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Patina or polish?


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#1 Martin

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:54 AM

Not a new subject I'm sure, but I struggle with the choice to remove the decades of patina on a brass chassis. Repairs are an exception I believe. Its only original once but is it OK to remove that patina that proves its age?
 
In all other collecting and restoration that I can think of, coins, bronzes, furniture, etc., it is a mistake to polish/tumble refinish or over clean in any way. Except for brass slot cars maybe? It's a case by case decision, I know.

Don't get me wrong I love the shiny stuff, too.
 
But It took 45-50 years to get an original hand-built brass chassis to this condition and It would pain me to remove that surface, never to be seen again by anyone in our life time. 
 
On massed-produced factory cars I clean, fix, and try to make look as good as new. But the handmade "Pro race cars," their the history and patina is a story well worth saving as we try to do.
 
Would love to hear your views on this subject. What is the criteria all you collectors/restorers use to make this decision?

 

P1150293.JPG


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Martin Windmill




#2 Jaeger Team

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:38 AM

Leave it as is. Build a shiny replica.
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Maurizio Salerno

#3 raisin27

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 08:33 AM

Looks to be in great shape, I say leave it as it is.


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Michael Garrett

 

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 I own a car from each of the big 3, I have a Ford, a Mercury, and a Lincoln.


#4 Pablo

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:06 AM

Would love to hear your views on this subject. What is the criteria all you collectors/restorers use to make this decision?

 

Same as yours, I agree with what you said.


Paul Wolcott

#5 Tim Wood

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:17 AM

Leave it the way it is, change is good, as suggested you can make a copy. Enjoy both as is.


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Tim Wood 


#6 MattD

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 09:40 AM

Fine as is.


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Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#7 Martin

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for the opinions and thoughts. What works best to preserve that patina, Wax, Mop and Glow ,Furniture polish, Saddle soap or some kind of oil. what works best for you guys?

 

By the way, its not about the example in the pic I show, I am asking about original vintage brass chassis in general.


Martin Windmill

#8 dc-65x

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:32 AM

Nice chassis Martin!

 

Look how beautifully Mike has done his soldering   :wub:

 

post-1610-0-24574700-1543301614.jpg

 

Mike did a DVD on chassis building a few years ago. Any scratch builder would benefit from viewing it.


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Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
The Independent Scratchbuilder
There's much more to come...


#9 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:56 AM

My old race chassis from  the '70s have lots of patina. I haven't put anything on them to preserve it, thinking that over time they're only going to develop more patina.


Bill Fernald
 

I intend to live forever!  So far, so good.  :laugh2:  :laugh2: 


#10 Dave Crevie

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:16 PM

If it is only "patina", leave it. If it is serious corrosion, remove it. There has been a big debate about this for decades among old car collectors. Most want a "better than new" concours restoration. But there is a big contingent that feels that every scratch and dent in the car has history. There is a story about how it happened. So they like to preserve that.

 

Now, most concours events have a "preservation" class.   


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#11 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:40 PM

Martin,

 

When speaking of old slot car (or slot racer) chassis, “patina” is actually just dirt (in its most general sense) and oxidation, and as such has no functional value (IMHO) beyond serving to support the arguments of age and “original” condition.

 

This may very well be valuable to a collector, who sees the chassis as a valuable object, but not to a restorer, who sees the chassis as either an archaeological object or the basis of a historically accurate restoration.

 

In this case if you are confident this chassis was in fact built by Mike Steube, is in original “as built” or at least as-raced mechanical condition, has some value as a collectible object thereby, and that the patina will serve as adequate proof of the same, by all means leave it as it is.

 

If you intend or are considering restoration for display and/or historical example purposes, or as the basis of a drivable piece of slot car history, by all means clean it up (and repair any damage).

 

Surely you have seen the old restored race cars that are entered in the Goodwood Festival of Speed each year; they are emphatically not covered in dirt and oxidation…


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#12 Martin

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 12:52 AM

All great comments, I have noticed a trend over the years at least in vintage cars that an original paint even if it has obvious rust. Is now sealed and proudly displayed. I get that.

 

For me, if a vintage race chassis needs lots of repairs I would not try to save that surface, just too many inconstancy's. Does not look good to me.

 

If a race chassis that has survived all this time with no damage and has that even brown patina I will save it. So that's why I said its a case by case decision. Clean and celebrate its survival. Its Rare and to me, valuable.   

 

The main reason for bringing this subject up is I bought a tumbler, and in my excitement, I thought I would throw all my chassis in the barrel. Fact is I never have used it, thinking it best to hand clean even it takes 10 times as long. 

