Looks like a repro to me. ‘68 came with a dull finish. The repops have a dull paint applied over typical chrome.
I replaced mine with the repops from from Classic Ind. They are an absolute BIOTCH to install. I also thought they wouldn’t fit, but with great effort and patience, they did. I scratched them up pretty good, so polished the rest of the dull coating off.
I'm a hobbyist. Not a professional...but I AM an F'n Premium Member. Don't be hatin'!
Strange, I was looking at 2 different sets of 68 header moldings on eBay. They are asking $1000 for a set! I was curious if the 68 dull finish was plated or painted and asked both sellers who are classic car part dealers. The answer I got from both was....... painted! They are OEM in original GM boxes....
All these years and apparently no correct "brushed chrome" and correct fitting reproduction header chrome has been produced for '68 Firebirds and Camaros.
For comparison, below is a photo of the end of my original '68 header chrome showing the finish and non-brushed ear. I gave up trying to find correct originals long ago so I periodically refinish the "brushed" area with a silver paint to make it look somewhat better. I still cannot tell if the dull "brushed" area is a different plating, roughed up, or a very robust sprayed-on coating.
I recalled this discussion of the issue from a few years back: re chrome topic
The original headers I removed from my ‘68 ‘vert were not painted.
Are they shinny chrome? I saw those NOS ones on ebay...drooling. They look correct. Maybe the restorer guys are using a brush to simulate the look as best they can. Harold knows quite a lot about this piece. I can't seem to search on this site lately. It returns the same data for any query. Anyone else notice that?
Engine Test Stand Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwoxyUwptUcdqEb-o2ArqyiUaHW0G_C88 restoring my 1968 Firebird 400 HO convertible (Firedawg) 1965 Pontiac Catalina Safari Wagon 389 TriPower (Catwagon) 1999 JD LX Lawn tractor 17hp (my daily driver) 2006 Tundra (another driver) 2017 Murano (wife's car) 202? Electric car 203? 68 Firebird /w electric engine _______________________________________________________