by Bob Beranek
  • facebook

Vintage Door Glass Dilemma

My son Jay called me yesterday to ask if there are any suppliers for ¼ inch laminated flat glass. He has a customer that wanted a door glass fabricated for 1955 Chevrolet door glass and the glass in the vehicle is ¼” thick. I’m not sure that type of glass is even made any more for automotive use but through some investigation I did happen to find a couple suppliers.

Here are the suggestions I made and the problems that went with them, but I am hoping that my readers can help in solving the dilemma.

  1. Try other suppliers and find ¼ inch lami. That didn’t work; no one around here has it. The closest they had was 3/16,” which is too thin. The run guides are worn so the glass will rattle and leak air and possibly water.
  2. Try cutting the glass with ¼” annealed and have it tempered. That didn’t work both because there are no tempering furnaces in our area and the cost is prohibitive.
  3. Replace all of the run guides to facilitate 3/16” glass. This would work but it is a little costly and restorers want to maintain as much original equipment as possible.
  4. Try to find a pre-cut part. There are some pre-cut parts out there. Some from collectors’ sites that are very expensive and then others that are affordable but I suspect that they will also be modernized. Unless there is an original part sold as used, there is always going to be problems once you get the glass.The first rule when working with restorers is to qualify the customer. Determine his wants, needs and expectations and then figure the cost and time investment. Never get involved with an old car without knowing what is expected and what the customer can afford. Time and costs get out of hand and you can either lose your shirt or lose a good customer that will spread the word about you to all of his collecting friends. Restoration can be fun, challenging and lucrative but it must be managed or you will lose.

Any of you that have dealt with vehicle restorers or collectors know that they are a particular bunch and, depending on the owner, each have their own demands. Some want the original laminated glass installed and others just want it to be clear and solid. Others want cheap and others say price is no object.

The first rule when working with restorers is to qualify the customer. Determine his wants, needs and expectations and then figure the cost and time investment. Never get involved with an old car without knowing what is expected and what the customer can afford. Time and costs get out of hand and you can either lose your shirt or lose a good customer that will spread the word about you to all of his collecting friends. Restoration can be fun, challenging and lucrative but it must be managed or you will lose.

Comments (3)

  1. […] TODAY’S BLOG: Vintage Door Glass Dilemma […]

  2. Bill Brodie said on 12-06-2014

    I believe the (NAGS) part # is 4022T is for a 2 door sedan or wagon ( not a Nomad) or 4025T for a 4 door sedan or wagon. I haven’t looked it up – just from memory of cutting, polished and installing hundreds in Chevys and Pontiacs.

    I’m located near Boston and there are dozens of glass distributors that carry 1/4″ laminated. I can’t imagine where you are located that a sheet of 1/4″ laminated glass is impossible to find. If you don’t have the old glass as a pattern for the new glass then there are hundreds of restoration parts suppliers that probably could supply the glass for under $50.00

    Good luck,
    Bill Brodie

    • Bob Beranek said on 17-06-2014

      Bill,

      Since I wrote the blog, I have received numerous responses from suppliers but believe it or not in our area there is no supplier for the glass. We are familiar with the NAGS and the pattern number and have that we just couldn’t find the glass.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.