I’m happy we live in an era where the well-worn look can be celebrated. It encourages people to go out, drive their cars, get stone chips on the fenders and bugs in the grille. The seats will get worn and the floors will get dirty. The dirt and grime come not from neglect, but rather from regular use. Having shiny, well-detailed cars may be traditional—but so is having a car you can get in and go.
It’s hard to pinpoint the first time I noticed patina. Was it on a piece of my mom’s furniture or was it at a car show in a church parking lot a few towns over? When I was younger, I remember being drawn to the cars with old paint, old chrome and a little bit of wear. Even as a kid, I knew they had interesting stories to tell.
While walking around the L.A. Roadster Show this summer, I came across an old Ford that had the weathered look that I love so much. The car in question was Don Dillard’s Deuce—a full-fendered roadster with plenty of mysterious history. The story goes that it was raced on the dry lakes during hot rodding’s golden age, and it was returned to the street as a full-fendered hot rod. The green paint—now faded, cracked and peeling—was applied sometime in the ’50s. I examined the layers in awe.
More than half a century after the roadster hit the streets, Don transformed it into the car you see here complete with updated underpinnings and smallblock power. I remembered the car from issue #32 of The Rodder’s Journal, and it got my heart racing to finally take in all of its patina’d glory. Maybe it was the paint, or maybe it was just the excitement of seeing a magazine car in person, but either way, this Deuce is certainly worth a second look. Would you rather be looking at perfect paint? Me neither.