Pristine Buses vs Patina Buses.

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Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
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Hey folks. Just a matter of interest. Those of you with fully restored shiny pristine buses, how do you feel when owning and driving them ? Do you drive them less or more often and has the mind set of driving totally changed than before you got your bus restored and those with patina buses, do you drive them more because of the less stress with keeping them shiny etc or are you the same as restored bus owners ? 🤙
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Just speaking from my point of view. I’ll drive mine whenever so long as it’s got decent road conditions as per ice and salt and stuff and I’ll try to keep him dry as much as poss. Mine is neither Patina’d or Pristine and has scars on him all over which is what started me drawing scars on his scratches etc. I know of at least three different Earlybay owners that spent godzillions on their creations and were then frightened to camp in them because they’d got so ‘Precious’ and understandably too. I’ve got various scratches on mine from kids bikes, people leaning stuff on him etc etc. These peeps eventually sold these wonderful pieces of art on and then created something more liveable as a van even so far as forced patina. Seems if you fashion the Mona Lisa of vans, it’s tough to allow natural wear and tare of your baby.

Ozziedog,,,,,,,I’m sposed to be making some muddy flaps for him too :rolleyes:
I enjoy seeing all aircooled VWs whether pristine or patina, & everything inbetween, lowered or lifted.

I'd still love an original paint/patina VW thats drivable, wears its history & scars, because i think its more rarely seen generally in classic cars. I notice that many other UK classics seem to be bog standard & immaculate, without the cool variety in style & condition we enjoy in the VW community.

When we decided to put our money into a Bay i'd done my homework so that it had to be an early, it made more sense to buy one that was fairly freshly sorted as we have no space to do a restoration. Having a nice hygienic interior was a priority, which many patina VWs lack.

We'd checked out a few duds & went for one that had a bare metal repaint based on a 100% solid californian import. Its owner wasn't that into VWs so hardly used it since completion 2-3 years, but had got mates rates on having the work done by a longstanding VW owner in the North east who trades on word of mouth rather than advertising. We saw all the baremetal pics so had confidence it was a good bus for us.
However i now think the previous owner didn't always have it stored away indoors as he'd been told, & a leaking front screen seal we found early on in our ownership has seen water sitting in the screen channel & we have dreaded blebs starting to appear along the screen base, so too at the bottom of the front panel directly beneath the worst ingress point, & a mystery bit turning up on the offside B-post.

All these were perfect bare metal in the images i've got from 2021 (defo same bus), but i have to rationalize that it can all be put right in due course, & to embrace the aging process & enjoy owning a 50+yr old VW.

If anything i notice all the little imperfections more on our bus, compared to if it were OG paint with dings etc that are just a given feature
I cringe when i hear stone chips hitting the front panel by every car that overtakes & throws up road centre grit & we did bottom out our front cab step & apron lower edge turning onto a car park ramp as shes a bit lowered.

But I'm reassured when i do jobs underneath & see how solid all the chassis still looks, it just was cleaned, additional coats of tough paint added then clear waxed.
I fully restored my bus 7 years ago because it needed doing. It was beaten up, had alot of filler and a fair amount of rust so it was shiny or it wouldn’t last another decade. Once finished I hated driving it or leaving it anywhere but after a while it got a few stone chips and scuffs etc on it through use and now I’m at peace with it for the want of a better term 🤔 I drive it as much as I can, use it for my commute, going Tesco, shows, camping holidays and drag race it. I accept it won’t stay mint for ever but I don’t take it out when there is salt down, I wash and polish it regularly, it lives in my heated workshop and do what I can to protect it.

Drive em’ and enjoy em’ 😎 a pristine bus no different than driving a brand new car fresh out of the show room
This is still one of my favourite pictures of Winnie from our 2nd outing after restoration 8yrs ago.

I’ve managed to keep on top of things, there’s always a list, but pleased that everything that has been done since restoration has been done by myself, which is satisfying considering I couldn’t even find reverse gear the first time I drove a bus in 2015 🤣

Got to say your buses look gorgeous too and i could do with a roof rack like yours @matty74 on the back of mine. Trouble is the price of them today for a 2 bow is just madness ha. 🤙
Mine was mint , drove it as often as I could , school run , Tesco , days out , I have a garage which probably helps, washed it occasionally, after 10 years it still looked better than most but I had outgrown it by then and sold it , still looked pretty good 7-8 years after I sold it. I would much rather drive it and have it deteriorate than have a show queen stay in the garage and never used
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I don’t like chrome - it’s only aim in life is to try and rust and I just can’t be bothered with the time it take to clean and polish it!!

Similar ethos with the bus.
Wanted to create something which was technically sound and sound bodywork.
Then we could put our own mark on it.

Within the first week of ownership my then 5 yr old stuck a big rusty magnet on the side of the bus!!!
If the paint had been pristine then I would have had a major sense of humour failure!
But this is a bus for us all to enjoy and not one to cause anxiety!!!
My bus isn’t og paint , it had a ropey repaint in the US years ago. But it’s worn enough to have its own character now.
I keep it tidy and polished but I also don’t stress about incidental marks or scratches and am ok with touching in any damage myself.
I wouldn’t want a pristine bus but also wouldn’t want a scruffy rat bus.
My bus isn’t og paint , it had a ropey repaint in the US years ago. But it’s worn enough to have its own character now.
I keep it tidy and polished but I also don’t stress about incidental marks or scratches and am ok with touching in any damage myself.
I wouldn’t want a pristine bus but also wouldn’t want a scruffy rat bus.
And that I think is what the original poster Velgreeno was trying to get at and the whole idea of this thread. Yours is an absolute credit to you Clem and leaves ninety nine percent of others busses in the shade despite your attempts to humbilise it. Mine on the other hand ,,

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,well it goes :)
Your bus is absolutely in the spirit of what got me into VW's and Campers in the early 90's though. Well used and loved buses that owners weren't precious about, weren't slaves to originality over and just got on and used and enjoyed them, modifying them and personalising them just how they wanted.

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