Having the proper glass in car windows is an important and often forgotten feature in the safety of your automobile. People underestimate the structural integrity that glass provides a car. In a collision, the front windshield can provide up to 45% of the support of the cabin, and if the car rolls over, as much as 60% of the car’s weight is supported by the glass.
In a classic car, the importance of windshield and glass quality is too often overlooked. If you have a classic car from before 1927, the likelihood of your car having regular plate glass windows is very high. Safety glass was not a common feature among automobile manufacturers until the 1930’s. Of course, even in cars made after that time, there is no guarantee that the glass is shatterproof. If an owner replaced the windows or windshield at any point then they may have simply used the cheapest available glass.
If your glass is not safety glass, talk to a car or glass salesman about replacing the windows. The two most common types of safety glass are laminated glass and tempered glass, and both are used in cars. If you choose not to drive your classic car and merely keep it as part of a collection, it’s fine to keep the non-safety glass or buy replacements made of non-safety glass as well.
Laminated glass is held together by a strong interlayer that prevents the glass from shattering when it is broken. The interlayer, often made of polyvinyl butyral, also increases the glass’s insulation from sound and protection from UV rays. This glass is somewhat hard to cut due to the plastic layers between the glass, but it will not shatter on impact, and so is a good option when picking out replacement glass for your car windshield.
Tempered glass, like laminated glass, does not shatter when broken, but instead breaks into chunks of glass rather than sharp shards. Tempered glass is produced by tightly controlled chemical and heat regulated treatments, increasing the glass’s physical strength and its resistance to extreme temperature fluctuations. Because of its tendency to crumble instead of shatter when it is broken, tempered glass is often used in car windows.
Another reason to consider replacing your classic car’s windows is that old glass may become unsightly. While the age of the car is part of what makes it a classic, the glass will deteriorate over time, and replacing it will help increase the car’s value as well as keep it in good condition. Damaged or deteriorated glass can negatively affect the rest of the car if not addressed in a timely manner.
If a previous owner installed tinted glass, this might be another reason to replace the windows. Classic cars do not traditionally have tinted glass, and it adds no real benefit to the car. If your glass is tinted, you can remove the tint yourself, or hire a professional to remove it. Of course, it may be cheaper and more efficient to simply remove the glass altogether and replace the windows and windshield with un-tinted safety glass.
The professionals at All Glass and Upholstery can assist with the removal and installation of any type of automotive glass, give us a call at (562) 432-9366 or send us a message.