So what is one to do? Well turns out, as most discoveries do, that it took an accident to lead me to the solution. Not a painful accident, just an incidental accident in the sense that I didn't mean to do that on purpose. I was sitting there pondering the factory trim for the nth time. As you guys know, the chrome part of the trim has 3 pins that go through a body-painted base molding then into the 1/4 panel where they are retained from the inside by sheet metal nuts. I was thinking, 'why don't I toss the chrome piece of the trim and just use the base molding? It's body color and adds a subtle feature to the 1/4 panel w/o too much clutter. I wanted to see the molding-only look, without the chrome trim, but of course it wouldn't hang there as the method of attachment requires the chrome part. So I reached over and found a button-head screw lying on the floor and stuck it in the top hole of the 3-hole pattern and stepped back for a look. I went back to the car, pulled the screw out, tossed the molding, and put the screw back. Close but not quite there. Headed to my fastener bins and dug out 3 flanged stainless button-head screws and stuck them in the 3 holes. And bingo, there was the answer - maybe not 'the' answer, or even 'an' answer - but it was 'my' answer. For a few weeks, I just left them sitting there in the holes. Occasionally, I would stop and take a look and see if they continued to float my boat. I was happy but not 100% happy. Then one night while shopping at Ring Bros for their door strikers - I spotted a line of machined washers they make that come with a corresponding unique button-head screw - in stainless of course. Bought a couple for a test run and liked the results.
Even better, it ended up solving another design problem I've had - those equally ugly rear quarter reflectors. I tossed those as well and put the machined washer/button-heads in their place. In the end, I'm going with the motto, simpler is better. For my tastes, it is a cleaner look and feels a bit more industrial, a bit more racy. I like it. Feel free to throw rocks. I'm still open to alternate suggestions. Maybe this will stimulate an even better answer. Gosh knows, we've all sat on the floor staring at those quarter panels long enough :)
Apologies for the photos. It looks much better in person. The flash ruins the look. I've also stuck some of the button-heads in the 1/4 end caps but I think I'll end up going with the standard trim back there. That part of the car is one of my favorite views of the 67/68 bodies. The long, thin trim across the deck lid and the 2 hockey sticks on the end caps.
|Ring Bros - 304 stainless steel button-head and machined washer|
|Quarter trim holes filled with button-heads|
|Rear reflector holes filled|
|End caps with button-heads...hmmmm...maybe not...|