Lotus Elan

Windscreens: Tinted vs Clear

PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:55 pm

I was looking to replace my original windscreen (windshield) on my US spec 69 S4 drophead.

The reason for replacement is that while the screen is intact and not cracked with one rock pit (that I have lived with for 49 years), the glass is just not very clear when driving into the sun. Even after meticulous cleaning. Too many small pits and general hazing.

It appears that the US suppliers only carry the tinted version (no top dark stripe) instead of my original clear one. I was wondering if anyone knows if and when the tinted versions were originally fitted by the factory. I don't recall if it was an option when I purchased my original car in 1969.

I can get a clear windshield out of the UK but so far the cost is substantial because of packaging and shipping.

The odd dilemma I have is that I currently have one clear door window and one tinted (Sundym) one. So I already have some tinted glass on the car. The tinted door glass was something I installed maybe 40 years ago after I broke the original clear one repairing the lift mechanism. The tinted one was supplied locally (probably Bean) and instead of returning it to swap for a proper clear one I went ahead and installed it anyway as I didn't want to wait.

So, I would like to cure the long-standing clear/tint mismatch while fitting a new, clear windscreen:

Either:

1. Replace the windshield with a tinted version and replace the original, clear door glass with a tinted one (all tint)

or.

2. Try to obtain a clear windshield ($$$$?) and replace the tinted door glass with a clear one.(all clear)

Any opinions on tinted vs clear. My car is generally cosmetically original but certainly not concours original (engine, wheels all changed). I realize the tint is somewhat subtle. Just wondering if it is period correct and in character? Is it worth the extra money to obtain the clear ones?
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:20 pm

When I bought my car, it had a tinted windshield that was delaminated, so I got a new clear one. Within days of being on the road, a mini van kicked up a huge rock and smashed it. Only the tinted was available, so I bought one. I can not tell the difference. Go with tinted. I got mine from Richard

ProSource Glass international
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http://www.prosourceglassintl.com

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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:06 pm

"I can not tell the difference. Go with tinted."

Same here... though I got mine from Pilkington classics... much cheaper! Part number was HT0265 GN, $155 plus shipping 3 years ago. Call Rick @ Pilkington Classics (800) 848 1351

ProSource wanted $405 plus shipping...
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:00 am

Turns out the clear windshield is available from ProSource. Say it is a Triplex branded item.

Tinted is available from Pilkington. They weren't sure about branding.

Costs are within $50 of each other, shipped. Way less ( -30%) than shipped from Paul Matty in the UK (pounds to dollars).

Neither US vendor handle the door glass. So that may be the deciding factor of whether I go tinted or clear, as to what I can find. ProSource suggested just getting a clear one cut and tempered.

BTW, Paul Matty says their door glass doesn't fit that well. Complaints about the fit at the top of the window - a gap. Good that they were honest with me.
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PostPost by: elanman999 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:53 am

Pilkington own the Triplex brand. My new screen is marked Triplex and Pilkington.

You can get them tinted and tinted and banded. I think in green or blue. Edit, you can also get them in clear.
155$ is a very good price I paid about £250 for a screen last year.

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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:05 am

I wasn’t able to reach Rick at Pilkington last year when I was considering a new windshield. If they are still available at $155 I would probably purchase one.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:43 pm

Someone has to notice for it to be a factor, but in some states usage of tinted front windshield and side glass isn't legal. Massachusetts is one of those states (you can have the tint strip at the top.)

The presence of tinting becomes noticeable when you have a mismatch and there was a crackdown a few years back. I do remember being asked to remove tint film from side glass at inspection time on a car that had it.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:54 pm

denicholls2 wrote:Someone has to notice for it to be a factor, but in some states usage of tinted front windshield and side glass isn't legal. Massachusetts is one of those states (you can have the tint strip at the top.)

The presence of tinting becomes noticeable when you have a mismatch and there was a crackdown a few years back. I do remember being asked to remove tint film from side glass at inspection time on a car that had it.


