Old School

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents -

A car that wears the weath­er­ing from a life­time of use has so much more per­son­al­ity.

here’s a spe­cial place in our hearts for cars that still wear fac­tory paint. Such clas­sics are sur­vivors of a dif­fer­ent va­ri­ety, and they tell more sto­ries than do their fully re­stored coun­ter­parts.

These kinds of col­lectibles are called ‘patina’ cars, and they are quite rare be­cause the first im­pulse of a re­storer when he starts a project is to fix things up and make ev­ery­thing shiny and new right away. But a car with patina? Well, only time and the cli­mate can age its paint and body­work that way. It’s con­sid­ered a shame to ‘fix’ that kind ag­ing. Min­i­mal rust is ac­cept­able as well, as long as it isn’t lo­cated in a struc­tural sec­tion of the body. We aren’t talk­ing about the bas­ket cases and rolling trash heaps, okay? A patina car can only de­te­ri­o­rate so much be­fore it be­comes a use­less piece of junk.

The sort of car we ap­pre­ci­ate must to be in good run­ning con­di­tion, with the en­gine, sus­pen­sion, elec­tron­ics, and brak­ing sys­tem in good work­ing or­der. It must still be solid un­der­neath and driv­able. All the trim must be com­plete, and ev­ery­thing has to work. Most im­por­tant, the car should have a com­bi­na­tion of weath­er­ing, fad­ing, and rust­ing that is aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing.

This 1951 Ply­mouth Con­cord is one such car. It’s part of the fleet of Al­fred Perez, a lo­cal re­storer who is known for his love of old Amer­i­can metal. In fact, el­derly folks of­ten show up at his shop and of­fer to sell him their rides be­cause they know he has a soft spot for these mod­els. That’s how this Ply­mouth came to be in his pos­ses­sion, ac­tu­ally.

Un­der the hood is a flat­head six-cylin­der mo­tor. All Al­fred had to do was over­haul the me­chan­i­cals and it was ready to drive.

The Con­cord al­ready has a num­ber of fans, and it has even ap­peared in a lo­cal indie flick. Al­fred drove it to Batan­gas from Que­zon City,

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