sharkfan wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:18 pm
Both facelift and pre-facelift E24 brochures show cars with black rear number plate surrounds so can I ask why you think, other than your view of the cheap rattle matt black on your car, that all cars had body coloured number plate surrounds?
Perhaps I should have been more detailed in my response. The black panel you've noted in the sales brochures is done with a vinyl sticker that was originally included as a part of the 70's era big wide 'Starsky & Hutch' decal package for the E24. It ceased being so when the finer, less bold pinstripe decal package of the 80's took over, however, in some markets like the UK with their white front, yellow rear numberplates, there was still a requirement for the rear numberplate to be displayed on a contrasting background (to the yellow of the plate itself). For these markets specifically, the black vinyl decal for the rear was still supplied to the importing dealers to make compliance easy. The brochures correspondingly showed cars in this guise so they would reflect how the cars would be sold in that market.
To the best of my knowledge, the US was not one of these markets and especially so late in the model life when the M6 was being sold in the US. So a US M6 with a black rear panel looks a bit odd. The black panel ages the cars a bit more than necessary. It points to a 1970's E12 era car rather than the 80's E28 based models most are these days.
The wide decal package continued through to early M635CSi production in 83/84, but was pretty much a rarity and special order item only after 1985. You do still see some correct stickered up M635CSi running around with the wide black vinyl block stickers both in the front airdam recesses and the rear numberplate panel, but it's not a thing that should be there on an 88/89 US M6.
Some (cheapskate) UK dealers like the one who sold mine, couldn't be arsed with the proper black vinyl decal from the factory and instead just masked up the area with some paper-backed masking tape and went to town on it with a cheap rattle can of satin black instead from the local home improvement barn. That's when you really know it's not supposed to be that way when you chip off the flaking paint and find perfect undamaged Glasurit Alpine White #1 underneath hiding there perfectly protected for 20 years.