Trim between taillights - chrome or aluminum?

Discussion in 'E9 General Discussion' started by Gary Knox, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Gary Knox

    Gary Knox Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure one of our many gurus on this site know the answer to the question I have - when did the cars (both European delivery and those imported into the US) convert from chromed steel to aluminum trim piece between the two taillights? My '74 was restored in the '80's to appear as European model, or a pre- '73 US model. It currently has the aluminum trim, but I have a perfect chrome plated steel piece, and am trying to decide which is more appropriate.

    I like the chrome steel look better, IF I install that, am I blackballed from this forum??? - ha.

    Thanks for counsel,

    Gary
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  2. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    I love this question, as I have the same question/concern. My car had an aluminum piece on it - BUT it was not original to the car. I have since picked up a beautiful chromed steel piece from a '69 that I plan to use. I like this solution because this piece visually connects the two chromed tail lights - so chrome is the more appropriate material in my opinion. The only drawbacks I can see are a modest increase in weight, and the potential appearance on the forum blacklist. :D
     
  3. adawil2002

    adawil2002 Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    My car has a 1972 build date, delivered to Palermo Italy, sold in 1973 and has an aluminum rear center panel. I did purchase a chromed steel panel from France, donated it to someone who needed it for a restoration.
     
  4. bert35csi

    bert35csi Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Can’t be certain of the exact switch over year from the hefty chromed brass to the cheesy lightweight anodized aluminum trim plate, but it has always been my assumption that the 2000/2800 coupes were outfitted with the chromed units and the 3.0 coupes were fitted with the lesser aluminum piece. Have the chromed plated trim piece on my 3.0.
     
  5. OCCoupe

    OCCoupe Well-Known Member

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    Early cars had chrome up until late ‘71 then they went to aluminum. I have a late ‘71 fog light piece in chrome.
     
  6. Gary Knox

    Gary Knox Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys - at the risk of being black=listed - I removed the aluminum piece and installed the chrome trim piece this morning (starting with the front bumpers and ending with the rear bumpers, my car does not match the '74 production models). To my eyes, it just makes the 'connection' better' = as Stephen and Bert noted as well. I'll try posting in a few days to see if I'm still acceptable to the forum!

    Cheers,

    Gary
     
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  7. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    I truly believe that the BMW design department wanted to keep it as a chrome piece, but the accounting department discovered they could save $2.46 per vehicle to switch to aluminum. :D
     
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  8. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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    One can always chrome the aluminum version...
     
  9. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    i know the 2800cs all had the chrome piece with the license lights in the bumper. so did they use aluminum panel with lights in the bumper or only with license lights on the panel. i always associated the change with the change of lights. but i believe that '72s had lights in the bumper
     
  10. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Procrastinator Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    I don't think that they are related. My '73 (built in 72) has lights in the bumper and an aluminum tail panel. You could assume that it was swapped out, but there are no provisions on said panel for licence plate lights.
     
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  11. rsporsche

    rsporsche Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    good to know ... learn something everyday
     
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  12. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    And no one is going to be black listed for changing these trim panels. :confused:
     
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  13. nosmonkey

    nosmonkey Active Member Site Donor

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    Same here, my UK 74 (November 73 built) is the same
     
  14. Gary Knox

    Gary Knox Well-Known Member

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    Chris,

    WHOOPEEEE. I'm glad I am still acceptable. Thanks for the support!!!

    Cheers,

    Gary
     
  15. m5bb

    m5bb Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Me too, my 72 had the metal plate between lights and I had it re-chrome plated.
     
  16. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Procrastinator Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    Funny this came up. I just pulled mine from my project car last night. Since it is a 2800 CS, it has the chromed plate. It is significantly heavier than the aluminum version. I suppose it is made of brass because it isn't magnetic. I'll regret it later but I'm going to list it for sale this week.
     
  17. Belgiumbarry

    Belgiumbarry Well-Known Member

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    i vote for aluminium.... at least we have 1 CSL item on our CS !
     
  18. autokunst

    autokunst Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Ah, the chromed brass is so beautiful, though. And it matches the finish of the tail light frames. I acquired an earlier one to replace the slightly dinged aluminum one on my car. I was thrilled when I put a magnet on it and it didn't stick.
     
  19. Belgiumbarry

    Belgiumbarry Well-Known Member

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    rallying , it's so dirty , you don't even see it's there ! :p:D
     
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  20. deQuincey

    deQuincey Well-Known Member

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    me, have the alu, early 71 3.0 cs, believe is original to the car
     

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