What's the difference between classic and vintage? The question occurred to me when I came across a reference to a fellow who is restoring a "classic" 1969 El Camino. 1969 is classic?? There is no agreement on the subject. The Classic Car Club calls anything between 1925 and 1942 classic; Consumer's Guide says it refers to the 1960's. I feel it really refers to the quality and outstanding aura of the car; all the first seven or eight years of the Ford Mustang were really good cars, but to me the 1968 and 1969 models were the classics. It really doesn't matter. But I'd say you have a better chance of finding a windshield for a "classic" car than you do for a "vintage" car!
If you're looking for a windshield for a fairly recent car, you can try the second-hand market — parts shops and the wreckers' yards. You are of course wise to bear in mind that windshields that come from wrecks may be pretty well wrecked themselves, but you should be able to find what you need. If they don't cost too much, you might be smart to buy two or three windshields; the first one you find may not be in the best of shape but by the law of coincidences if you come back for it, someone else will have by that time slipped it away! If you wind up with more than one then you have spares or sellers. Try friends and acquaintances as well.
But for older or more sought-after vehicles, you'll pretty well have to go to the speciality suppliers. These abound; you can find them in fan mags and on the Internet. Four that I found quite easily are these (this is not to say that they are recommended or guaranteed because they're mentioned!):
All of these companies have their special expertise and all can help in specific situations. All of them warn that as some vehicles are now very rare: finding curved glass for them may not be possible as it isn't worth the manufacturers' effort to supply it. The main categories of windshield glass available are:
For the real vintage cars — antiques in fact — there is just about no possibility that there exists one-owner examples anywhere any more. You'll have to go to the antique car fancier clubs and magazines and hope for the best.