Find of the Day: 1969 Patina and Pinstripes

Patina’d cars are not for everyone. Purists look at these well-worn vehicles and see weeks of bodywork in their future. Bondo, welding, patch panels, and hours and hours of sanding can transform these rusty rides into show queens that win awards. They see unrealized perfection or a literal time machine that could look fresh off the showroom floor when enough time and money are thrown at the rusty carcass. But to some, a crusty old car celebrates the life and miles driven over decades. The flaws illustrate the real history of the vehicle. Patina enthusiasts scour the internet, used car lots, backyards, alleys, and barns for the perfectly worn finish and are willing to pay a premium for something that looks almost worn out.

The desire for the perfect amount of paint fade and surface rust leads many to try and manufacture the look. Paint stripper, wire wheels, salty water, and who knows what else are thrown at body panels to try and get the right look. Some achieve moderate success, others end up with, well, a car that looks like it was scrubbed down using a cinder block.

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Let’s get this out of the way: this 1969 Volkswagen Crew Cab Transporter has an applied patina. While genuine fade and decay are preferable, the created corrosion on this bus is well done. What is real on the body are the rust holes. It’s easy to imagine the buyer debating what to do with this workhorse, and perhaps adding rust was easier and more affordable than all that metal work. Whatever their reason, the end result is captivating.

Moving beyond the rusty finish, the mint green custom pinstripes are the next thing that’ll catch your eye. They perfectly match the mint green “smoothie” wheels that are mounted with white wall tires. Unfortunately, not much technical information is included in the eBay ad. The engine has been upgraded cosmetically, but there’s no mention of enhancements. The listing company does state that there are few things not working: such as the speedometer, horn, fuel gauge, wipers, and turn signals. But the video in the listing shows the little rust bucket runs, drives, and stops all on its own.

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It should be noted that bay window crew cabs are quite rare. And if you haven’t seen the values of post-1968 Buses, well, they’re quickly rising to split-window Microbus levels. This truck could be a sound investment.

You can find this 1969 Crew Cab on eBay. The current bid is $1969 (coincidence?) and the reserve has not been met. The ad also states the listing agent’s asking price is $16,900, so that may give you an idea where the auction price may be heading.