I was just watching an episode of Chasing Classic Cars. This is the one where he finds the 1921 Stutz Bearcat. They said something about a "protectant"? that they put on the original paint and metal to preserve it. What would that be?
It could be anything from wax to clear coat paint. There's been a trend toward preserving the "patina" of old vehicles the last few years. Most often, the vehicle is sprayed with semi-gloss clear. Everything is coated; including bare metal, rust and fading paint.
Personally, I think it looks like crap. Especially if you're spending $40K to $150k to restore or modernize the vehicle. The quick-flippers do this a lot to save body work under the guise of preserving history. If that's desired, why not just leave everything as is?
Another thing that i have noticed, the "barn finds" are more popular with the dust(read "patina") on them rather than being washed. I don't get it. I am all for original preservation classes, but to leave the dust and mouse crap on them is just nuts! JMHO. Dave
Various things could be used, but most of them come down to some type of oil. I think the two most popular ones are ATF and Boiled Linseed oil. I have just tried some boiled linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits on some parts of my T doodlebug to see what that does over ATF I was using.
If you wax rust, it clouds up white as the wax dries because you can not get the wax out of the crevices. I don't like clear coat, because think about what happens when you paint over rust. It will come back through at some point. If you could clear coat the whole panel and seal it, it might be good, but metal still can breath and rust from the backside out. I personally don't want a bunch a clear coat to start coming off the car like a bad 90's automaker paint job.
I did not get to see the rest of that episode, so I couldn't see what it was. Usually if the rust has a nice deep brown tint to it vs. a light brown dry rust color, then some type of oil was used.
I use ATF on my pickup truck as it has an old mostly brush painted exterior. The ATF gives it a nice low sheen and keeps it clean looking while maintaining the finish at a low cost.
Verne - You may try emailing them? They still look like a small operation and my respond if you keep it brief?
You guys who are using ATF or BLO, does it not tend to collect dust/bugs? Especially the ATF? I could see where the BLO would eventually dry. I've never used it on anything other than wood.
Hal, If you live in or around a dusty area, it may not be the ticket for you. Yes, it does collect fine flying objects (dust/pollon--never got bugs though). If you leave it on for a short time to let it penetrate and buff off the excess, then things get better. But then you take away some of the finish in that process.
My pickup truck I simply pour some ATF on a rag and buff it into the paint. It dries, doesn't feel greasy or oily at all, and doesn't collect dust and dirt any worse than a cleaned and waxed nice paint job. I try and do it about once a year, it seems to be ok.
The doodlebug sits outside, so I try to lay it on a little thicker (atf) without dripping or running off though, and very lightly buff the excess off. It only takes a short time though for it to wear off, mostly after a few rain storms, but I am sure the sun on the darker finish and uv light helps to bake it off so to speak.
I just tried the boiled linseed oil/mineral spirits on the doodlebug, I like how it dried for the most part--still a few tacky areas, but am curious how it will weather outside compared to the atf.
I found there was a product on the market, which the name escapes me, that some tractor folk were raving about. It turned out the main ingredients were mineral spirits and boiled linseed oil--imagine that.
In short, I am of the belief, if you want to "oil" rust, then you will have to keep up on it frequently unless it is inside a garage or storage of some sorts--then it may only be a once a year type deal.
This is a subject I've done some research into while trying to conserve our Paige-Detroit as well as for discussions I've led and been a part of.
There are a couple different schools of thought. Most often applying a permanent finish like clear coat is not a favorable process. Like mentioned previously, it traps any moisture and allows the rust to continue. In the case of a relatively common Model T that is completely rusty, clear coat may be the best way to go as a temporary fix or stabilization process. In a more unusual car, with some, most or all of its original paint, clear coat would probably be viewed as a detriment.
Oil or petroleum based products work on completely rusty cars. It is removable, although difficult, should the next owner decide to do that. But, it is nearly impossible if it gets to wood.
The ultimate conservation process would be to park the vehicle in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. That's just not realistic for most of us.
Typically, the best conservation process is careful cleaning, minimal careful use, being aware of the fragile condition of the vehicle and monitoring the vehicle carefully for any deterioration.
Of course, "patina", as in dirt and dust, is a different topic. Simply put, it is usually viewed as a result of years of neglect or just poor storage.
Just some random thoughts.
I have seen some clear coated projects. As Chris said, they are not the most desirable. Perhaps it was the glossy finish, which could probably be made a matte finish, but still it would appear fake to me. I remember a friend of mine from many years back talking about using oil/kerosene on an old Model T. He said it looked great until it got dusty. Dan B - I looked at the Chasing Classic Cars site for some place to ask a question but it looked a little busy. I'm still looking into that. As David S said, leaving the mouse droppings on a car is ridiculous. I have a 1913 Buick that is like that and it literally STINKS!!! It is a wood body and the urine has probably soaked into the wood. I appreciate all of your input!
Thanks Chad and others. Both of ours still have paint, in most places, but the Touring is faded a good bit and has a fairly rough surface due to little spots of rust coming through. I don't really want to restore it, but it wouldn't break my heart if it looked a little better. Wax is not an option for the reason mentioned above. I may try the ATF or BLO. Still haven't decided.