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Paul's Patina 260z
We all have something old, something worn that's been with us forever and we don't want to let go of, perhaps it's an old pair of jeans, or an old pair of shoes that have served us forever. They are comfortable, familiar and they have history to share. That history contains memories, my father would hate buying new shoes because they looked too clean in his opinion, he would deliberately go out of his way to make them a bit grubby by playing football with me on a muddy field, that way nobody would know he just bought them.
In many ways Paul's 260z is a tribute to the same kind of thinking, the weathered and aged looking paint gives a feeling of familiarity, a feeling of being well worn and used, a tool more than a toy, it boasts rich history, which is not something you get buying a brand new car.
Although it must be said that Paul didn't buy this 260z with rich racing history, it probably hasn't seen much time on a track in the 30+ years it's been around, rather the goal of this project was to create that impression. You see when Paul bought this car it had already been given the double-silver stripes down the middle of the car, which Paul wasn't that fond of, nor was he too keen on the previous paint job - however he used these things to his advantage and turned what Paul deemed a weakness into 1 of it’s strengths. The paint while not bad, wasn't up to the standard that Paul would paint his own cars, as a paint and panel man himself. But more on that later on..
Paul actually came across this Z because a friend had asked him for help finding 1, as a first time buyer his friend needed Paul's help, since we all know there can be lots to look out for and it helps to have an expert on hand when considering a classic car. This car was spotted on Gumtree listed at a good price. Those who have hunted for a classic car know a good bargain doesn't usually hang around. So during morning smoko (slang for morning tea break) for the non Australian readers, the pair of them headed out to see the car.
His mate, wasn't interested in buying the car after seeing it so Paul not wanting to pass up a bargain jumped on the opportunity to buy it for himself.
Paul had wanted to attempt a patina project for a while and the less than perfect paint job and silver stripes presented the perfect opportunity..
"I don't really know why I have wanted to do this." says Paul "It was something I have wanted to do for many years but getting the right car at the right price was always the problem.
For me getting a bright coloured car that was straight and had stripes on it was a bonus. And it didn't necessarily need to be a Z just something that would have been raced."
Paul wasn't worried about ruining an otherwise good Z because as he put it "I suppose from my point of view was if it looked really bad I would have just re-rubbed it and put some 918 (original orange colour code) on. I have always been able to picture stuff in my head quite well and I was confident that it would have come up great, but even I was surprised by how good its turned out."
The biggest concern was the PPG matte clear, since he wasn't sure how it would impact the colours on the Z's body and if it would spoil the patina / aged look he was going for.
For Paul the thing that really makes ‘the look’ convincing is the placement of the signage and the style he’s chosen. In fact some of you may recognise the livery or at least parts of it as similar to those found on the old works rally S30Z's. Well it won’t surprise you to find out that this involved many hours of Googling and searching through various photos on the web of old Z’s being raced.
After collecting a range of images, Paul then got the help of a friend who is a signwriter to make up the appropriate stencils (using a sticker machine) and set about blocking the areas where the signs would have sat - would it have actually been a race car! This meant that he didn’t want to paint through the colour, but rather on top because the livery would have been applied when the car was still young and probably wearing its OEM paint job.
Perhaps 1 of the more interesting and easy to overlook parts of the project was the fact that Paul spent additional time on some of the smaller details, as he explains "areas on the car that would have been abused more at race events got more rubbing back, like around door handles, bonnet and battery lids. I even rubbed the left hand front guard top more as the mechanic would have been fiddling with carb tune and rubbing his overalls against that area of the car. Obviously this is a personal touch thing really. I also didn't want rusty bits everywhere as this was a barn find, not a paddock or under the tree in a field find."
What's reassuring about having the car painted or should we say treated this way? Is that Paul doesn't have to stress about car parks and the body panels arch nemesis called the shopping trolley, yes we’ve all experienced that fear and whilst obviously Paul doesn't want his barn find to wear more dents than necessary to pull off the patina look, he’s probably not going to lose too much sleep over it, should it happen.
When Paul first proposed the project in the discussion forums, it was met with some mixed opinions within the community. This didn’t phase him though as he’s used to this sort of thing, of course any time you go for something different. However overall the response has been really positive both on and off the forums, and some of the moments that stand out for Paul include driving through a parking lot late at night about a week after he had finished the patina treatment.
Paul recalls: "I pulled up and this big dude was running up the road behind me. " aww mate, puff puff, aww hang on puff puff, cough puff, that thing is sick, (bends over and holds his knee), couple of deep breaths later. We had a chat for awhile and went into the shops. Mate I still chuckle about it. I thought he was going to die!"
Another funny incident occurred when the police saw Paul driving his 260z on the streets, as he was driving up the street, there is a reserve on the right which has another road running parallel to Paul’s street. Going in the opposite direction to Paul was a police car, Paul didn't take much notice, but saw something in the corner of his eye, then he turned right and stopped at the T intersection that meets the road the Police were driving along.
A quick look left, look right and Paul can see a car doing about 100+ km/h in a 50 zone
with fancy disco lights on the top, of course Paul figured out they were coming to
chase the hoon driving his ‘race car’ on the road. All the while the ABS on the Police car was frantically pulsing to slow the police car down, the officer in the passenger seat points to the front of Paul’s car and it looked like he said "its got number plates" they both nodded with grins on their faces and kept going.
For now this 260z is just a stopgap car until Paul’s early Z project is finished, which is the main reason he didn’t go full size watanabe's and webers and the whole shebang etc.. Paul’s aim was to keep this car on a sensible budget and have something unique, for now the only future plan is to do a nice stainless exhaust system to give the car a nice note. The next owner can continue what Paul started if they want to?
Paul’s also recently opened his own business in the vehicle paint and restoration field, if you’d like to check out what he’s up to you can find his website here: http://www.customand...siccars.com.au/
Read Paul's patina project thread here
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Kenwood stereo for amazing tunes.
Patina treated paint.
Previous owner tells me it's 320HP