The patina wars are getting heated these days, but as of today—June 10, 2020—the champion of the “Jalopnik Perfect Patina Award” is this 1957 Ford F-100 spotted by a St. Petersburg, Florida-based reader named John. Look at these pictures, and you’ll agree.
Patina is a tricky thing. If there’s not enough rust/imperfection, then the car gets labeled as a characterless, ordinary shitbox. But if there’s too much aesthetically-pleasing imperfection, then the vehicle comes across as somehow disingenuous. Patina is great, but it has to be real and naturally-occurring.
The ’57 Ford F-100 pickup below definitely has real patina, though it looks almost too perfect. Almost as if someone brushed it on. In any case, the machine looks great, even if it is missing its tailgate. Check it out:
The whitewall tires are heavenly, and the various shades of brown/orange covering the sheetmetal are pure art.
I even like the dings, like this one on the front fender:
And the bashed-in front bumper gives this first model year of the third-generation F-Series real character, too:
The bed has scratches and rust on the floor, but hey, that factory 223 cubic-inch inline six (or possibly the optional 272 cubic-inch “Y-block” V8) had to haul something around. This is a truck, after all.
Last month, I claimed that a 1985 Ford F-250 had “the perfect patina,” but—while that machine looked great, with the rust seemingly flowing down from the roof down to the blue painted lower body—this old F-100's body has been stained in the loveliest of ways. And for this reason, it takes home the Fe2O3 trophy.