Patina (noun): usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color
This word is often heard in the car community when referring to older cars that have not been restored. It is used at times to describe the perfect amount of aging on a car as its clear coat succumbs to age and the paint begins to thin and show its true story on what it's been through, where it has been driven and what it's seen.
Cars with patina are becoming harder to find as some people are quickly scooping them up from abandoned barns to do complete restorations and others are too far gone to even save...
However there are those few that still wear their coats of paint (or what is left of it) and are still driven and enjoyed as they should be, collecting more cracks, chips, bruises and battle scars to tell more stories as time comes.
In comes Mark Pribanic. Owner of this absolutely incredible Porsche 1958 356 A, pictured at the Daytona 24 Hour endurance race.
Bought in 1998 off of a friend who sourced it from a school teacher that no longer could drive the car due to health concerns, Mark has become the caretaker and driver of this absolute relic and almanac of Porsche road trips.
As per Mark, the car has no name, but it doesn't need one as this 356 has been seen by enthusiasts all throughout the US and is well recognized by many. This car has had its odometer roll over twice with the third rollover estimated to happen this fall while on his journey to drive through all lower 48 states in this blue 356.
It has seen 32 states so far with plans to visit another 9 before getting to Oregon for the Emory Campout, where Mark and many other 356 enthusiasts will gather for a camping trip organized by none other than Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports.
This car wears its scars proudly and it is "loved by being driven" as per Mark and since its bare metal strip down and inspection in 1999, the car has been driven ever since.
In it, he carries a vintage 1969 VW Westfalia Camper as seen in the background, which he uses as his campgrounds while at events like Daytona and Emory Campout and has, in fact, hosted people in it as well!
"Why is it important to highlight vehicles like this?" You may ask.
It's because in a world of nut-and-bolt restored cars and a sea of money making "barn find, un-restored gems" people are forgetting the true purpose of these cars. Cars are meant to be driven and any sort of satisfaction from them is a result strictly relived through the joy of driving.
"...way too many shiny 356’s. By driving my 356 as much as I do, I’m ensuring the next generation restoration guys have Porsche 356’s to work on." mentioned Pribanic.
Eventually, this car may end up in the hands of someone that is going to fully restore it to the way it came off the lot of Hoffman Motors in 1958, but until then, Mark is caretaking and enjoying this 356 A the way it is supposed to be...by being driven.
Up next for this trusty 356 are new shocks, dropped spindles, and a rebuild of the front end of the vehicle to ensure it can be enjoyed for miles to come.