Replacing the windshield on a classic car can be an ordeal — auto glass manufacturers aren't making replacements anymore, so finding a windshield that fits your classic car is often quite challenging. Regardless of the difficulty, you'll need to replace your windshield once it is badly cracked or chipped and cannot be repaired. A damaged windshield will reduce the value of your classic car along with making it unsafe to drive. To help you find a replacement windshield for your classic car, here are your two options and some information to help you make the correct choice between them.
Original Windshield From Another Vehicle
If you're lucky enough to find a car of the same make and model online or at a scrapyard, then you may be tempted to simply remove the windshield from the other car and replace your own car's windshield with it. This method is the cheapest option to replace your classic car's windshield. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this method.
First, it can be very difficult to find an old windshield that's still in good condition. The main problem you'll face is delamination. The safety glass used in the construction of automobile windshields is comprised of two layers of glass bonded to a polyvinyl butyral layer that sits between them. The polyvinyl interlayer prevents the windshield from shattering into small, sharp shards when it's in an accident, which increases safety. Unfortunately, sunlight causes the bond between the glass and the interlayer will weaken over time, causing the windshield to delaminate. A delaminated windshield appears opaque and cloudy, and older windshields that are fully delaminated can be completely impossible to see out of. Even if you find an older windshield with no signs of delamination, its age makes it more susceptible to delaminating in the future.
The other problem you'll experience is successfully removing the windshield. You'll need to be careful and avoid chipping or scratching the glass while you're removing it. You may want to have it removed at a professional auto glass shop in order to make sure you don't accidentally damage it. After all, vintage car windshields in good condition are difficult to find, so you want to make sure it's successfully removed in perfect condition once you've found one. Likewise, it's a good idea to have a professional auto glass repair shop install the windshield in your car in order to avoid causing damage to both your car and the windshield.
Manufactured Reproduction Glass Windshield
The other option for replacing a vintage car windshield is to use reproduction glass. While it's not original to the make and model of the vehicle, it's indistinguishable from the original if the reproduction glass is manufactured correctly.
With reproduction glass, a glass manufacturer creates glass according to the manufacturer's original specifications. The glass is then cut down to size (either by the glass manufacturer or at an auto glass repair shop) in order to create a perfect fit to your car. While reproduction glass is often expensive, you'll receive a new windshield in perfect condition — it won't be on the cusp of delaminating.
When you need to replace your classic car's windshield, having it replaced with reproduction glass at an auto glass repair shop is often the best way to go. In fact, it may be your only option if you're having difficulty finding an original replacement. Your windshield is an important safety feature, so it's important to make sure it's in good condition and free of delamination, chips and scratches that can impair your vision while driving. If your vintage car needs its windshield replaced, contact a local auto windshield repair shop and ask them about replacing your windshield with reproduction glass designed for your make and model of car.