Gas Wall Heater

My 55-year old crackerbox has a natural gas-powered, wall-mounted heater. It works fine, but has no thermostat. It also looks a helluva lot better than the new units I've seen in the stores.
I'd love to add a thermostat, but realize that would require replacing the valve assembly on the heater, and that might not be a reasonable thing to try to fit up.
Here are the options I see:
1. Buy a thermostat and valve assembly, and endure the work of installing it all and getting it working. (of course, if I did manage it, the heater would then go bad, and I'd have to get a new one anyway!).
2. Buy a new wall heater and pull the valve and thermostat, and try to fit them up to the old unit, and store the rest of the new one for future use.
3. Buy and install a new one, and try to get the shrouds from the old one to fit on the new one.
Anybody have other ideas, comments?
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tbl

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