Tint is a touchy subject among car lovers. It’s not the most drastic mod, but there are a million ways to do it, and, depending on which method your friends do or don’t endorse, tint might not be considered acceptable at all in your circle.
For most people, tint is a relatively minor change. However, it seems standard rules don’t apply when the tint conversation turns to classic cars. Tinting wasn’t common in the days these cars were made, so is it ok to apply modern tint to a classic?
Pros and Cons
California is a popular place to own a classic, and part of the reason for that is the weather. If you live somewhere that makes it easy to own a classic car, chances are, the sun is out much of the time. All those rays mean you can appreciate the benefits of tint.
There are still those who feel changing the factory glass on a classic is ruining it. If you’re a member of this crowd but would like to reduce the glare and UV that comes through the glass of your classic ride, steal a page from Andrew Golseth’s book and check out UV film. It looks like you’ve done nothing to the factory glass, but it reduces heat and glare.
Taking the Plunge
People are going to tint the windows on classic cars — it adds to their mystic. Losing sleep over it is probably not worth your trouble. If you’re going to give it a go, take a look at some of the pros and cons about hiring a professional or doing it yourself. Study up on the proper ways to do it, or you risk owning a classic with bubbly tint film peeling off the windows. No one wants to see that.
Top: Tinting windows is not a task for everyone, and the unskilled can end up with something like this. It's a lot of work installing it, and twice as much removing a bad tint job. Bottom: Especially if your glass has curves, seek a professional to install window tint. This guy did an amazing job and knows all the tricks for complex curves.
The Bottom Line
Learn what the tint laws dictate in your state, and what you can do in terms of darkness. One or two ticket stories in your classic might sound cool, but you don’t want to be loading the glovebox up with moving violations just because you thought the pitch-black windows looked cool — it’s not worth it.
Spend the money to do it right, and you might just earn the admiration of all your car club buddies who wish they’d thought of it before you did.