March 7, 2016
So, what is patina anyway? If you work at OutCold, you are very familiar with the term. If you don't, we'll let Merriam-Webster spell it out for you:
usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color
a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
Here's our definition:
If a vehicle has patina it typical means it's old and has a story. And, it means we're into it. Why? Buckle your seatbelt. We’re taking you on a ride back to 1996. Let us set the scene.
The future OutCold President, Fritz Heffinger, just turned 16. Fritz’s dad, John, says to Fritz, “You have two choices. You and your sister can share a new-ish car or you can have your own car but you’ll have half the budget.” Fritz chose the every man for himself route and began scouring the classified, i.e. the old-school Craigslist. He laid eyes on a champagne 1987 BMW 325i “e30” and things have never been the same. While many of us were tinkering with our Nokia 3390s adding new faceplates or light up antennas Fritz was doing the same to his BMW. He spent hours upon hours in the driveway doing his own upgrades to the stereos, modifying the suspension, adding air intakes. You name it. When he wasn’t working on the car in the driveway, you could find him at the carwash cleaning her up. “A clean car shows pride in ownership.” Says Fritz, everyday.
This was just the beginning. Between 1996 and 2009, Fritz purchased, modified and sold more than 20 vintage vehicles. We won’t even tell you the count now…honestly, we’ve lost track.
In the spring of 2009, Fritz married Holly. Holly loved his enthusiasm and passion for these patina'd vehicles. In fact, at their wedding, Holly was tasked with organizing photos of each vintage vehicle by purchase date--and she nailed it! But if any of you know her personally, you know that she’s the more practical one in the relationship and can sometimes bring Fritz back down to reality. She encouraged Fritz to pursue his passion but pushed him to make a business out of it. She loved the vintage vehicles too but didn’t want to live in them. Ya know what we’re saying?
In early 2010, Holly and Fritz moved to Chicago and started what we know today as OutCold. OutCold’s first event for Dodge at Red Bull Stomping Grounds provided Fritz with the funds to buy back, “the one that got away.” Aka, Frank the Tank. The story of Frank and Fritz is a crazy one, but we’ll save that for another day. Basically, he brought Frank, a 1987 Toyota Landcruiser "FJ60" (full of patina!), home to Chicago, convinced Nordstrom to put him on tour for their Anniversary Sale, and so began the integration of Fritz’s love for vintage vehicles and a business that thrives with them. Win! Win!
As OutCold grows, so does our fleet of vintage vehicles and Fritz’s passion for them. We never know what's going to be next, and that’s what keeps this place so fresh, exciting and full of patina.