GM headlight bezel or aftermarket? - help id this one

Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
Did GM produce headlight bezels molded in black ABS - before production shifted to Canada?

the original bezels on the 87 GN were molded in grey ABS then painted black. The same for the later made in Canada black bezels - molded in grey ABS, painted black, and had the Made in Canada sticker attached. These later bezels had the rear extended "tabs" around the headlight openings to help with the sagging.

not sure if this bezel is really a GM part or an aftermarket one. while it has all these molding data impressions, it seems to be molded in black ABS vs molded in grey ABS and painted black.

wondering if this bezel might be one of the first aftermarket bezels made by Paul Castle - World of MotorWorks and first shown at Richard Clark's get together in 2008. And then at some point, someone put it in a GM box. I've been looking for pictures of those but have not found any from that day or later from the 2008 GS Nat's. There are plenty of threads noting they are molded in black so there is no worry about the "black" fading to show the underlying grey ABS material. I researched that Epitome was also purporting to make bezels in the 2008 time frame, even took advanced payment for orders, but those never materialized.

this bezel looks like the original bezel with the absence of those longer tabs. the angled mold lines at the side marker light are also just like the GM versions (original US made and the later Made in Canada versions). there is an aftermarket version made today where these molding lines are straight up & down vs. angled like the original GM.

got this from a supporting vendor here. came in a correct GM bezel box albeit the GM labels - both part label and warehouse order distribution label were removed from the box.

I just don't know if those early reproduction headlight bezels (and grilles) from either World of Motorworks or the 2009(?) GoodMark version were molded in black ABS AND also had the GM part #'s and mold data.

I can always scuff and spray with SEM Trim Black to make a matching pair of first version, US made, bezels.



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Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
maybe these comparison pics will help....

first pic is the original bezel from the car - made Sep '87...not many mold tooling marks

2nd & 3rd pics are the made in Canada GM version, purchased June 2005. Notice the addition mold tooling marks and that the tabs around the headlights are long. GM discontinued both L & R bezels around Nov 2006.

the black ABS bezel in question, pictured in the first post, has many but not all of the mold tooling marks as the made in Canada version.

just not convinced yet that GM molded black bezels using raw black ABS pellets in the late '90s to early 2000s.


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Ur favorite Drug Dealer
I hope you find an answer. I've asked about this when I was researching prices for my set and didnt get any solid answers. I'm afraid people are getting ripped off.

Imho the bezels that are molded black are reproductions. I wouldnt pay nos prices. Same with the corner lights. If I dont see overspray I think reproduction.

Sorry I cant help but I'm looking to learn with you.

Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
...Imho the bezels that are molded black are reproductions. ... If I dont see overspray I think reproduction.

That has been my position as well. I'm looking to be proven wrong before I voice my concerns to the supporting vendor here. I don't need the hassle of having re-pops sold to me as NOS GM, no matter how good the re-pop is.

I remember all the chatter about how great these newly made reproduction bezels and grilles were back in 2008. Molded in black ABS so there was no need to paint AND the parts had the GM part numbers and tooling marks carried over to the reproductions. BUT finding those threads is proving elusive.

Reference the I write-up I did in the show car forum here about the reproduction GN dash plaque. While that re-pop has a different layout for the mold ejection pins, the location, font and size of the GM numbers on the back were copied EXACTLY.

Since this bezel is molded in black albeit all the mold and tooling marks were copied exactly from a GM part, I'm believing this bezel is re-pop. A very good re-pop, but a re-pop nonetheless.

It's a hassle and an investment of time to have to verify the parts purchased when first time in your hands, the parts don't add up to the expectation.

Perhaps the vendor just did not look closely enough at these bezels. Perhaps he should have taken a better look at them when he got them, probably in trade. But somehow, this solid black bezel was put into a GM bezel box, then the box's GM labels were removed, then it was sold as NOS GM. Inside the box, the bezel was not wrapped in the white foam sheeting that the GM made in Canada bezels are packaged with.

I'm just patiently waiting for someone who has a set of those first re-pop bezels to support or prove me wrong. Other vendors carried those first re-pops as well. Everyone who knows seems to be silent right now...


Ur favorite Drug Dealer
The picture with the yellow dot is black plastic in a GM box.