I think you are talking about very heavy tinting - that is, to the point where you can barely see through the glass.

The tint on the Pilkington/Triplex glass is barely noticeable.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:30 pm

denicholls2 wrote:I think you are talking about very heavy tinting - that is, to the point where you can barely see through the glass.

The tint on the Pilkington/Triplex glass is barely noticeable.


Nope, the Pilkington glass I have on my new Europa windshield sitting in the basement is dark enough to set off the picky. As I said, they're a lot less noticeable if they aren't different. But no amount of tint is "allowed."
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PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:36 am

If you like the tint, then do it.
I bought a tinted windshield for my '62 Elite, while in England. I also bought a new clear windshield.
I drove the car with the tinted windshield for about a year, and then changed it for the clear.
The reason for the change back, was while driving at night it was too dark, i didn't like that my vision was impaired. It was hard to see cars or people, particularly coming up side streets in twilight.
I completely understand the sandblasted glass; My Elite suffered from that. It sounds goofy, but, I always thought the British glass was "soft" and easily chipped or scratched, compared to other cars I've owned.
But having said that, if I change the windshield on my Elan, I'll get it shipped from the UK, if that is the only place I can get a clear screen.
I can't believe that the only available windshields or door windows in the U.S. are tinted, but, 'ours is not to reason'.
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:31 am

Several years ago I put together a group purchase from Pilkingtons for clear windshields for the Elan. You should see if there are enough people who want them & see if Pilkington US will bring over a shipment for you.
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PostPost by: SENC » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:14 pm

It isn't next on my list of todos, but mine has a pretty decent chip and will need to be replaced sometime, so if anyone starts a group buy on clear count me in.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:10 pm

I bought one a few years ago from a uk company called HeatedWindscreens.

https://heatedwindscreen.com/acatalog/lotus-elan-s3-4-clear-laminated-windscreen.html#SID=498

Prices seem pretty reasonable as well. It seems they do a heated screen as well if you want to keep your hands warm!

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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:17 am

Update on my glass search:

1. I can get a clear windscreen in the US as noted in my prior post. Has a Triplex logo. So, I don't have to choose tinted. More expensive than in the UK but shipping from the UK is a non-starter.

2. I found clear door glass from a US Lotus parts supplier to replace my older, mismatched (and scratched) tinted one. But, quite expensive - around $300 + $50 shipping. UK suppliers are loathe to ship their door glass (price: 65-75 pounds) across to the US or at best at an exorbitant shipping cost. The US supplied window from the Lotus parts vendor has no logo etching. One UK supplier has one with a logo that says "Mini" (or some such thing) -but not the original "Triplex Toughened"

3. I found a US classic car glass supplier that will fabricate a new window from scratch if I supply a template. Fraction of the cost of the US Lotus parts supplier (~$100). They can also etch a Triplex Toughened (X X X) logo on it that is similar (not exact) to the original. As below:

Logo for newly fabricated window:
triplex.jpg and


Original logo:
img_0220.jpg and


As I don't want to disassemble the door more than once, I am going to wait until my scheduled paint job later this year when I can access the glass, make the template, and order the new glass. And then reinstall after paint.

It appears that all the usual Elan parts suppliers are making these windows from scratch. Some (PM) admit to not a great fit. Sue Miller has her own, but she says it is too problematic to ship to the US. If you are in the UK it appears not to be worthwhile to fabricate on your own but for the US it looks like it may be the way to go. Less expensive, and you'll also get one with a proper Triplex logo. If you want to be a real stickler, one could even date code the logo as per the original window (dots above and below TRIPLEX and TOUGHENED).

http://phscollectorcarworld.blogspot.co ... glass.html

My original window indicates March 1969, as shown in the picture: dot above the X (March) and dot below the D (9). I picked my car up at the factory July 1969, so that is consistent.
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