Craigslist Art: 1971 Lincoln Mark III Desert – Patina


When most people think of car photos on Craigslist, they think of blurry, out of focus pictures with strategically placed fingers blocking the license plate. However, one can occasionally find pictures of exceptional, almost artistic quality. Take these examples I found on a Craigslist ad about a year ago. For some reason, this set of photos really speaks to me – one was even the desktop wallpaper on my computer for quite some time.


I’ve always hated rust. Rust is an ugly cancer that eats away at cars, until there is nothing left. Patina, especially of the desert variety captured here, is another thing altogether. Maybe it is the fact that patina is less destructive than rust – theoretically, the parts could be removed, media blasted, and painted and be as good as new.

But I think that rather misses the point. Patina is about the past, not possibilities.

My favorite angle

Maybe it is the way that patina captures age and marks the years of time in the way that a frame-off restoration never could. Maybe it is how patina takes a mass-produced item and makes it unique and personal. John Yemma probably put it best when he penned the following in 2009:

Monuments are anchors in time. Epochs pass, weather erodes, people lose interest. This cannot be helped. But patina itself is worth appreciating. Patina is the value that age puts on an object. It’s what makes an antique antique. It is experience, maturity, the soft sheen of time. Patina wasn’t present at the spanking-new creation. It comes from a life lived.

This Mark has lived well indeed.