Though we tend to think of them in a positive light, not all windows of opportunity are beneficial. Take, for example, the windshield seal on our resident El Camino. After decades of service in the hot Southwestern sun, the seal had shriveled up like a dried prune, giving water a "window of opportunity" to flow freely inside the vehicle during even the lightest mist.
At first it seemed comical to bail out our car's interior after every rain, but we eventually grew weary of this exercise. Yet we continued to put off the repair out of fear that the windshield channel would look like Swiss cheese once we got the glass out. Our procrastination finally hit its limit, however, and we made an appointment with Loy McKenrick at Auto Perfections in La Habra, California, to fix the expected damage and replace the glass. Anticipating the worst, we showed up with a reproduction lower windshield channel from the Muscle Factory.
To our pleasant surprise, no sheetmetal surgery was necessary. There was a fair amount of surface rust in the lower windshield channel, but no areas that had completely rusted through. So, with Loy's help, we were able to thoroughly wire brush and chemically treat the rusty spots and prep the windshield channel for new glass, all in a matter of hours. Don't you just love it when a repair is this easy? Follow along and we'll show you what we did, and pass along some tips that might help when it comes time to replace glass or make repairs on your vintage Chevy.
LOOKING (FOR) GLASSOkay, so you know you need a new windshield (or backlite) for your vintage Chevy, but where do you start looking for it? Well, the best place to begin searching just might be your closest automotive glass supplier. You might be surprised at what they have in stock, or what they can get. Loy at Auto Perfections used his usual glass supplier to find our new El Camino windshield, which was readily available and cost a very reasonable $125.
If you've got a slightly more obscure Chevy and aren't having any luck with your local glass guy, there are a number of specialty glass suppliers and locator services that can probably find what you need and ship it to your door. We've listed some of the larger suppliers below. And for you by-the-numbers guys, many of these suppliers offer glass that is (or can be) date-coded to make it correct for your restoration.