Nothing wrong with "spending all this time on a base 3/4 ton".
That's a huge part of the appeal of these trucks..they all have a following/attraction regardless if it's a SWB 1/2, LWB 3/4, 4x4, 1 ton.
Like the attention you're giving a well deserved family heirloom.
Bolting to the extreme forward threaded boss in the head as pointed out is the obvious answer.
As for compatibility/wrong headers, size up/place exhaust manifold gaskets (header gaskets) against the head then the headers, for alignment/fitment. I doubt that is the issue though.
In our "neck of the woods" the price isn't that great.
My reasoning, around here a guy can usually come up with something a bit nicer, needing less, for the difference of less than what it will take to get that one in like/same condition, but without doing the work.
Color combination is a winner...
Without knowing the age of them, and the fact that they could be "20 years old", my guess is they rusted out internally.
A lot of condensation builds up, particularly if truck is used irregularly and/or short trips.
"Holy Grail" label, can be as different to us individually, as the memberships personalities are here.
Highly optioned I'm sure most would agree, command higher prices, therefore more desirable...probably.
Rare combinations doesn't always equate to more interest, or a higher value.
I'm happy if...
Not just GM, but all of the manufacturers overwhelming usage of plastic in the interiors, grilles, emblems, etc. (I get it-cost, light weight, etc.).
Understanding why, doesn't change my opinion on how it cheapens the overall package.
F350 7.3 Diesel..I will replace it with my '86 K10 (avatar) once I paint it. I no longer need so much truck.
Being retired, I don't daily drive.
I have 8 vehicles, most are sunny weather type cars though.