Over time, auto glass will start to become more translucent than transparent, especially around the edges, as the membrane between the layers of safety glass deteriorates. Many older cars were manufactured with flat glass for side and vent windows. Cars with “split” windshields typically used flat glass as well. These types of windows will require special glass service to be restored or replaced. If you’re chopping the top, you’ll likely need to trim a few inches off the glass for a proper fit.
Most manufacturers have switched to single-thickness tempered glass in side and rear windows for weight and safety considerations while windshields use a new kind of laminated safety glass.
This change makes it a bit more difficult to find the exact glass you need. It’s basically impossible to cut or trim tempered glass without it shattering, which means any new glass put in these windows will need to be custom fit for your vehicle. And while you can cut safety glass, it’s usually best left to a professional.
Tempered vs Laminated Glass
Tempered glass is processed in an atmospheric oven that heats and hardens it. Rapidly cooled after it forms, it develops an even tougher outer layer that makes it five to ten times stronger than regular glass. If broken, it crumbles into small, blunt pebbles instead of splintering into jagged shards. Excluding the windshield, all new vehicles are required to have tempered glass for the windows.
Laminated glass is a non-strengthened safety glass that’s only used for windshields. If shattered, a thin clear plastic interlayer between two glass layers keeps the glass bonded and produces a spider web cracking pattern to prevent glass shards from dispersing.
Each Vehicle Requires Something a Little Different
Many classic cars have different needs when it comes to glass restoration or replacement. The shape, structure and thickness are usually much different from the glass on contemporary vehicles. That’s why we fabricate or restore auto glass for classic vehicles, hot rods and specialty vehicles on a case by case basis.
Our custom glass fabrication allows you to modify your car the way you’ve envisioned. We handle each project with the extreme care, attention and respect these vehicles deserve. We can perfectly match the look and period of your car. Or, if you want something a little off the beaten path, we’ll spend time talking to you about your vision to ensure that our work perfectly matches the look you’re going for.
All Work Is Done In-House
We fabricate both flat and curved glass that’s tailor made to fit your hot rod like a glove. We don’t outsource this work because quality work requires precision, experience and patience. If you’re chopping the top, we’ll make sure the chop geometry and alignment of all the glass involved is correct before fabricating any glass.
Get a Quote Today
When you need glasswork done on your classic, don’t trust any Joe Schmoe to do it. Fitment issues and leaks are prevalent with this kind of work, which is why you need to work with someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.
We’ve been doing modifications like these for over a decade and will do our absolute best to make these a non-issue for you. Get a quote now or contact us with any questions you have.