Hot rodders prefer coupes. (Editor’s note: I knew it wouldn’t take long for Pat and I to disagree. Hot Rodders prefer highboy roadsters!) They’re smaller, lighter, quicker, more intimate, and sportier than sedans. Well, yes, earlier sedans like A’s, Deuces, and ’34s—especially with chopped tops—do make good rod material, but it’s the later, fatter, and especially boxier sedans that rodders and customizers tend to eschew. Such sedans too often have the word “family” tacked in front.

The mild but effective transformation shown here applies to ’49-51 shoebox Fords. During these years the difference between a coupe and a sedan is that the former had a slightly shorter roof and one-piece rear side windows. Changing the sedan’s roof is not practical; changing the windows is not only relatively simple, but it really gives the family sedan a much cleaner look. In the case of my ’50 Ford Tudor, all the side glass needed replacing and the run channels were worn out anyway, so making the switch actually simplified the operation.

Though this modification is being performed on a Ford, you’ll find that many ’50s sedans (two- and four-door), have a similar two-piece rear quarter-window arrangement (to allow the roll-down part to clear the rear wheelwell), and can be converted to one-piece glass in the same way. The basic operation can also be used on many ’40s-50s sedans with chopped tops.

I had been planning this modification since I acquired this “family” car from my son, Bill, a couple years ago, and discussed doing it with Mike Cox at The Glass House in San Dimas, California, who has done all my custom glass work for years. My big surprise, when I finally got the car painted and ready for new glass, is that Cox didn’t answer the phone, Carson Hobson did.

Little did I know Cox was planning to retire and move to Arizona. Well, he did, and he ceded the entire Glass House business, including all his rare, early glass patterns and the several mail-order kits and accessories that he has offered to the much younger but just as talented Hobson who has been running his own similar business, called Street Rod Glass, in Riverside, California, since 1999. This made a somewhat longer drive for me to get all my glass installed and take these pictures, but the good news is that Hobson does the majority of his work mail-order, to wherever you live. If it’s standard glass you need for an early rod, custom, or restoration, he can cut it to fit from his numerous vintage patterns, preferably in tempered glass, and either in clear or in various tints.

For custom glass (shown here), Hobson suggests you measure the perimeter of your window opening, then order the felt and/or rubber channel you need to fit it (which he ships in a tube). When it arrives, cut a pattern out of 1/4-inch Masonite, and then trim it to fit the opening tightly with the channel fitted in place. Make sure this pattern fits both sides of the car (mine differed by 1/4-inch—fit the smaller opening). Then you can simply trace around this Masonite pattern onto a large piece of butcher paper, which you can roll or fold up and send to Hobson to cut your glass to fit. He’ll send the glass back in flat, reinforced cardboard cartons.

So that’s it. The Glass House and Street Rod Glass are now one, offering the same products you’ve seen advertised here for years, replacement mail-order glass for early rods or restorations, and even custom glass cut to fit—as shown here—as long as you can supply them with an accurate pattern. And the work is as good as ever. I can vouch for that.

SOURCE
Street Rod Glass/The Glass House
888-876-1116
www.streetrodglass.com