 

With old motorcycles, I clean with kerosene and clean what is left of the paint If it is worth saving. If it's gone? Strip and restore. But I love "the save" so I look for those candidates In all that I spend time on.

 

I think we are all on the same page, I love shiny and new some of the recreations shown here are spectacular. I want a mix in my collection as most probably do.

 

I hope this topic makes enthusiast stop for a minute and not jump to over the top restoration, just because it'sshinyy and new. We like old, that's all my stuff is old but preserved.

 

The top chassis almost went in the tumbler. I am glad I did not. I just cleaned the 1969-70 race crud off it. No, I did not save the crud and bag it.

 

The bottom chassis has not been touched and is as found.

 

Please share some of your survivor saves here. I for one would love to see them.

 

P1150290.JPG

 

100_9451.JPG


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Martin Windmill

#13 mike1972chev

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:21 AM

Just to add.... in ALL of my resto attempts,there has always been hard evidence of the past still shining through. In my 1:1 vehicles all have some "battle scars" that always seem to prompt stories being told ... To me,THAT is the idea of buying and owning these items.. :) My collections of just about any items seems to be divided between having some "perfect" and then having some that have been "proven" and FULLY tested to it's limits... My 1:1 Camaro has been owned since 1980,and had many body panels replaced,repaired and no where close to the original drive train. (EVOLUTION!! Metamorphic)

 

So,If you took this Steube slot car and went to restore it,polishing the chassis like it probably never was to begin with,re soldered some joints if it was needed,rebuilt the motor replacing the winding or even a bad arm,replaced the dry rotting tires,new guide shoe,ETC,(heaven forbid if you did a re pop body on this !!! lol)Is it even the SAME vintage,period correct collector car it was when you bought it now????  lol It probably evolved a bit with the original owner even a bit when he had it ,but after that,it is just being modified from it's original form from then on..... (MY opinion)  ;)


Michael J. Boruff


#14 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 10:21 AM

If you want to add "patina" to a new chassis rub the brass with

https://www.walmart....d-Pack/17163515

And the piano wire with

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B002CJ1X4E
David Parrotta

#15 Martin

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 10:40 AM

Good stuff Mike. What is the judged class called for a un-restored vintage car. Like a Pebble beach kind of event?

 

David, interesting. Do you have a pic of what that stuff looks like when applied on a chassis?

 

Did find this,

https://autoweek.com...its-complicated

 

and this.

Leaving Well Enough Alone: The Rise of the Unrestored Classic

By ROB SASS

 

AUG. 19, 2007

Pebble Beach, Calif.

WHEN it came time to freshen up Michelangelo’s “David” a few years ago, a spirited debate broke out over which restoration process would be most appropriate for the priceless artwork. Though the cleaning techniques under consideration varied widely in their aggressiveness, it is safe to assume that no conservator recommended sandblasting the 14-foot tall hunk of marble to remove the centuries of accumulated grime.

A similar reverence for original finishes and the patina of time is developing among collectors of classic cars, an appreciation for automobiles that have been well preserved through the years rather than restored to showroom (or better) condition.

One sign of the evolving attitudes can be seen at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance, taking place here today on the Monterey Peninsula. Considered the premier American concours, Pebble Beach added a Preservation Class for unrestored prewar cars in 2001; this year, a second Preservation Class, for unrestored postwar cars, is included.

The new class is a validation of the values held dear by collectors like Gary Bartlett of Muncie, Ind., who owns one of the most significant unrestored postwar cars, a 1957 Jaguar XKSS. One of 16 built before a factory fire ended production, it was the ultimate supercar of its era, essentially a street-legal version of the D-Type Le Mans racecar, and a favorite of celebrity playboys.


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Martin Windmill

#16 Dave Crevie

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 12:26 PM

That's it. Preservation Class. Cars can not be restored in any way, except mechanically to keep them running. The vintage sportscar

club I belonged to had a yearly concours event, and had begun having a preservation class. Those events at the Saddle and Cycle Club

in Chicago were primo. It brought out the very rare and valuable cars that the owners were beginning to get a little skittish about entering

in real racing events. Too bad the club dropped that event to concentrate on vintage and historic racing. 



#17 mike1972chev

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 12:53 PM

Not to "trash up"t his thread at all, Martin. So I will try keep this short. I was watching some argue the point once: "Where are all of those old drag cars at anymore and why aren't they being restored to 100% condition and raced anymore??" Well ,here is the truth about many of those so-called "barn find"cars.

