Modified Mustangs & Fords
Late-Model Door Glass Install - Modern Makeover
One Piece Products' new Mustang door glass eliminates adjustment hassles and gives your classic Mustang a fresh, modern look
Project Generation Gap has come a long way in the three years we've been building the car. From starting with a rusty pile of parts resembling a Mustang coupe shape to a fully painted and resurrected fastback body style, we also have all of the suspension, brakes, and drivetrain fitted permanently to the project as well. So, over the next few months, we'll be tackling some of the "cleaner" portions of the project like wiring, interior, lighting, and so forth. The days of cutting, grinding, cleaning, and generally destroying a healthy amount of old Mustang show T-shirts is behind us, and we're excited to wrap the project and get it out on the road for all to see.
Longtime readers know that our '68 Mustang project embraces our "modified" name wholeheartedly. While the most obvious modification is the coupe-to-fastback conversion, we can't ignore such popular modifications as the EFI modular 4.6L Three-Valve engine from the '05-and- up Mustang we installed, or the four-wheel disc brakes, coilover suspension, custom body tweaks, and more the car has been built with. But we have more tricks up our sleeve for Generation Gap.
While not originally part of our initial build plans, as can be seen by our concept drawing from Cars by Chris, when we find something new that we feel fits the build style of our fastback, we'll alter said plan as needed. Case in point is our Mustang's glass. At the onset of the project, we planned to simply install a new windshield and backlite, and convert the door glass to fastback glass that is now being reproduced. However, as the build progressed, we found less and less chrome/stainless finding its way back to the car due to fiberglass bumpers, modern painted door handles, and so forth. Our first thought was to paint or powdercoat the vent window frames, but when we got wind of One Piece Products (OPP) out of Whittier, California, and its new one-piece door glass that eliminates the vent window frame completely for a modern feel, we had to take a closer look.
Ben Tapia of OPP has been developing new door glass that eliminates the vent window frame for GM cars and trucks for several years, and delved into the Ford market with Mustang door glass, F-series door glass, and even a trick new power quarter vent window for the '05-and-up Mustang. The kit comes complete with tempered door glass, all mounting hardware, brackets, tracks, and even new door glass scrapers/seals for $985.
Dropping close to a grand into your project might feel like a pain in the wallet, but consider this thought for a moment; disregarding the fact our original door glass was wrong for the body style we now had, let's speculate we wanted to have new vent window frames, new glass, and all the internal door parts (minus the regulator) needed to make the glass work. Seeing as how we're starting off with a bare door shell, this isn't a stretch of the imagination here. Grabbing a popular restoration parts catalog and a calculator, we determined it would cost $2,019.75 for new vent assemblies, new door glass with stainless trim, glass guides, and belt line moldings. So, we're actually saving more than $1,000 by going custom! This is a great option for those building with a Dynacorn body too.
Besides the money savings (which we'll be putting to good use with an Electric-Life power window kit and power door locks), ditching the vent windows has several benefits. First and foremost is safety. The division bar and the vent window frame is an obstruction to visual safety. Driving on today's roads in congested traffic at speed means being able to see cross traffic and traffic coming from behind via your mirrors. There's also the hassle of window adjustment. Anyone who has tried to adjust a vintage Mustang's door glass knows what a pain it can be to have to adjust the glass and the vent frame so they work in harmony for smooth operation and to seal the door glass to the car.
Speaking of sealing, with the one-piece door glass, you can easily reuse your fastback's side rail weatherstrip with just a little adjustment, and you'll have less chance of air leaks since the vent window gasket and division bar weatherstrip are eliminated. Best of all, the modification only requires drilling a few holes and cutting away two spot-welded tabs in your door shell, all of which can be accomplished on a completed/painted car, as we're doing here; so check it out in the following photos.
More Electric-Life Goodies!
Anyone who has tried to adjust a vintage Mustang's door glass knows what a pain it can be to have to adjust the glass and the vent frame so they work in harmony for smooth operation and to seal the door glass to the car
Besides the money savings (which we'll be putting to good use with an Electric-Life power window kit and power door locks), ditching the vent windows has several benefits. First and foremost is safety.