I'm still not convinced one way or another and it may be one of those things were they were finished differently at different points in the model year or at different plants BUT I believe my original was all chrome when it was new. I found no evidence of the background having been painted satin silver and pictures of my car's dash by the previous owner from the mid-1960's seem to bear this out as do other contemporary photos of these cars' dashes from magazines and brochures. I believe on many, the duller look to the background area was accomplished in that that area of the bezel was intended to be less than smooth when cast. The thin horizontal lines and satin finish to the plastic in these areas result in a slightly less than shiny surface when "chromed".
The sides surrounding the entire bezel do seem to have been painted satin silver in all cases however, the area I describe above is the flat area above and below the center horizontal bar running the length of the bezel.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I have seen yet other photos and other well restored cars that had the majority of the bezel painted satin silver in these horizontially ribbed areas but the evidence for this seems to be less prevelent in my experience.
In the end the evidence seems to point that both versions were possible and if you want to be as accurate as possible just try to determine which way your bezel may have been originally and follow that path. I've seen mostly Kansas City cars and while it can be hard to tell definitively I think those were NOT painted. The Fremont, CA cars I've seen seem like they may have been more fully painted.
There are reproduction bezels available but I cannot make a statement about how nice they look since I've never seen or used one. I beleive they come unpainted however. If the plastic is solid on yours, free from cracks, chips or scratches, having it replated is a fine idea. Original parts ALWAYS look better than reproductions in my opinion. Mine is a replated original. The company that replated it also painted the surround sides flat silver, the instrument pockets black and the raised lettering black like the originals. It looks great.
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