When you have put all your time and money into restoring a vintage car with authentic parts, the last thing you want is to replace, repair and/or restore the windshield with modern glass. Replacing any parts on a vintage car or truck with modern parts defeats the purpose of restoring the vehicle to its orginal glory. However, if you have a vehicle that is rare, it may be rarer still to find the vintage windshield glass you need. Here is how experts replicate authentic auto glass and how it can help you restore your vintage vehicle to the closest approximation of its original self.
First, the Experts Need a Sample of the Glass You Have
Even though your car or truck was manufactured at a specific plant, the glass could have been imported from anywhere. To adequately replicate the glass, an expert will need a sample of the glass from your vintage vehicle. This sample could be taken from a broken windshield, or from an already-cracked side panel. Wrap the sample carefully so that it cannot rip through any packing material or the box or envelope in which you ship it. Most auto glass replicators will tell you what size piece they need, but it is usually only a small amount—just enough to melt down and analyze.
Next, the Glass Is Melted and Analyzed
Glass, including glass from different decades in history and different regions, is often comprised of slightly different elements. Higher concentrates of silica, mangnesium, aluminum and traces of organic material will tell the experts where the glass was made and what materials are needed to reproduce the exact composition of glass to make a new windshield for your old vehicle. Once the glass sample has been fully analyzed, the auto glass repair and restoration experts will provide you with a quote of what it will cost to reproduce and fire enough glass to recreate an authentic windshield for your vehicle. They may also provide you with a quote on a reproduction windshield made of modern glass so you can decide whether or not you really want to pursue the most authentic piece of glass for your project car or truck, or if you are willing to settle for the modern copy.
Finally, the Authentic Glass Reproduction Is Made and Installed
If you still want to pursue the most authentic piece of replicated windshield glass for your vintage vehicle, then the company you hired to analyze the glass will produce it for you through a very careful smelting process. You can then choose to have the glass shipped to you, shipped to a dealership (to prevent breakage and to put the glass in the hands of automotive technicians who can help you install it), or the company may offer to install it for you if you can bring your project vehicle to them. If an antique car dealer were to analyze the glass up close but not under lab equipment, this authentically-replicated glass windshield would appear to be the same as the original windshield.