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That I know of, the horn and grill brackets were never painted black. This is my '76 with factory paint (and missing plastic insert :rolleyes: )

As I said before for my '76, and I can speak for quite a number of other square taillights back in the day, and as Mike said for his round taillights, horn supports and fastening tabs were brush-painted semi-gloss black from the the factory. I bought my car new, with the black paint, and I knew that when the nose piece was replaced and re-painted, ca. 1978, I needed to re-paint the black afterwards -- I just never got around to it. Horns were also always black: I've seen LOTS of different color horns, mostly painted body color because they were not masked for re-paints.

The black details were necessary to make those behind-the-grill details "disappear" when the car was viewed head on. The first photo of my car below is how a correctly-painted square taillight should NOT look: note the distracting horn supports and horn! The second photo of my car below was taken April 1977, and it was totally dark behind that grill!

Common telltales for re-painted nose pieces are the headlight buckets. These were often left in place, and poorly masked, at the time of repainting. If there's a drop of paint or overspray on either of your headlight buckets, your nose has been re-painted, as the factory installed the freshly cadmium-plated headlight buckets (silver cadmium or clear zinc, possibly) after the cars were fully painted.

Steve

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Edited by Conserv
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