When it comes to chopping a car’s roof, leaning back a windshield, raking the fenders, sectioning the body or suicide doors, metal fabricators have no limits when customizing a rad ride. But in the aftermath of cutting and welding, the real drama begins when the subject of glass comes into play. You see, there are restrictions in the customizing world because of the simple fact that although you can cut metal, cutting glass is quite a different undertaking, especially the curved windshield or tempered side glass type. You can have glass custom made, but creating a mold to fit your one-off needs can be pretty cost prohibitive.

Fontana, California-based AM Hot Rod Glass has come to the rescue for the customizing world. Now, designs that were previously dictated by what could or could not be accomplished with existing glass have been given a great deal more flexibility thanks to AM Hot Rod Glass’ products. Carmen Belanger-Martin and the crew from AM Hot Rod glass can fabricate D.O.T.-approved acrylic glass for full roofs, side doors, rear quarter glass, and any chopped-down windshield.

With AM Hot Rod Glass and its very top secret “magic room” that includes a five-axis CNC machine, milling for any project will not go beyond their capabilities. Major car customizers like Rad Rides by Troy, Hollywood Hot Rods, West Coast Customs, Galpin Auto Sports, and even Sony Pictures have utilized AM Hot Rod Glass to complete various projects. Use your old glass as a sample or template or measure your new dimensions for a custom shape by with cardboard, paper, or metal to trace the exact outline you want. Not only that, but factory original glass can be recreated as well. Need some hard-to-find opera windows for your Lincoln? They can do it up to the exact dimensions. Want a windshield reproduced that no one else offers aftermarket versions of and you don’t feel like scouring junkyards looking for one that may be chipped and cracked? AM Hot Rod Glass has got you covered there as well.

Carmen’s team has top-notch customer service, and we personally know that they can produce zero-distortion, optically perfect acrylic glass to fit any application. AM Hot Rod Glass can take your template/sample and will make you an acrylic glass duplicate; they can also allow a 1/2 inch over your template size so you can cut it down to be exact in case your measurements were short. Follow along with us as we install acrylic custom-sized glass that we had premeasured for installation on a few project car and truck builds.

Chop top modifications as shown here on this “Bomb Truck” require a cardboard or a thin wood panel to first be measured, trimmed, and then fitted into the new modified windshield dimensions as a template to produce the new acrylic glass.

Here, the modified/chopped roof rear window is measured to begin making a cardboard template to use for the new rear acrylic glass size to be made by AM Hot Rod Glass.

To be sure the side door glass template measurements are perfect, Jason installs the original/cut-down window frame railings on to the template as shown.

After the templates were cut to their exact dimensions and proper fit, they were delivered to AM Hot Rod Glass for production. The new custom-sized and ready-to-fit acrylic glass is shown here and ready for installation.

We had the Auto Glass Tech Service guys come out to our Tech Center and install the new acrylic glass on our chopped “Bomb Truck” project. Augie and his partner specialize in window installs.

Shown here is the final look of the completed glass install on our one-off chopped truck project. These windows come D.O.T. approved and you can also choose your own shade of tint.

In these following photos we have another sample of a vehicle where the top was chopped and the windshield was slanted. The top glass piece is the original side door glass and the one underneath is the AM Hot Rod Glass, D.O.T. approved, that was made for us in the exact same size. The reason was so that the acrylic glass could be cut down or trimmed to the exact size of the modified door.

We took the new acrylic glass and marked the regulator mounting holes from the original glass. We drilled out the holes on the acrylic glass so that we could use a wood template to make all of our final adjustments before attempting to cut the acrylic glass.

Here we have the thin wood template mounted to the new acrylic window. We bolted them together to make sure they matched up.

We cut the wood template down close to the size of the acrylic glass so that we could go from there to make the final cut on the height of the glass and also the forward slant cut.

We removed the bolts to separate both the template and acrylic glass so we could mount the template to the door regulator.

We fastened on the wooden template as a sample onto the side door window regulator. From there we rolled up the window template so that we could outline and make the final measured cuts until the wooden template would fit in its exact side window dimensions.

We removed the template, lined it back up with the acrylic glass, and easily cut down the glass to the exact measurement from the template. We then mounted the custom acrylic glass on to the car’s door window assembly. The acrylic glass fit perfectly and from there we did the same on the other driver side door.

AM Hot Rod Glass allowed us to modify a rooftop any way we wanted without the glass part replacement restricting us. Original or modified glass can now be made to fit your custom project as well as a full custom glass roof to go along with it!

Axalta Paint Tip of the Month
By Axalta Coatings Systems

Get Some Flex Appeal

Here is this month’s August issue of the Lowrider Axalta Coating “Paint Tip of the Month” for anyone who plugs in a spray gun. This helpful tip will improve the quality and durability in all paintjob finishes. All you have to do is add 2 ounces of Axalta V-2350S Flex additive to a quart of primer, sealer, or clear to give your finished product extra durability. This additive is a must when you are also painting fiberglass and/or plastic parts. Just by adding this simple process to your paint material it will protect your paint finish from stress cracks caused by heat or when certain car bodies flex from hitting those hydraulic suspensions. For more technical advice, please feel free to contact Axalta paint specialist Steven Chaparro at steven.c.chaparro@axaltacs.com.

Special thanks to Auto Glass Tech Services