In 1972, McLane (Mac) and Adelle Tilton founded Tilton Engineering in El Segundo, California. Their mission was to supply innovative, high-quality products at fair prices and with sound advice. Mac utilized his vast racing and machining experience, most notably as Crew Chief for the 1971 & 1972 Trans Am championship winning Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) team, to develop some of the most innovative products of their time. Adelle’s excellent business sense and experience helped to insure the long-term future of Tilton Engineering.
As Tilton Engineering’s reputation grew, demand for its products increased. Tilton relocated in 1979 to Buellton, California where it is still located today. A new custom-built headquarters was completed in 2017, which includes the full machine shop, assembly area, warehouse, office space and a fully integrated quality assurance department.
Tilton produces a wide range of driveline and brake components, in-cockpit controls and starter motors. Driveline components include clutches, flywheels, bellhousings and hydraulic release bearings. Brake components and in-cockpit controls include pedal assemblies, master cylinders, balance bars, proportioning valves and related accessories. Super Starters by Tilton were introduced in 1981 as the first high torque mini-starter for racing applications.
Tilton products are primarily designed for racing use and can be found worldwide in nearly every form of racing, winning numerous major races and championships each year. Tilton continues to expand its offerings to includes products for the high-performance street market, such as with their ST-246 line of twin plate clutches and 6000-Series hydraulic release bearings.
Of the numerous innovations Tilton has brought to the racing world, most recognized is the carbon/carbon racing clutch. Tilton’s was the first carbon/carbon clutch to be used in F1, winning its first race at the 1987 Detroit Grand Prix in Aryton Senna’s Lotus-Honda. The technology developed by Tilton can be found in most carbon/carbon racing clutches of today. Tilton Engineering was awarded a US Patent and the Louis Schwitzer Award for technology found in this race industry changing innovation. Today, Tilton continues to introduce innovative products to the racing industry each year.
Tilton Engineering believes that having Engineering, Manufacturing and Quality Control within the same building is the best way to insure the highest quality products are delivered to customers. Our products are designed by experienced engineers, who understand the needs of racers, using the latest solid modeling CAD and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software. 90% of our machined components are manufactured at our facility in Buellton, California using top-level equipment, including a Toyoda Horizontal Milling Center (HMC) and Mori Seike lathes. After machining, products are quality checked using Browne and Sharpe Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) and tested using proprietary equipment.
A great product is nothing without great service behind it and Tilton prides itself in providing excellent customer service. Experienced Tilton employees, most who have been at Tilton for many years, are readily available to assist customers in selecting the most appropriate products and providing technical support. Tilton is supported by a worldwide network of dealers, who are the very best in the industry. These dealers know their customer’s and make significant investments in inventory to service them quickly. They, along with Tilton’s employees, are there to provide the customer with top-level service and the best purchase experience possible.