Hooniverse Asks: Faux Patina?

One one hand, I want to applaud anyone out there who customizes, cherishes, and enjoys their vehicle. That’s what ROCS Auto has down with this Porsche 911. The car is called the ROCS Palo Alto 911 Panamericana Outlaw, and it looks the part. The idea is that this is what this Porsche would look like if it had been used as a Mexican road racing car for decades.
The problem I have here, is that it hasn’t done any of that. The car was built for a well-to-do California client that wanted a car to look like it’s lived a life it hasn’t. It’s fake. It’s faux patina.
I like the aesthetics of this car, but it hasn’t earned those aesthetics. And so I can’t stand behind it. This car is kind of lame, even while it’s cool at the same time.
This is fake ripped holes on overpriced jeans. This is artisanal insanity applied to the automotive space. It’s faux organic. It’s the Whole Foods of automotive styling.
I don’t like it.
But you might, and that’s okay. What do you think of this car and faux patina in general? 
[Source: FlatSixes]

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47 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Faux Patina?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    I’m not even sure that I like clearcoating over REAL rust.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I’m okay with that as long as (1) it is applied with a brush and/or roller and (2) it is load-bearing.

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      I do, admittedly, like this when it is done in a way that prevents further oxidation (neutralize the rust, then seal). It should only be surface rust, though– no rot. And I don’t like flaking chrome. Oxidized is ok, but flaking just looks trashy.

  2. bv911 Avatar

    Faux no, get that outta here…!
    (Not that others aren’t entitled to like it)

  3. tonyola Avatar

    I’m not big on patina for its own sake, even if it’s real. Let’s call it as it really is – deterioration. Cars are not like 300-year-old chairs. I’m not saying that every vehicle must be a Barrett-Jackson-quality restoration, but if you’re fixing up an old car (even if it’s a long-term work in progress), please try to set something aside for cosmetic improvements.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      Authenticity trumps cosmetic appearance.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        “I don’t know who the other two are, but the one in the middle looks like Willie Nelson.” One of the greatest punchlines ever.

    2. 1slowvw Avatar

      Up until very recently I’ve always had to chose between pretty and functional when working on projects. Now that I have a little disposable income and an a little older I find that I have done a great job brainwashing myself into caring almost solely about function.
      In short if the patina is real but not dangerous or structural then fine. If you paid for it…that’s not my style. I don’t know if I can judge others for wanting the look though.

    3. crank_case Avatar

      YES! ..and it’s not just cosmetic really, but functional, especially on a monocoque car. I think most of these “patina” cars tend to be in places with dry climates. Try living in in iron oxide perfect storm that’s Ireland, damp pretty much the whole year round, stuff never really dries out.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    How long until you can actually buy a brand new car with faux patina?
    I love old cars with a story to tell, but to falsify war wounds seems a bit ignoble.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      You can already buy new guns with faux patina. It is mainly seen with replicas of old guns.
      See the last one.
      Or if you just have more money than you know what to do with: http://cabotgun.com/better-than-custom-1911-pistols/the-vintage-classic/#1

      1. Harry Callahan Avatar
        Harry Callahan

        That car has a story. It’s called the General Maintenance. See Roadkill at motortrend.com .

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

      Chris, you always speak plainly yet lyrically.

  5. Fred Avatar

    Yet people like to point out the flaws in my Lotus.

  6. GTXcellent Avatar

    I’ll take it even further to say I don’t like the entire ‘genre’ of rat rods – and ESPECIALLY the custom built, high dollar rat rods. I don’t understand the effort and time and money to make something look beat up.
    Maybe it’s because I own a beater – well patina’d old car – but long for it to look brand new?

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Park it in your garage for a year, then you can call it a “barn find”!

  7. onrails Avatar

    Hey, if you’ve got a story to tell, tell it. Good on ya. But be damn sure you were actually there. Faux patina is like living vicariously through someone else’s deeds.

  8. 0A5599 Avatar

    I suddenly understand why “old money” people have dislike for the nouveau riche.

  9. mdharrell Avatar

    Faux patina is a direct insult to the craftsmanship and dedication displayed by those of us who lovingly park our cars outdoors under a tree year after year.
    Pro tip: Douglas fir is pretty good, but horse chestnut is astonishingly effective in all seasons.

    1. Manxman Avatar

      During a certain season the Texas live-oak tree drops a secretion that is impervious to any known solvent and is a host to a paint eating fungus. It turns paint into a crinkle finish not unlike that found on the dashes of British cars of a certain age.

