New glass for an old Barracuda
Story and photos by Scott Lachenauer
The windshield on my ’67 Barracuda was in pretty poor shape when I bought the MoPar A body about 8 years back. Rather than replace it at the time, and since it was OEM piece, I figured I would live with the small chips, scratches and wiper haze that had softly clouded my vision since getting it on the road five years ago. Just the thought of breaking that seal and opening up another can of worms in my apple of a restoration was just too much for me or my wallet to bear.
Well, the years passed. The little “‘Cuda” found its way down to the Jersey Shore, and things never got any better. The wet, salty weather didn’t help my cause much (and wasn’t much help to the body, either), and cruising it along the sand-swept beach roads of the coast blasted the last few remaining clear spots of my front glass. Since laser eye correction to improve my driving vision was out of the question, the time had come to do something about my hazy view over my dash.
I read on that dang internet that some guy in East Bumblefart, U.S.A., restored his windshield with nothing more than a gob of good rubbing compound and some 00 steel wool. I was pretty skeptical of this procedure, but figuring my car’s main “view finder” was already on the skids, it would be no harm done to give it a shot — why not? Well, needless to say, the mission was a DOA after about an hour of a hard-core elbow workout, and the windshield looked like someone had taken some 60 coarse to it with a belt sander. Not good.
So I broke down and decided that the best thing to do for my fish car and my sanity was to get the windshield replaced, hoping deep down that when we took the metal trim off, we wouldn’t find what I was so nervous about… a complete debacle of a rotted windshield frame. Then there are the other questions that surface later on, such as, “Is the gasket going to fit? Are the guys going to get it to seat right? And the very popular phrase, “Is it going to leak?”
I put aside my day-mares and called some experts to help me out in this struggle to see clearly once again. First off, I needed the right parts to get the job done. After procuring the right windshield, I needed the gasket to be OEM correct and fit right. That’s why I called Steele Rubber Products. One call over to its well-stocked facility was all it took and three days later, I had a beautifully made, correct replacement gasket and locking strip there on my front porch. They not only stock great MoPar parts, they cover pretty much every classic car with a variety of replacement parts.
To get this big lens in the car, I called local experts Norman’s Glass out of Trenton, N.J. Norman’s is well known for a variety of car services, and they cater to clients from all of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I set up an appointment, and I had a team of pros on the way to save my sanity.