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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

First Line Ltd. prepares for spring surge in classic car clutch demand

Date: Thursday 21 March 2024

First Line Ltd. is gearing up for an anticipated increase in enquiries for classic car clutches, with the warmer weather beckoning retro car enthusiasts back onto the roads.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a resurgence of interest in classic cars, as individuals sought out socially distanced hobbies and outdoor activities. This trend is expected to continue.

Synonymous with classic clutches, Borg & Beck, a brand under First Line Ltd., maintains its reputation for quality and reliability within this community.

As spring approaches, technicians and classic car owners are reminded to ensure their vehicles are properly prepared for the road, including any necessary clutch replacements.

"We've seen a notable increase in enquiries for classic car clutches, as springtime approaches, with drivers getting their pride and joy back on the road, looking to soak up the sunshine," says Dan Girling, Product Manager from First Line Ltd. "Our team is fully prepared to assist technicians and enthusiasts in finding the right parts for their vehicles."

While First Line Ltd. offers a range of steering and suspension components for classic cars, clutches remain the top-selling item.

To address the common questions about classic vehicle coverage, First Line Ltd. offers a detailed list of existing clutch parts, showing the appropriate choices and making sure that customers are satisfied.

Today, the Borg & Beck Classic range consists of more than 60 Borg & Beck Classic Clutch Kits, applicable to over 250 British vehicles dating back to 1935, enabling classic car enthusiasts to maintain the vehicle’s heritage.

Some key references include HK9694 for MGB, HK9683 for Morris Minor and HK8854 for Austin Mini.

Borg and Beck’s Classic Clutch range is manufactured to original standards, but with new driving styles compounded by modern-day traffic management, a more durable solution is often required.

Girling added: "It's increasingly common for drivers to keep the clutch pedal depressed while stationary, rather than shifting into neutral and engaging the handbrake. However, this habit can accelerate wear on carbon bearings, leading to rapid failure.

“On the other hand, ball race bearings are engineered to remain in constant contact and rotate with the clutch. This design significantly reduces the likelihood of failure, even if the driver keeps their foot on the pedal continuously. Modern-day clutches are equipped with ball race bearings, providing a more durable solution for prolonged use."

Carbon bearings were designed to withstand short amounts of contact with the cover release plate, typical of the contact found whilst changing gear. If the car is regularly driven, it’s best to upgrade to a ball race bearing.

For this reason, Borg and Beck offers clutch kits with the more robust ball race bearing for Jaguar’s classic E-TYPE, Mk II and XK models 1950-1970 (HK5229HD), for MGB and MGB GT 1962-69 (HK9679); MGC 1967-69 (HK9636HD); Austin Healey 3000, Jaguar E-TYPE, Mk II, Mk X, S-Type and XK (HK9702HD), as well as the kits with the original carbon bearing.

This gives drivers and technicians peace of mind that their classic car is being fitted with heritage parts that will last even in today’s demanding driving conditions.

Motor factors and technicians can have complete confidence in the quality of all Borg & Beck Clutch Kits and components, as First Line Ltd. has invested heavily in quality control and test equipment in its bespoke, in-house technical clutch centre, enabling the Borg & Beck clutch engineers to test every aspect of a clutch.

The full range can be looked-up via application or cross reference in First Line Ltd.’s market-leading online catalogue, WebCat (, where registered distributors have access to check stock and place orders.