©2013 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Seeing cars with patched paint is nothing new, especially when cars change hands by being sold or through merger. But here's a car that had recently received such a treatment while retaining its original reporting marks and number - two mergers later!
The Seaboard Coast Line (SCL) became part of Seaboard System and then CSX decades ago. At the time of those mergers, there were renumbering plans made to incorporate all of the equipment from the different rosters into a cohesive numbering system. Chances are, that this car had survived so long that by the time shop workers needed to repaint the reporting marks for visibility, the time required to look up and subsequently record the changing of the car number was no longer worthwhile. This car likely only has a few years of interchange life left.
It's a good lesson for modelers as well. Since these patches are a nice, easy way to eliminate duplicated car numbers and add interesting detail, it's nice to know you don't always have to change the ownership of the car as well. And the combination of fresh paint, conspicuity stripes and the old and battered gondola makes an interesting subject.