The blue dot is from an ancient GM box that was unsealed a few minutes ago, gray plastic with black overspray and the white foam stuff that i cant seem to fold the way GM did. Value shot! lol jk.

They are right on considering the fade of some markings. They even have the little mark by the X.


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Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
hey Robert, thanks for digging in with me some more on this puzzle and opening up a box for me.

So you have one (or some) of these molded black GM (?) bezel unicorns as well - per the yellow dot pic?

Any idea on the time period when these solid black bezels were made? Or sold? If you bought it direct from GM (or a vendor), any idea when that was? My only reference I have in-hand today are the original bezels on the car from 1987 and some made in Canada GM bezels purchased in June 2005 - nothing in between.

This thread could be a good research tool in the future for those rolling up their sleeves, searching and researching parts.


Ur favorite Drug Dealer
I went researching on Ebay hoping I'd find some and wallah! I copied a photo and zoomed in so we could get a closeup to compare with a gray bezel. I'm assuming you have the same thing hes selling.

Is there a way to find out if/when the tooling was sold? Its gotta be the same tooling that made the gray and black bezels. Maybe the black ones are version two re-runs?

If you need any other detail photos lmk. Later I'll take pics of the gray bezels and post them here so people can know what we're talking about.

I wish we had more of these threads with their own forum...I'm waiting for the day a high dollar misrepresented bolt on gets exposed....

Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
WOW! So GM did mold all black bezels at some point. thanks to Robert for finding the ebay ad above. there is a ton of info to work with from that listing. I've saved all the pics and will upload here.

Ironically, those bezels came from Kirban's per the shipping label. I'll email Dennis to ask when the Grand News & GTO address labels were last used and/or when he moved from that address. I'm familiar with the receiving party. Ron's Custom Auto's at one point shared a building with Jack Merkel Performance Engines. A multi-part series of articles re: Buick V6 began in May 2002 in GM High-Tech Performance magazine highlighting these two shops at that address.

We can see the blue & white GM parts label is the old version. One box did not even use a label. the 75A3 and 75B3 are date codes, i just have to remember the cipher. I thought A and B would be January and February while the 3 would be 1993?

Today, GM parts labels use the YYDDD format - YY is last two digits of year while DDD is 001 to 366 day of that year.

here are those pics from the ebay ad above. Maybe the seller will share when he came into possession of these bezels?


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Ur favorite Drug Dealer
Here are the gray bezels and boxes along with the foam protective sheet. No other markings are on the boxes, just the stickers and black marker.
What date are these?

I hope Kirban can clear it up as I've always had two theorys. One being GM reruns the other being someone bought the tooling and reproduced them.

Theres a guy that was very knowledgable about Buick parts, E Fisher, where did he go?


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Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
Box on left, label shows 75 04048 => 04048 is the YYDDD current format. YY of 04 = 2004 while DDD of 048 is the 48th day of year. So this bezel was packaged on 17 February 2004.

Box on right, label shows 75 05069 => 2005, the 69th day. packaged 10 March 2005

the actual packaging date of the part can vary plus or minus two days from the date shown on the label. this is explained in the May 2018 pdf below on page 21 and in the August 2017 pdf on page 30.

for those who want some reading material, the attached pdf's are recent and current versions of GM Packaging Standards and Requirements. These documents explain in detail the current part labels, security labels, part boxes, etc. and apply to the made in Canada bezel box labels as they are the current format. I do not have access to early GM standards when our cars were produced. Have to remember personal computers and pdf files did not really exist yet. stuff was on paper back then and usually discarded when a new update was released.


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Anthony P

sharing knowledge with those who care to listen
from me? thought this topic was completed. we both have some all black bezels that are in fact GM parts made from at least the early 1990s to possibly the early 2000s. When GM moved production to Canada for these bezels, they came molded in grey ABS again and painted black.

address label info could have been accurate up to the mid-2000s per Dennis K - so that is not much help. date code on the boxes from ebay listings yielded more info...

Investment molds are only good for a certain number of parts before the mold wears out and will no longer product first quality parts. The all black bezels have a lot of mold tooling marks around the part numbers just like the Made in Canada versions. The ebay listing you found for the all black bezels completes the research for me. those were made in 1993 from what I conclude.