  10. jotahesse Avatar

    I am more offended by the fact he ripped the branding on the car off a 550 Spyder that actually raced in 1955, as opposed to being original.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      I’m not offended, it’s more of a inner facepalm: history and cultural glitches may happen, but I’m sure someone picked that very consciously.
      Telefunken, as we knew it, fusioned with AEG in the late 60ies. After that, AEG-Telefunken died in the early 80ies. The shards were picked up 1985 by the Daimler Benz Corporate who sold the bits it didn’t want – Nokia bought the mobile communication branch in 1998 or so… the name is still around I guess and the owner of the brand may be an actual sponsor of that car, so we may be the ignorants here.

  11. Alcology Avatar


  12. Alff Avatar

    Familiarity breeds contempt. I’m not a fan of patina.

  13. neight428 Avatar

    I am with the hoonitariat. If you are going to work hard and spend money on a car, and you don’t really care for it to look good, then there are all manner of things that you can do with your money and time to make the car otherwise better. If looking worn is “better” to you, more power to you, I guess, but I’d go with the usual more power, handling, braking, etc if I am spending money.

  14. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    I value honesty. I’d much rather fondle some real B-cups instead of fake D-cups.
    If my car has scratches, dents, or rust, it is because it were earned in battle…not installed just to create a look.

  15. JayP Avatar

    What about a “tribute” car?
    Say a 1964 MGB with all the dents, dings and rash from LeMans?
    I’d dig that.

    1. Manxman Avatar

      “LeMons” cars have real patina.

      1. JayP Avatar

        The also have real moss growing on them…

        1. Zentropy Avatar

          Hey, I like moss. If I could get lichen to grow on my car, I’d literally never wash it again. Wait, I don’t wash it now…

          1. Manxman Avatar

            Stirling idea.

  16. njhoon Avatar

    I don’t particularly like it because it’s ‘fake’. Faux is French for fake. A car needs to earn it. Drive it treat it a little rough. Hate it when it breaks and betrays you, love it when it runs great and surprises you at it hidden qualities. Adjust to its personality, time it to yours, at some point it will have the bumps and bruises you desire.
    And a s a side note, it you like real patina look for the guy with the 356 he drives everywhere, even off road. It is awesome.

  17. Maymar Avatar

    I don’t hate it, although if it were my car, it’d have the falsified history (I mean, purely for the aesthetics, I don’t care about pretending it had a past that never happened), but I’d skip the patina.
    But rust is a thing to be feared, and I struggle with any faux-patina that tries to incorporate it.

  18. nanoop Avatar

    There are cars with camouflage paint that never went hunting, let alone to war. There are cars in matte paint that never served as camera car. There are cars that are gold-wrapped but will never be handed out as first prize. There are lifted AWD cars with roof rack, winch and snorkel in flawless, polished white. Castrol stickers on cars with Shell lubrication.
    Do your thing!

  19. Zentropy Avatar

    I like real patina. The wear, scratches, and dents that come with use and age are charming on old cars. I also appreciate the artistic skill required to pull off a fake patina that looks legit. However, I don’t like it when people try to pretend they’re someone they are not, so I have a hard time liking cars that do the same. Be it through faux patina, false badging, non-functional hood scoops, whatever.
    A car should represent what it truly is, and by that I don’t mean true to its OEM build sheet. If you stuff a Mustang small block into your Ford Fiesta and want to put 5.0 badges on the fenders, go for it. But don’t be tacking your eBay-found Mille Miglia badge on your grille or a Nurburgring track sticker on your back glass unless you and your car have actually been there and done that.

  20. Grant Linderman Avatar
    Grant Linderman

    I’m not a fan of patina, real or fake, on anything built after roughly 1970 and even then I’m only a ‘fan’ if the vehicle in question is either a truck or a budget build someone made in their garage.
    That 911 would be significantly cooler with a clean paint job in virtually any color (though, preferably something as eye-catching as the green on the 911 next to it in the shop in the video), in my opinion. But it’s not my money and it’s not my car… so my opinion doesn’t really matter. Also, the retrofitted 964 wing mechanism they put on it is pretty dope. Also dig the 911R taillights.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      I prefer passive vs. active aero, but considering I don’t like wings on 911s anyway, this is actually a cool compromise. Anything is better than the damned 2.7RS ducktail.
      I agree with you completely on the paint, though. There were some great 911 colors from the 70s that would have suited this car perfectly. Regardless of your feelings on patina, this is a car that looks better with a clean paint job. A ’56 Ford F100 wears patina much better.
      As for the taillights, I think the stock ones work better for the sloping rear design. Maybe Singer just wore me out with the overuse of R roundies, but I think they make the rear end look like a supermodel without eye makeup.

      1. Grant Linderman Avatar
        Grant Linderman

        Yeah I’m mainly digging the active spoiler just because I don’t love how older 911s look with ducktails (unless the aforementioned older 911 is actually a ’73 2.7RS). That and I’m sure adapting the 964 unit wasn’t super easy to do.

