roof patina perfection and keeping great gutters great for the long run

For me, you can’t really beat the look of a genuine age faded, battered, original paint ‘survivor’ bus! 🙂 Mine had the original paint combination of L472 (Beige Grey) over the bottom half of L53 (Sealing Wax Red) and I just loved its Californian aged look of authenticity, it makes me smile every time I see it! 🙂

roof top patina perfection, L53 (Sealing Wax Red) showing through the L472 (Beige Grey) top colour
roof top patina perfection, L53 (Sealing Wax Red) showing through the L472 (Beige Grey) top colour

It’s interesting seeing the faded and worn through paint patina on the roof, as it helps tell a story of its manufacturing process back in the VW factory in Germany. Originally when the bus was first painted at the factory, once primed, the outside would have first been sprayed in a base coat of L53 Sealing Wax Red, before the top half was then painted in its final L472 Beige Grey colour. Over time, the Beige Grey has thinned and faded to reveal the Sealing wax Red base coat beneath.

looking at the last few days of summer over the roof patina
looking at the last few days of summer over the roof patina

Whilst I love this look, along with the various ‘character marks’ from its time with a full lengthy roof rack use at various swap meets in California, there are some small areas of the roof that I wanted to ensure didn’t turn into bigger problems further down the road!

sporting a full length roof rack for working various swap meet shows
sporting a full length roof rack for working various swap meet shows

Although the roof gutters are super straight and solid all around, the paint had worn through and disappeared in places. Unfortunately, it’s also the place where rain water and organic debris/leaves etc. often sits, so its all too easy for this to turn into a hidden rust trap. Although initially making sure these areas were kept clean, washed and waxed, they really needed some longer term protection moving forward.

lovely straight roof top gutters, but in need of cleaning up and future protection
lovely straight roof top gutters, but in need of cleaning up and future protection

For my longer term peace of mind, whilst getting the underneath of the bus protected, I wanted to get this sorted at the same time as unfortunately, even though I’m still in shorts and tshirt right now, winter is on the way! Trouble is, this is how vintage VW projects start to grow! Good job I love the bus is all I can say – looks like my job list for the guys at Resto Classics is getting a bit longer…

lovely straight roof top gutters, but in need of cleaning up and future protection
lovely straight roof top gutters, but in need of cleaning up and future protection

The gutters will need to be cleaned out, bare metalled and treated with some Granville Rust Cure – Heavy Duty Rust Converter before getting repainted on top.

lovely straight roof top gutters, but in need of cleaning up and future protection
lovely straight roof top gutters, but in need of cleaning up and future protection

I guess whilst at it some of the character marks might get looked at as well if they look to be a possible future rust problem…

in need of cleaning back to bare metal, rust proofing and future proofing
in need of cleaning back to bare metal, rust proofing and future proofing

Also, just out of the eye line of most people (not me being over 6’2″+!), there is a hand sized area over the rear passenger side corner where a small dent had been skimmed over with a small amount of filler. I guess this had a small dent at some point which had been skimmed over? Unfortunately the filler had cracked and exposed the metal underneath which had subsequently developed surface rust.

the rear roof quarter wearing its battle scars, but time to get this cleaned up and future proofed
the rear roof quarter wearing its battle scars, but time to get this cleaned up and future proofed

Although the cliché meme that often circles vintage VW forums ‘rust is not a crime’ sounds great, I’m not particularly keen on letting rust take hold and cause longer term problems with my bus, so this needs to get treated! Really this needs to be taken back to bare metal and treated with some Granville Rust Cure as well before being painted to neutralise any the metal to help stop any further rust developing.

not all those who wander are lost…
not all those who wander are lost…

Not quite sure what to do about the paint aspect of the roof work at this stage. I don’t want the whole roof resprayed to look like new again, which in many ways is the easiest option. However you only get original once, so I’m not keen on going down that route! Initially the repaired areas could be put into primer and then clear coated to protect and seal the area whilst looking into options of trying to blend the repaired areas in? Got some thinking to do about this, or is light grey primer patches the new look for 2016!

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