Is there any way to tell if a car has original paint without damaging the paint on the car?
After you see a couple, you'll recognize it immediately.
If looks like tar with crazing throughout it to me.
Based upon your description I'd say mine has been repainted :-) Thanks!
Even most of the ones people think have not been repainted have. Testing is the only sure way to know. Truly original paint cars are few. It was not uncommon for a car to be reapinted at two or three years old since the finishes were not as durable and the driving environment more harsh. Era advertising supports this with the products they were selling and the fact that home refinish jobs were not uncommon. That's something we really take for granted with the paints available today on new cars. A refinish job doesn't usually enter someones mind unless they're repairing collision damage or their car is already pretty old.
When restoring my Grandfathers 24 Coupe I'm pretty sure it hadn't been repainted at least underneath the fenders.
Another place was underneath the switch cover plate on the dash.
Both areas looked fairly decent. The ares underneath the fenders near the top were the best.
I buffed out the area under the switch plate and inside the fenders near the top. They looked good but needed a repaint.
Original paint.....from the 1950's or 60's! (maybe even the 70's)
I have a 1926 fordor with its original black paint. Like Dave says, You will know it when you see it. It does look like a thin coat of roofing tar smeared on. More than likely if you are looking at a paint job and wondering if it has been re-painted, it has.
Original paint with its runs, drips and no errors and what-not can look tough. The low electric trunk (turtle deck) that's on the 18 Runabout here looks slightly crazed (like my brain) yet pretty good. It varies. Don's paint on his Touring looks pretty fair!
As IF I have a clue.... Pffftt!
Testing would be the only conclusive way to know.
Most Model T's that have some degree of anecdotal evidence for wearing original factory paint....have paint that looks like this.
You have a dull finish with spots of what I call "freckling" popping through. I've seen it in person on John Mays' tudor sedan, my Touring, NOS Model T panels and a half dozen other cars in good clear photos.
One giveaway for a Model T not wearing original paint is cracked paint like this.
This tends to happen to lacquer with age, and is indicative of a Model T that was repainted sometime near the 1950's.
All of this comes witn some caveats. The "freckled" paint I've seen has only been on the Model T's from the black era. I've never closely examined (in person) a non black-era Model T and am not confident enough about them to comment on them. And...I'm sure there are exceptional T's from any era that have lived extraordinarily pampered lives that have original paint that doesn't look like this.
This, of course, means very little to most folks and I'm not sure how it affects the value of a car, if it does at all. I just personally sort of geek out on it and have had multiple old cars wearing factory paint (some of them wearing almost perfect paint and some pretty raggedy, like my T) and I once owned several hundred antique car body panels that were removed from wrecked cars when they were only a few years old.
Anyway...I could go on and on about this topic for a long time...too long. It just intriuges me to no end and has since I was a kid. Somewhere in the early 1970's, one of my dad's hotrodder buddies had a 1940 Ford coupe his dad had purchased brand new. It had extremely low miles and had very nice factory paint. It spent a lot of time in my dad's shop behind our house while they turned it into a hotrod and I remember studying the original finish and thinking that these guys were destroying it when they applied a fancy metallic paint job. I also watched these same guys do the same thing to a '54 Corvette. Of course, these were just used cars at the time, but still...this is what got me started with my obsession.
The patina thing has become somewhat of a fad now with people clearcoating over cars that are mostly rusty or even faking old paint and I think that fad will pass. I know the topic can illicite strong responses from some, but I try to stay out of those conversations. For me...it's simply been a decades old fascination. I personally prefer cars that are still wearing about 80% or more of their original paint.
This smeared on roofing tar business reminds me of a Gus Wilson Model Garage story that was about repainting a car. (very early on the series). Gus used a brush so this may have been common and that brushed look could very well be a home owner 2nd coat. I see no reason why a flowed on & dipped paint job should look brushed.
I agree Charlie.
A flowed-on Model T paint job shouldn't look brushed. Instead, worn paint that was applied with the flow-on sprayer may even show the faintest evidence of the sprayer in the form of faint lines or striations.
What does the paint look like on the so called "Rip van winkle"?
And while we're at it where is that car?