Patina Volkswagens

Published on
August 31, 2019
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Mark Walker
Other Publication Information
Hardback, 8¼ x 10 in., 160 pages, 300 pictures
Company: Veloce Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Veloce Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

About the Author

Author Mark Walker bought his first VW Beetle at age 16 and has since owned more than 100 Volkswagens. Walker was the owner and operator of several VW restoration companies and has carried out sympathetic restoration and high-quality suspension modifications for magazine feature cars. Mark has written for VolksWorld and Camper & Bus magazines since 2012.

Patina Volkswagens

This book focuses on 1974 or older Volkswagens with original paint, rust, and patina that have recently become more popular than cars restored to show condition. These rare unspoiled survivors tell a story of an interesting and varied past and have inspired a generation of car fanatics that might not be able to afford complete restorations.

The book is packed with excellent color photographs, and text provides insight to the car builders, dealers, celebrities, and hobbyists that have styled these unique cars.



Many people have become obsessed with owning original paint cars which have more character than restored ones. These cars are all unique as the stone chips, sun-burned paint, and patina markings are one of a kind. Unrestored cars are a choice to preserve, rather than erase any character or historical significance through restoration. Patina has become much more appreciated, and these cars have started to exceed the value of restored cars.

Forward by Drew Pritchard

Patina is a love for a car used every day that has been kept in use as intended, but never abused. Patina is scratches, dents, good and bad repairs that are a part of the car’s history. Scratches or damaged panels are left unmatched when replaced.

From Shaky Foundations

This chapter describes the origins and development of the VW, starting in the 1930s. Various models of the Volkswagen are also described including the transporter, Karmann Ghia and later on the ‘hippie van’ Kombi. The book also describes early efforts to distribute and advertise the VW outside Germany. VW established a large network of service specialists to repair VW’s and parts suppliers also sprang up for repairs and customizing VWs. Early VW-based dune buggies started in the early 1960s. Early VW club activities are also described in this chapter. The chapter uses numerous color photographs to describe the various models of VWs and other topics.

In the Beginning

Early trends in VW modifications are described, both in California and the UK during the 1980s, although the popularity of Patina had not yet begun. The scarcity of vehicles and the desire for economical customization led to the start of ‘Patina’ cars in the early 2000s. The Patina movement really got going in 2004 with cars featured on the Kustom Coach Works website. Another website, Hoodride, is also described, with cars built by less-skilled people and with questionable safety standards, although Patina cars with original paint still endured.

From Rat to Polished Patina

This chapter describes the various ’looks’ for Patina:

  • Barn Finds
  • Rat Look
  • Sanded-down Fake Rat Look
  • Fauxtina Repainted Cars
  • Cars stripped back to original paint
  • Two tone burned-off repaint cars
  • Repainted cars with Patina

Each of the looks is illustrated with more excellent photos and text descriptions of how to create and preserve the various techniques.

Slammin’ Formula

Techniques for lowering the suspensions on VWs are described in this section. Many VW body types are discussed including Bug, Bus, Karmann Ghia, Type 3, and more. Text provides an overview of the construction details for lowering vehicles, and photos illustrate many of the modifications.

The Patina Economy

This chapter highlights many of the owners and builders in the Patina Volkswagen community. Collectors, builders, dealers, websites, magazines, and TV & movie personalities are mentioned.

Origins and Ownership

The history of several dozen Patina Volkswagens, and their owners are detailed in this section. Descriptions of previous owners and histories of the cars are included, again in text and color photos. A list of other Volkswagen books by Veloce is also included.


The index lists many terms, plus the people mentioned in the book.


This is an excellent book that describes the history and development of the VW and the effort to maintain cars with original paint. The excellent color photographs are large and provide inspiration for car owners and modelers alike. The photos are great references for weathering scale models. The text is easy to read and thoroughly describes the development of ‘Patina’ Volkswagens.

Thanks to author Mark Walker and Veloce Publishing for producing this excellent book!


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