442 When did I miss this? Repro 87 442/Salon black grilles?

383_StealthRam

Greasemonkey
Dec 29, 2016
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69hurstolds I ask you because you seem to be the part numbers expert on this forum, with respect to these grilles I have an 87 Salon which came with the black painted instead of chrome grilles.

I noticed is the part numbers stamped on the actual grilles show as follows:

22528713 LH with a second marking of 25530237 LH ASM BLK and on the box label 22530239
22523712 RH with a second marking of 25530236 RH ASM BLK and on the box label 22530238

It makes me think the factory used the same base black plastic castings for both the Gloss Black and Chrome grilles and they were painted/plated at the factory as needed for the build.
The black ones got the second set of part numbers with the "ASM BLK" added?

Do you know if that was the case? I just can't imagine paying the 2x-3x more $$ for a set of the rare "black" ones when one could possibly find the more common chrome ones, and just prep and paint them black?

WDYT?

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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
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Your 87 Salon grilles should not be plated at all. They should just be molded from plain black plastic. Supply and demand sets that price in the real world.

The Supreme versions had chrome plating and were painted black where needed. Let me add that although the 442 was based on the Supreme, they installed the black unplated Salon grilles and amber parking lamps in the painted lower front bumper. You know. Exceptions.

Since they were the same essential grille except for the plating, they used the same molds, just different catalog numbers depending on the finish. They did that a lot for all the models. You'd see several iterations of "part numbers" cast on the back of a grille or other parts. Usually, there would be an engineering part number and also any supersession numbers. This did not always correlate to catalog part numbers. So sometimes if you go on ebay and search for a catalog part number, you may not find all the stuff out there. Boxes and labels washout or get torn and unreadable, and the seller uses the "part number(s)" molded on the part to advertise. Again, these may or may not match catalog numbers. Just need to know what you're looking for. MOST of the time, aftermarket parts don't replicate all those numbers on the backs.

The difference is in the plating, obviously. Sure, if you can live with the "wrong" grilles painted all black, that would give you the appearance of using the "correct" all black unplated plastic. Just be forwarned that you probably would need to touch them up periodically where road debris beats the paint off on the chrome bits showing. It really just depends on what level of correctness you want to spend or can afford. And as for car show points process, although a keen eye and knowledgeable judges can usually tell repainted vs. bare plastic, you should never be docked points for painting grilles black to match the color of how yours came from the factory. It technically is the same grille piece after all.

Most anything used on the G-bodies were usually colored differently depending on the model. Like the H/Os and Monte SS, etc., using black lower windshield moldings and wiper arms or even the H/O front/rear window trim being half-black along with the 84-86 Calais/Salon/442 headlight trim. Which is the weirdest use of black on bright trim I've ever seen.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
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Jan 2, 2006
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Interesting. Parts Place has them as well. (Who'd have thunk it) and it appears they either have used an NOS grille, or actually reverse cast the molds (has to be a Chinesium thing) using an original grille because it seems all those numbers and such are cast into the back of the grille. Hmmm.

 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
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Jan 2, 2006
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And even the grille bezels! About time! But I don't have any use for them. So even aftermarket says they're selling for 370 grilles plus 429 bezels for basically 800 bucks for new grilles/bezels for your 87/88 Cutlass 2 door. And that's AFTERMARKET stuff. Here's the rub. In a couple years give or take, the inventory will either stabilize or start getting reduced when the numbers of everyone who's willing to pay the pretty price for repros starts diminishing. Eventually, even the aftermarket stuff is too expensive to leave on the shelf. And then it goes away, too, as even the aftermarket parts get dropped. THEN what do you do?

 
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383_StealthRam

Greasemonkey
Dec 29, 2016
182
399
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Wow great info thanks!

I'm original owner on my 87, I worked for Cadillac/Olds in late 80s/early 90s and bought replacement grilles for when I had car painted. I think they cost me about $40 each back then.

At least it's good see aftermarket starting to offer some of these common needed repros for Cutlass, maybe even GP to come. So much more available for RegalGN and MCSS by contrast.

Pricing is like you said, market will dictate.

I actually need one of the bezels (have slight crack) so I'll be keeping eye on those, thanks for posting that.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
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Even the used GM pieces people are asking some pretty pennies for. Even for broken sh*t. It's amazing.
 

88hurstolds

Royal Smart Person
Jun 24, 2008
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At least with the NOS ones they won't say ABS on the back of them... I've looked at some of the NOS aftermarket stuff that's been chrome plated, they just feel all around lighter and thinner than the GM originals. Kicker is they're charging what NOS ones used to go for...
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
8,322
17,978
113
At least with the NOS ones they won't say ABS on the back of them... I've looked at some of the NOS aftermarket stuff that's been chrome plated, they just feel all around lighter and thinner than the GM originals. Kicker is they're charging what NOS ones used to go for...
I seem to remember paying about $45 each side or somewhere around that at the dealership. I think the whole rear setup of b/u lamps and taillights was <$300. Dash emblems were around 8 bucks. It's insane nowadays. I thought the shade over $300 for the air cleaner assembly was out of control back then. Should have bought a dozen of them if I had the forethought.
 
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john87442

Master Mechanic
Supporting Member
Mar 9, 2021
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Geneva ohio
I found a set of NOS grills in the box. Paid a good penny for them only to find they are not for my car. A 442 they are plated, still very nice. So I think I might just repaint mine,they aren’t broken or anything.
 

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