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.
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.
I can understand how someone could see the beauty in these photos, but these just depress the hell out of me. Nothing is sad than seeing a beaten up old luxury car, wasting away to nothing.
I remember fully, I think either from this year or last. I walked down to the gas station near my house, and I saw an old car parked near the hotel next door. I went over there, and it was a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado in white, I was excited to finally see one in the wild. Then I got up close. It was too far gone, the grille and headlight assembly was no longer there, there was rust all over, the part of the roof that had the vinyl top on it had almost disintegrated to nothing, none of the chrome trim remained, no hubcaps, and the interior looked like someone was living in it. It was depressing, I bought my stuff from the gas station and walked back home without a second glance.
Worse than that, back in 01 in Iowa Park TX there was a really clean 76 Mark IV Bill Blass at a gas station i cataloged. They had only bought it because of the 460. Turned it into a dirt track car, destroyed it, then threw it away! I saw it shortly before it disappeared and there wasn’t a straight body panel on it. Still angers me. I’ve had several of those neanderthals ask if any of my dinosaurs are for sale from time to time, and I do tend to be rather rude to them. If I have anything to say about it, they’re not going to destroy all of ’em!
Where is it in the desert? Me ‘n Bubba is gunna get our shot guns and have us some fun. First we gotta pool our money for gas for the El Camino and enough Keystone Beer to make an afternoon of it.
Super cool pics. After seeing a million classic cars in shining chromes and perfect paint job, I always enjoy seeing a “real world ” car in patina.
Nice pics, unfortunate about the vandalism. I’d rather try to come up with an interior than the rusted out lower 12″ of the car.
“Patina” is a delicate thing. This isn’t patina so much as a weathered, abandoned car. The earlier post of the book consisting of Curbside NYC finds is more like real patina, (the book by the way is unavailable due to a low publishing run). A “real world car” would be a car like this owned by the rancher who bought it new, keeps it well maintained and garaged, with faded paint in spots , a few dents and scratches, a slightly worn interior with a frame mounted heavy duty tow hitch. A car that would still see a fair amount of use. I would call those cars “survivors” which I find more attractive than over restored trailer queens.
I used to really love these Mark IIIs. I thought that they were the classiest cars ever built at the time. I felt they would obviously be cherished collector cars by the time they were twenty five or thirty years old. Maybe not so much. If I were to pull the trigger on an old Mark, it would have to be the Mark VII, Now my favorite.
I agree with you that this car is on the other side of the divide between “patina” and “hopeless pos”. This poor thing has been turned into wrecking yard material, which is a shame.
I will also echo you that I don’t find Mark IIIs quite as attractive as I did when I was younger and they were newer. I still like them better than Mark IVs, but would be tempted by a Mark V over one of these. Although that premium gas 460 in the older car might change my mind. 🙂
I disagree, I bet there would be a few MkIII owners with rusty cars that would love to get their hands on this.
I expect there would be a few people who would get it back roadworthy without touching the mechanicals, just for the head-turning (brain-exploding?) factor.
Yes this car is too far gone to save since it would need all that glass, lights and all the other items that were vandalized not to mention the interior and all of its switch gear being toast.
However someone with a rusty car could either use this as a shell for all of their parts or at least harvest the fenders, doors and cut patch panels out of those quarters, floor pans ect.
The problem of course is that the cars that need a new body due to rust are half way across the country.
I see those photos, and I see my parents’ yard as I was growing up. The creosotebush, the distant hills and mountains, the abandoned car. Sorry; to me that isn’t patina, it’s the look of an abandoned junker. We had them in spades when I was a kid, cars that died, cars acquired for parts: Dad’s ’47 Cadillac Fleetwood after it aged out of usefulness, a ’48 Cadillac acquired for its engine, a ’48 Chevy acquired for parts, a similar vintage Pontiac, a ’36 Chevy panel truck abandoned by its original owner. They all sat among the creosotes in our yard, and it’s painful to behold. At least Dad finally got rid of them all by the mid-70s.
This is very depressing. Such a beautiful car left to rot. Just sad.
In my book patina is overdone. No more so than when a seller believes a car is worth more because it has “patina” and yet all the seller did was nothing except not care for the car.
The rust pattern on the hood is interesting, it seems more like it had a small to moderate underhood fire and that area then rusted. The rest of the car just has the paint burned off from the sun down to the primer.
I’m thinking you may be right that it may have had a carb fire. It is plausible that is why it was left to die. As far as the rest of the paint I think that is due in part to a repaint since we see 3 layers and the pattern on the roof that looks like they Jamed it first around the edges and then overlapped when spraying the field of the roof leading to that stripe down the middle.
That first shot looks like a still from the horror movie “The Car”…
Coincidence, I think not…
Looks like the same make and model according to Wikipedia ;o)
Calling this patina is like saying that Ozzy Osborne is aging well.
This looks more like Keith Richards than Ozzy
Nice quote from John Yemma
The thing with patina is fashion and authenticity are intertwined with it, and sometimes the the authenticity is unfashionable. That’s the difference between a well worn pair of jeans torn at the knees, and a well worn pair of jeans torn at the ass.
Best way to make an old car personal? Drive the damn things! Good paint or bad paint you’ll make a unique statement.
I am with what seems to be the majority opinion that it seems a crying shame to see a beautiful old mark left like this, but it does make me wonder what the story is that took this car from shiny and new in a Lincoln dealers showroom to being left for dead in the desert. if only they could talk!
(hey Jason….bet you could put together an interesting fictional tale! how bout it?)
I _HATE_ the current faux patina fad because RUST NEVER SLEEPS so all those vehicles the retards are (redacted) to make them rusty, are going to be worthless scrap in a few years then gone forever .
Nevertheless this car’s photos do look neat in an odd sort of way .
I remember when the Desert was chock full of oldies like this except they were al early 1950’s at the newest .
This car is clearly junk yet could (?should?) be the basis for the resurrection of a complete and running Down East rust bucket….
On Craigslist? I’ve gotta ask, how much did they want, and how did they describe it?
Let me guess…
“Ran when parked”
“Needs minor work”
“A/C could use a charge”