I am working in this same area now. My early '72 pre-L had a support frame for the lower grille from the factory. The wire cloth was welded to the frame, which was then spot welded inside the valance. In my repairs, I am going to use the original grille and frame, and mount it inside the new valance with screws or pop rivets. This is simply to make any future repairs easier, as this area tends to get damaged.
I gave some thought to that. I have countersunk the sheet metal so that the screws (or rivet heads) sit flush; a tiny dab of black silicone caulk should hide them. They are in a low visibility area, and an air dam should help hide them too. I'll put up some pics in my resto thread, so others can see how it came out, and decide for themselves if they want to use such a method. I did see David's idea, but hadn't thought of using it in this way.
I don't recall if you need a new screen too or if yours is serviceable, but in case you can't find a new screen from one of the vendors Howard Wire Cloth has a near perfect match for the screen on our grills. http://www.howardwire.com/
Im working in the same area and plan on 10/32nut serts the pan head torx screws and the nut serts are SS I drilled the spot welds out and plan on this approach im also making the valance removable with rhe same nutserts and screws because of the possibility of damage and ease of removal
While your at it seal up those holes in the piece. A little race tip the air that goes through the screen, (expanded metal) shoots right out the bottom through the large stamped oval holes in the bottom, closed off the air is directed into your radiator where it will cool your radiator!
Pantera mesh is made into a diamond pattern by tweaking the square mesh to the desired diamond shape. (the mesh is not a welded fabric but a woven cloth, allowing flexibility in changing the square to a diamond).
The mesh is a standard item at any manufacturer of wire cloth and the spec is: 1/2" square opening, inter crimp, with .080 wire. CAUTION: 1/2" OPENING IS NOT THE SAME AS 1/2" MESH OR #2 MESH - MESH IS MEASURED FROM CENTER LINE OF WIRE TO CENTER LINE OF WIRE.
This standard item is available in many different materials, which probably varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Locally it is available in steel, galvanized steel, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and electro polished stainless steel (sure does look like chrome). Call your local manufacturer for pricing, for I'm sure it varies. http://www.howardwire.com/
Be aware that the original metric mesh opening is 13mm and the SAE version opening is 12.7 mm; the original metric wire is 2 mm with the SAE version being 2.032 mm. So for you purists, the mesh is not an EXACT match, but so close as to not be a noticeable difference. However, for a formidable price you can get an exact match.
FWIW, there are a number of other sources for the material online as well.
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