Eye candy: Patina at the Arizona auctions

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1965 Porsche 911 at Bonhams

Photos by Larry Edsall

Usually, the cars offered for sale at auctions are polished to if not beyond perfection. But sometimes they are presented while showing varying amounts of patina.

Perhaps they are barn finds only recently discovered under years of dust and droppings. Or perhaps an owner wasn’t just too busy or too lazy to clean things up but liked the idea of selling a classic as is to underscore the fact that this is no mere trailer queen.

Sure, some people fight the signs of aging. But isn’t there something elegant about some silver hair and even a few wrinkles?

Whatever the reason, we kept an eye out at the Arizona auctions for cars that showed less than pristine surfaces inside and out, and we share them here with you.

Oh, cars that have been preserved rather than restored are becoming highly valued historic time capsules and are increasingly cherished by the collector car community. For example, the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL (tattered red-interior gullwing) shown here had been parked in a garage for more than 30 years until it was displayed at the Gooding & Company auction, where it sold for just shy of $1.9 million.

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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