  21. Wayward David Avatar
    Wayward David

    I think it comes down to a question of honesty versus acknowledged fantasy role playing. It’s the difference between attempting to convince ‘the masses’ that something is real when it isn’t and acknowledging that of course it isn’t real, but inviting the observer to explore the idea with you and see how cool it would be if things did happen that way. In a non-automotive context, pretending to be a veteran of the Vietnam war when you really spent those years at home with a questionable medical deferment is not cool. Scrupulously attending to the details of your presentation as an enlisted man in a Civil War reenactment is cool because it is showing respect for the real thing. Cars that pretend to have survived grueling races suchbas this one aren’t cool because they are trying to steal the earned glory of the real cars and people behind them. But something like a Jurassic Park Ford Explorer? Cool AF.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      I see your point. If it’s obvious to the observer that the person/car is pretending or tributing, then it’s ok. But when that imitation might reasonably deceive the observer into believing it as truth, it’s not cool. That’s a logical distinction.

  22. Zentropy Avatar

    The builder seems terribly proud of the “Euro plate” on the front bumper, but I think it’s ridiculous. For one thing, it’s painted on. For another– regardless the cool factor of Steve McQueen– referencing an arrest for drunk driving on a car is inappropriate.

  23. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Fake is fake.
    Fake is pretending something that is one thing is something else. So fake is, by definition, dishonest.
    Porsche, especially the 911, is all about purity of design, no extraneous appendages just for looks, nothing ‘just for looks’ other than the pure shape itself. Porsche is sports car driving design distilled, honesty of design; and of design reflecting it’s purpose. In the 911’s case, the joy of driving, by the application of technology and development. Purity of design, by it’s purity, is honest, it is itself .
    And the aesthetic should reflect that honesty, that joy, that forward thinking, that modernist German, ‘European’ approach of science and technology achieving a solution to a problem. Glossy polished paint, (to help reduce aerodynamic drag), or alternatively, real patina developed over time, and recording and reflecting history, are suitable finishes for a Porsche. Graphics like on a race car might be suitable too in a direct reference to Porsche’s racing and design for racing history.
    They would all be honest approaches to mirror and complement the car and the company that made it and that company’s ethos.
    ‘Faux patina’ is just the latest customising ‘design trend’, like vinyl roofs were, or large flake candy metallic paint, or jacked up rear suspension showing that it’s been chromed. Customising trends are for looks, for appearance only, nothing else, they are surface, not depth
    Those trends would have looked wrong on a 911 in the seventies, as Porsche isn’t about passing trends, unless they involve improving technology like, perhaps, bigger wheels with low profile tyres or better lighting technology, or better aerodynamics. Any change has to be for improvement of the car and it’s purpose. Otherwise the change is dishonest, a lie that says Porsches are about looks only, transient fashion, and not the everlasting purity of purpose.
    And that is why ‘faux patina’ on a Porsche looks wrong today. It is a finish outside it’s context, it’s a finish for a hotrod in the US customising scene of today, today’s ‘fashionable’ look for a customised American car in California.
    It’s not a finish for a Porsche, it looks wrong because it is wrong.
    But I’m sure it won’t be the last, this trend is just starting.
    Wait til someone sticks this look on a Ferrari, the Italian Porsche. I wonder who’ll be first?
    Does Mansory know about this look yet?

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Yup, Iike I’ve posted elsewhere, the body is a functional, not cosmetic part of a monocoque car. It shouldn’t be neglected, and like you say, you tend to find this stuff in warm dry places like California than damp cold ones, where you don’t give rust even a tiny head start.
      Also, what’s with the “Telefunken” script on the car. They made microphones and broadcast equipment, records for a while, but even in the peak of the West German economic boom, I doubt they were using 911s as service cars. It’d be a bit like me getting a 240z and plastering Sony on it in a non-race livery sort of way.

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        I think Telefunken Radio was a sponsor for the Porsche 550s in the early 50s Carrera Panamericana races. Their radios were installed in the 356, hence the association. So, there’s legitimate livery history with the brand, though it’s a quarter century prior to this car’s manufacture.

  24. Batshitbox Avatar

    Two things:
    1.) It’s not my job to tell other people how to/not to paint their cars. (Thankfully, no one has ever told me how to/not to paint my cars.)
    2.) I don’t like faux-anything, as a general rule.
    One more thing.
    1.) I’d rather live in a mansion that was faux-Spanish Colonial, or some such, than a drab modern-simple McMansion. Likewise, I think if I had to drive some cookie-cutter Porsche I’d want to jazz it up somehow. This is just this guy claiming his car as his own.