Plastic Windows for my Glassic

The Plan: I wanted some windows for my Glassic. Since the car didn't have the soft windows when I bought it, I decided to try for rigid windows of some sort. In my case, I made these windows to go with my homemade hardtop, but the technique should work ok with a soft top as well. (with some modifications)

I had seen this technique used by Bob, a guy who owned a VW Thing. His finished product looked very professional.

These windows are designed to be quickly removed, and, (unlike the original curtains) built so that no work needs to be done to get in and out of the car. If you decide to build these, be sure that you have allowed a way for the window to be lifted straight up a couple of inches without hitting anything. In MY case, with my fiberglass top, the door has to be closed for there to be enough room to lift up. Cut a piece of cardboard and test the removal, installation procedure before putting holes in your door.

With some thought, this procedure should work on soft - top cars. It is possible to have front and back windows, with the front window overlapping the back window. You aren't going to be able to lift UP on the back windows, so some other way of mounting THEM will be needed.

I drilled a 7/8" hole for the piece to drop down into the door and then, without cleaning up the fiberglass shavings, I took this picture.The chrome is very nice in real life. I used flat head thick threaded screws to hold it in place, or you could pull off the door panel and use nuts and bolts.

Here is an early fitting of the plastic. It is hard to see so I drew in a white line near the plastic edge. The notches at the front are to clear the dash board on the bottom, and to clear my top frame at the top. Since I have an overhang, the window lifts out, but only if the door is closed, since lifting it with the door open would cause the top of the plastic to hit the overhang.

Oh, yeah. the yellow round thing is a plastic ball that I have dangling from the garage ceiling so that I can aim my rearview mirror and I can line up in the garage and not pull in too far.

Here is the mostly finished project. I used 1/4 inch light bronze plexiglass. $96 including tax and 4 cuts on the 4 x 8 sheet. I have lots of leftover plastic.

Closeup view - I added some rubber U channel (from the local glass and mirror store) to keep the plastic from scraping along the door ledge. The back windows can be removed, and are held with two wing nuts at the bottom and a channel along the top.

Here is the door open. Its easy to get in and out, but I have already noticed - you don't talk to people outside the car with these in place -- no such thing as rolling down the window to ask directions etc.

Here is the window popped partway out. The pokey pieces are just resting on the top of the oar lock devices. In THIS version, you HAVE to lift straight up to remove the windows. A different sytem would be needed for a soft top, where you can't lift straight up without removing the top. For example, you might take an L shaped angle and hook it to the two feet, and then wing-nut bolt the plastic along the bottom edge to the angle.

An inside view looking up at the junction between the front and back windows. The wood in the center is my cross support roof beam and will be covered with headliner fabric.

1. A channel bolted to the top skirt to hold the top of the back window in place.

2. The two different bolts (shame on me) are holding the top skirt piece to the upright.

3. The window plastic is wedged on the inside of the upright channel.

4. The skirt above the door windows is hooked to the cross beam with an L bracket.

5. The dark strip is the overlap of the skirt on the inside, and the door window on the outside.
There is rubber molding on the upright post, and I may add some rubber strip along that overlap area if there is too much high speed rattle.

In conclusion: This is a worthwhile project. I have only tested it to 60 mph or so, and although noisy, it is better than the hurricane of wind without windows. Unfortunately, our two days of Florida winter are probably over, so the cold weather benefits will have to wait until next year.

I got caught in a rain with only the front windows done, and can already tell that this will be a savior in a windy rainstorm. I am guessing the whole project cost to be about $150.