John, my mistake, I thought we had discussed your cowl plenum being blacked out.
RamAirDave's pics are of a black striped car, so the plenum is painted black as expected.
I'd say John's article is accurate, the assembly process as described is how they made the cars. Original cars confirm this.
Pacers would not have had much an impact on processing, since they were spread out over 2-3 months.
Yes, that pacer is very original. It was here in MI in the original family. Looks like it's been sold or someone (Jim?) moved.