Sur­prised to hear that one of the long­est-stand­ing and most highly re­spected mo­tor­sport brands started out as a win­dow fit­tings man­u­fac­turer?! Wel­come to the won­der­ful world of Bil­stein!

Performance Vauxhall - - GEAR -

In the cut and thrust world of mo­tor­sport – and par­tic­u­larly dur­ing these try­ing eco­nomic times – it’s a gen­uine achieve­ment for any com­pany to get a decade of sus­tain­able trad­ing un­der its cor­po­rate belt. With that in mind, the fact that sus­pen­sion man­u­fac­turer, Bil­stein, has re­mained at the top of its game for 143 years tells us a lot about the peo­ple and the prod­ucts behind the iconic Ger­man brand.

Bil­stein was cre­ated by its epony­mous founder, Au­gust Bil­stein, in Ger­many’s West­phalia re­gion back in 1873. No­body could have guessed that the com­pany’s prod­ucts would per­for­mance VaUX­HaLL one day have such a crit­i­cal in­flu­ence on the driv­ing com­fort and safety of cars, pri­mar­ily be­cause it was metal win­dow fit­tings (sold un­der the name ‘AUBI’ (an ab­bre­vi­a­tion of Au­gust’s full name)) that made the com­pany fa­mous both at home and abroad.

A se­ries of tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions fol­lowed, and the rev­enues earned through patents provided a solid ba­sis for the later suc­cesses of what was still a young com­pany. In or­der to meet ex­act­ing qual­ity de­mands dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing of its prod­ucts, Au­gust es­tab­lished his own strip iron rolling mill in 1919. A short while later, his son, Hans,

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