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The cera-metallic coating, applied inside and outside the primaries, definitely reduces heat loss to the engine compartment. Additionally, it reduces external corrosion and cracking due to thermal cycling, and has been shown to produce couple extra HP by keeping the exhaust gas velocity high in the primaries, increasing scavenging. I wouldn't even consider buying uncoated headers for a street car.
Chrome does none of the above, and will discolor almost immediately.
I have some modified AS&M headers that are now 15 years old. I bought them used 12 years ago. They have been subjected to the abuse of a 20+# boosted LT1 and my LT1 spraying a 300-shot. They came with an HPC cera-metallic coating, and they still look decent, with only minor rust around the weld splatter.
94 Formula A3+1: 381ci all-forged stroker - Callies Stealth, Oliver 5.85 billet rods, BME nitrous pistons/CNC LT4 heads/Comp Cams custom solid roller/TH400+GearVendors OD/4.11's/Strange 12-bolt/300-shot N2O/Spohn Suspension/6-pt roll bar with integrated SFC's/full AutoMeter instrumentation/MoTeC M48 Pro engine management system/a few other odds 'n ends.
My website is down. Hopefully, links/photos be restored in 2 or 3 weeks.