In 1903, Charles W. Borg and Marshall Beck opened a tool company to make machines that would turn out wagon poles, which led to the opportunity to take on work for some of the early automobile manufacturers – thus Borg & Beck’s automotive history began.
In 1910 Borg’s son, George, along with the company’s chief machinist, invented and patented the single-plate clutch, which became the coil spring clutch that we know today. George was able to sell his clutch to a small automobile company that was seeking a new clutch for its army trucks. Within a short time, the company was supplying its single-plate clutch to several car manufacturers.
By 1918, George had replaced his father as president of the company, and Borg & Beck had produced 200,000 clutches, making it the leading US clutch manufacturer. In that same year, the decision was made to move the business from Moline, Illinois to Chicago.
In 1928, Borg & Beck merged with three other American automotive parts manufacturers, including Warner Gear of Munice, Indiana to form Borg-Warner. This new company expanded quickly with annual sales rising from $50 million in 1929 to over $600 million by the late 1950s, making Borg-Warner a leading manufacturer of automatic transmissions.
Meanwhile in the UK, Edward Boughton, Willie Emmott and Denis Brock, set up Automotive Products (AP) in 1920 to import and sell American-made components to service the ex-military trucks left behind in Europe after the end of World War One. The AP/Borg & Beck relationship began in 1931 with the birth of the Borg & Beck Company Limited, which, in tandem with its growing motorsport involvement, was undoubtedly the catalyst for the global expansion of the Borg & Beck brand.
In fact, such was the demand for Borg & Beck clutches that on the eve of World War Two, AP had already produced its millionth clutch, by 1956, 85% of the clutches manufactured in the UK were Borg & Beck and just two years later, production had reached 10 million.
Following Goldie Gardner’s decision in 1946 to use a Borg & Beck clutch to achieve his land speed record in an MG, a series of motorsport milestones were established. These included multiple successes at Le Mans with Jaguar, the Monte Carlo rally with the Mini Cooper S and in Formula One with, amongst others, Jackie Stewart’s title winning Tyrell.
Synonymous with clutch development, further innovations followed, such as in 1969, the launch of the Borg & Beck pull-type clutch, designed for the iconic Porsche 911 and the introduction of the diaphragm spring technology (DST) clutch, which still forms the basis of clutch design more than 40 years later.
The Borg & Beck brand found a new owner in 2006 when it became part of First Line Ltd, one of the UK’s most successful aftermarket businesses.
Today the brand is a vital part of the company's global growth ambitions and offers a portfolio of over 60 product lines, 40,000 references and is available globally to the world's aftermarket.
With over 100 years' history of engineering excellence and OE heritage, Borg & Beck has established itself as a world-renowned brand offering premium quality automotive components to the vehicle aftermarket.



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