The first couple of years the XJ-S was produced, the panel surrounding the license tag was painted black and the taillight panels were painted black to match, leaving a little chrome rim around the edge. From the mid-70's to the mid-80's, the taillight panels were painted silver, again with a chrome edge. Finally, from the mid-80's until the entire taillight scheme was changed in the early 90's, the entire taillight panel was chrome with no paint.
Eventually it was discovered that all of the taillight panels were chrome
plated underneath the paint, since it was necessary to make that little
chrome rim. The author's '83 came with the silver paint, but that
was removed easily enough.
Needless to say, there are other possibilities here. If you are having your car painted, you might consider painting this taillight panel the same color as the car!
There are also reports that the replacement lenses for the mid-70's
cars cost much less than the lenses for the later cars -- and the only
difference is the paint on this panel!
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