With the automatic you will have no clutch linkage issues interfering with any tube bends. I prefer the long collector over shorties ,looks more period correct ,just my opinion. And yes ,I do prefer black. For a mild street engine you do not have to shell out big bucks for a set of comp headers. Stick with smaller tubes. I recommend ceramic coating: finish longevity ,decreased engine compartment temps but they do lean it out some and you should increase the jet sizes. What ever carb you use the manufacturer's tech department can help with that. Honestly Flowtech ( holley corp.) makes a very affordable dual purpose header which bolts up nice ,good access to plugs. Out of habit I place my headers first than set the engine in but these don't have radical bends and I believe you can install from the top( take your plugs out ! ) I picked up a pair once because I just needed a lowdollar set to fire something up ,they are now on a 38 street rod pick up, sound great on a stock crate motor ,good bottom end and pulls. Also invest in a set of Percy's locking header bolts ,pricey but worth it. Another option is just to see what the suppliers are coating and putting their name on ( jegs/summit) the bends look like hedman or hooker ,a little less on the wallet . Their are thosands of sbc camaros/novas out their with headers ,should not be a problem. Just don't overpay if you don't have to ,remember these engines are a package carb to exhaust and as long as you keep it balanced, you'll be fine.