Detailing and preservation is the first step. Try to keep your car original. Chances are you don't want to pay the expense that a really good paint job will set you back.
Now if you find yourself in a position where the paint on your car is beyond saving, or it was in a collision, or you just bought a car that would be greatly improved by a new coat of paint, don't despair. There are low priced paint shops out there. If you can realign your expectations to their reality you might find yourself fairly well satisfied. I did.