Roger is correct,the dipstick tube itself should be bare and the dipstick handle is painted engine color;supposedly the dipstick was laid in the intake valley when these engines were painted; and yes I did paint some of the block in the car,the removeable pieces like the intake,valve covers,etc. were all done when I replaced all the gaskets but that was back in 1997; it only has 50000 miles on it so when I freshened it up I had a pretty clean unmolested engine bay to start with(it still had the original points in it in 1996 at 45000 miles). I would have liked to leave it alone as a survivor but it had a lot of rusty bare metal on the valve covers and one thing led to another,but I left as much alone as I could.