Signal as to why it will get harder to repair our car bodies and windshields

I went to two windshield glass replacement places today and they said they could not replace my cracked windshield because the old guys with experience had retired…

The third place said yes

Same problem for body work. I had a MK 2 some years ago and when I got rear ended I must have gone to 6 shops before one of them agreed to take it…

Dennis 69 OTS

I had to have a windscreen replaced last year. Rock damage that Hagerty covered 100%. I choose the local shop that did our Mazda 6. They had never done an E-type before. It took them less than 2 hours and they did an excellent job. These were all guys in their 20’s to their 40’s I’d guess. They took several pictures of the finished work. I think it’s used in their advertising and that’s fine with me.

The windshield is hard to understand: installation isn’t all that different from most.

Banging tin is banging tin: anyplace that can do decent work on a 1965 Murkin Crapmobile can do the tin work on a Jag.

Point taken, that we are seeing a, maybe two, generations who only know how to replace a fender, squirt it, and send it out the door.

They probably want to stick to newer vehicles with glue in glass. Easier with a higher profit margin.

The same thing with bodywork. Insurance pays off with fewer surprises and the customers are most likely, as a rule, easier to satisfy.

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For bodyshops, that has been the way it is for 15+ years at least. Collision and accident work is what they do, not restoration. I’m sure it’s the same with glass.

The previous owner of my E-type had it repainted by a bodyshop sometime around 2007 or 2008, because he was an insurance adjuster and knew the local shops. Business was slow in those recessionary years and the shop was willing to do it to keep busy.

The only restoration work that I can get done by local bodyshops is if I bring a component in to be painted or stripped (in that case, something like a plastic bumper.) Or a spot repair.

Also the skills to rework the heavier sheet metal on older cars is harder to find. A great dent repair person I use commented on that with the E-type - the tools and techniques used on the thinner, lighter high strength steel of modern cars don’t work as well with the thicker metal of older ones.


@Dennismo @John_Walker
Did you have to supply the windshield?
And did you use a big name franchised glass shop?
I’m curious because there may a time when I’ll need to replace mine.
Thank you

I needed insurance work on my Vanagon. None of the (production) shops the insurer had deals with would touch it so I ended up at a custom shop and the carrier had to negotiate with them on the hourly rate. The insurer realized they had little choice and I will say the work was top drawer. Here’s my little German van parked with its new Italian friends:

The windscreen replacement on my E-Type was handled by a local shop. They sourced the glass (Pilkington - less than perfect fit but okay) and did the work in my driveway:

They were good enough to take it out, then come back a week later for the install… giving me time to take advantage of the behind dash access that afforded.

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May I ask why the two trips? Measurements needed?

Yup it’s all glue in now, and has been for years. I can only think of a couple models that even added some kind of “trim”. It’s nothing more than cutting the old one free, cutting out the old bead, laying a new bead and plopping the new one on. It’s nothing compared to vintage glass setting. More liability with vintage cars also.

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Hi Carlo.

No, I stayed out of it. I assumed, correctly as it turns out, that they were professionals and would handle the job in a professional manner. The last thing they needed was my assistance i.e. interference. :laughing:

I told Hagerty I had a local shop I trusted and they said, “OK”. I put the glass shop and Hagerty in contact with one another and stood back. The shop bought the Triplex windscreen from whoever they normally get their glass, I didn’t ask and I gave them the contact info for SNG so they could source the gasket and locking strip. I did caution them to be sure they ordered the glass and gasket for a 1969 Series II FHC and not an OTS or 2+2. It’s a locally owned, single location company.

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I suspect it was because there was a wait for the glass and they had lots of guys who could come over and take it out - fewer techs who they knew could put it in.

I think you do want to have the installer provide the glass. If it breaks then it’s on them. Your glass breaks and they may just say ‘oops’ and ‘sorry’.

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And, it’s a better way.

No issues here in OZ … we are all old fellas… probably all die out together :smiley:

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@Ahwahnee @John_Walker

Thank you, gentlemen. :+1:

Because the windscreen is part of the structure and it provides something for the passenger’s air bag to buttress against when it inflates and is hit by the passenger. A gasketed windscreen wouldn’t offer much structural support.

In fact:

What role does my windshield play to ensure my safety in an accident? |™.

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and yet when I took my wife’s Volvo for a windshield -it was leaking and had a chip so - the dealer said it was leaking because it was not glued in properly and they could move one corner of it in and out by hand.

Sounds like the factory screwed up on that one.

I have been encouraged on my trips to Goodwood and Jaguar Heritage how many younger folks are involved. At Goodwood in 2019 I talked to a guy in his 20’s who was driving a C-type with impressive race history. He said a few years ago he was not interested in the old cars but now likes driving them much more than the new stuff. A few days later at Jaguar Heritage talked at length to a “kid” working on one of their D-types. Really seemed to know his stuff and was very mindful of its history and not doing anything that would alter it.

68 E-type FHC

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The skills to install vintage glass and repair vintage sheet metal are not going away, they are just getting consolidated to fewer and fewer shops.

At some point in the not too distant future, many of us won’t have some of these skills in our town, so we may have to sniff around and travel a bit to get certain things done.

If you go on Instagram, and look up something like ‘metalshaping’, you’ll find no shortage of guys in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s doing sheet metal work that will blow your mind. But, they all seem to be concentrated in pockets…I know of several in San Diego, and at least a dozen in the Los Angeles area, some in Vegas, etc, etc.

In San Diego County, there also seem to be one or two mobile glass guys who are the ‘go to’ guys for vintage cars. They are busy guys, but they can usually fit you in within a week or two. Hopefully they train replacements before they wake up dead one day, but apparently one or two mobile guys is enough to support a region of nearly 2 million people.

It’s not reasonable anymore to wander into a random glass shop, and expect them to be able to handle your 60 year old car. The onus is on the car owner to seek out the right shop.

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I fitted a screen to a Series 1 FHC in January. It is pretty easy! I was on my own.

It took 40 minutes to get it fitted in the car, 5 minutes to fit the filler strip, the another half hour to fit the top and bottom trim strips, then about 40 minutes to bond the side chromes.

It is not that difficult. Not bragging!

You need some vaseline £2, a new soft windscreen rubber £40, a filler strip fitting tool £10, windscreen rubber hook tool £15 and some black mastick £6 and some ribber suction cups for the side chromes, or another brace to keep them in position whilst the mastic dries overnight.

Happy to tell anyone how to do it if they are a novice.

Rub Vaseline into the glass seating channel all around the rubber. Fit the rubber onto the screen flange on the car. Tap it around the frame until seated properly.

Drop the screen onto the seated rubber make sure it is falling into the correct screen channel, not the channel for the filler strip.

Centralise the screen by looking at the sides. The glass should slide down into the channel with the help of your hands, the vaseline and gravity.

Then you work the rubber around the screen up both sides using the bent hook tool. Be careful not to touch the glass with the hook tool.

Then you work the rubber around the screen towards the center of the car from both sides. Then its in.

You can manipulate the glass, ensuring the whole thing is seated correctly before moving onto the filler strip.

The rest of it will be pretty easy in comparison, so I wont go into the detail unless anyone really wants me to.

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