After seeing the quality of the fitment on the reproduction window trim, I decided to clean up and replace the missing original trim with all original parts. I was only missing one side part, but the rest was also pretty banged up. I had the same local polish shop that did my rear window trim clean up the front. The end result was better than new.
Since I didn’t trust myself with the trim after spending more than a couple of bucks on restoring them, I called the glass installer back to take off the reproduction parts and install the originals. The difference was night and day, and the job was a lot faster too.
Here you can see the before and after of the front left window corner. This is the part the driver will see most often when getting in the car.
With the reproduction, I could fit my finger under the trim. With the originals, the lines are even and it sets in the recess perfectly. You can even see a little imperfection on the body itself with a slight wave in the roof line.
Here is the center lower view before.
And with the original trim installed.
Here is the driver pillar with the original trim. The gap is uniform along the entire length. Also, the bend on the lower piece fits perfect into the riser, with no gap in the corner.
I look a the trim and I think if I would be OK with the reproduction if I was just trying to get things put back together. In the end, the original parts cost close to the same as the reproduction if you know how to find them. The real cost was in getting the dings out and having them polished to perfection. Even if I wasn’t putting this much time into perfecting my car, I would still find originals before buying the reproductions again.