 

Let us talk just about any top fuel rails from the '50s/60s era. They were still a fairly new design that was constantly being upgraded and re-engineered to the latest "trick of the week" parts and latest tech that was being developed and tried out. Couple that with the fact they were trashing engines, blowers, trans, clutches, slicks being burnt up, and body panels being destroyed in the process... Most of the car was evolving out of its original form in a constant state anyway.

 

Now take the fact a guy like say Connie Kallita, Don Schumacher, Prudhomme, etc., after constantly replacing stuff on it and finally then just sold it off to another,l esser racer who then started the whole process of evolution of their own on it until the entire "Frankenstein" mess was deemed obsolete,and probably was scrapped minus a few parts that would make it back into a new car being built, or just used for spare parts on a new rail.    :wacko2:

 

Most of thesso-calleded "fully-restored" drag machines of the past you are seeing today are in fact full-on reproductions that contain just a few of the original pieces installed on it, or just period-correct parts that resemble what was used during the era. And as far as being able to race any of these nostalgia cars, unless it's at an outlaw track some where, NHRA rules today makes these cars obsolete from a safety point of view. The cars that do actually race do not really resemble their older counterparts because of all of the upgrades needed. 

 

Soooooo, what is this thing called "originalequipment" anyway???  :scratch_one-s_head:

 

Well, that got long winded...


Michael J. Boruff


#18 Dave Crevie

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 03:20 PM

All real race cars go through various stages of "evolution" during their lifetimes. I have several that either came to me as basket cases, or 

very changed from when they were originally built. I find doing the research to bring it back to the way it was a big part of the fun of doing 

a restoration. There are plenty of magazine articles covering drag races in the '50s and '60s, as well as construction articles of those cars, that a pretty reasonable job of bringing them back to how they were built can be accomplished.

 

What I don't get is the popularity of "cackle fests," in which the cars are not raced. The owners just fire up the engines, and sit and rev them to see who can make the most noise. Those of us with vintage and historic sports racing cars do race them (at least I did until it got to too expensive). And we don't baby them. Those cars are flogged to within inches of their lives. And some do get damaged. But they are always fixed. And run again with the same intensity.

 

By the way, if you don't subscribe to Hot Rod Delux magazine, you should. There are lots of stories on famous drag cars and how the

current owners brought them back to their former glory.  



#19 Pablo

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:38 PM

Some day they may be able to get DNA off the fingerprints on that patina and clone a teenage Steube.

Just sayin'. :D :crazy:


Paul Wolcott

#20 Martin

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 11:27 PM

Enough chit chat, lets see some original barn find un-restored race slot cars. Dig'em out I know you got them stashed. Lets show them off. "Preservation Class" kind of stuff.


Martin Windmill

#21 Geary Carrier

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 11:40 PM

s-l500 (14).jpg

s-l1600 (45).jpg


Yes, to be sure, this is it...


#22 Martin

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 12:57 AM

Nice Champion Geary, always thought the collet wheels were a good idea, just did not catch on. Got any brass cars?

 

This is one I was going to restore because I feel the stains on the brass are a bit on the ugly side for me. What do you guys think? Patina or Polish?

Attached Images

  • 100_1958.JPG

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Martin Windmill

#23 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:46 AM

i would clean it up only because it's not the only chassis like this out there. I forget who built them, but 7 or 8, maybe 9 or 10, yrs. ago. there were three cars on here with these chassis that ultimately went to Edo in Switzerland. I want to say the builder was Art Tarver, but maybe I saved a link to them.

 

These were John Wessel's cars, not Art Tarver's. Here's the link: http://slotblog.net/...-wesselss-cars/


Bill Fernald
 

I intend to live forever!  So far, so good.  :laugh2:  :laugh2: 


#24 Martin

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for the link Bill, for sure same period. But a lot of differences. Cobra drop arm  etc.


Martin Windmill

#25 MSwiss

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:19 PM

A customer brought in this pretty standard plated Champion anglewinder chassis.

A few things I was surprised by

The metal tab, exposed in the bottom of the broken endbell tower.

I raced in that era but didn't own any motors with that "feature".

The other thing was the car handled absolutely fine with the vintage tires, totally untouched.

It helped that the motor seemed pretty slow.

6.9 was the best time I could run.

20181129_192227.jpg

The endbell looked like a bomb exploded in it.

 

As shown , the plastic tower is missing, exposing the metal.

 

The car only maintained a good gear mesh because the the original soldered the back of the can to the chassis rail.

 

20181129_192303.jpg

The pictured tires ran fine, just as you see them.

 

20181129_192346.jpg

I didn't catch it in this pic, but the arm had at least 1 balancing mark.

 

The bracket screw that is half out in the pic, was nice enough to fall out one of the times I stopped on the straightaway.


Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
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