CB Performance Company Information
This page is all about the story of CB Performance, from its beginning as Claudes Buggies, to its evolution into one of the Aircooled Industry's main players.
Hello and thanks for visiting the Online Parts Warehouse of CB Performance Products, Inc., out of Farmersville, California. Our actual corporate name is Claude's Buggies, Inc., named after the founder, Claude Tomlinson. Our company has been in business here at the same location, in downtown Farmersville, for about 40 years. It is family owned, and is now run and managed by Claudes grandson, Rick Tomlinson. Claudes granddaughter, Susie Canvasser, manages the office and does the bookkeeping and banking on a daily basis.
Claudes son, Bob Tomlinson was a sales manager for a division of Hughes Aircraft. He had always been interested in, and participated in, various types of automotive racing, and began racing Ford Flathead engine cars when he was a kid. This enthusiasm later led to his interest in VWs while watching and helping his dad, Claude, repair cars in the shop. Then, one day after getting tired of the big city corporate life, Bob came home and helped the family start a mail order parts business. That transition from Claudes Buggies into CB Performance took place many, many years ago.
CB started out selling parts that were available for stock VWs, and later designed our own line of parts for competition VWs and dune buggies. Later on, we began importing our own line of VW parts, which we still do on a very large scale today. CB Performance Products, Inc. holds nine (9) patents and we presently have patent applications on four more items.
Bob always enjoyed driving Volkswagens, and that got him interested in racing them, but he simply enjoy owning and driving them on a daily basis. Part of the reason for his enthusiasm can be attributed to his father having a very successful repair facility right here on this corner, where we are located today. Volkswagens were a very popular car in our area several years ago, and when Bob first came back up here, one of the things he did was work in the garage with his father fixing and repairing customer's cars. Then, on the weekends and in the evenings, they would build racecars and design performance parts for engines. They went so far as buying our own machine tools in anticipation of opening up a machine shop so that they could make our own parts. CB Performance's business grew by placing ads in Hot VWs magazine, and this put us on the map. Our first successful product was an 85.5mm piston and cylinder kit.
From very early on, CB Performance was interested in building performance VW engines. We would install Stromberg Carburetors on a Volkswagen, which required a custom intake manifold. That's just one example of what we began doing on a commercial basis. We felt that if we could design and manufacture a product, and then sell it while retaining a profit, it was a good idea to pursue. This thinking prompted us to make several parts for the market, and all the while we were selling parts that other manufacturers were producing.
From a production standpoint, one of the first things we did was buy a good cam grinder. We knew that the heart of an engine is the cam, so if we could design some camshafts that worked well, that would benefit our business. As it turned out, this was a smart move, and we still grind a wide range of different camshaft profiles today.
Yes. CB Performance was the first to import Weber IDF carburetors into the United States. We were also the first to produce and package the parts and offer them as a kit for the Volkswagen engine.
We used our cars to test new products and make sure they worked before marketing them to the general consumer. And we wanted to prove to potential buyers that our parts did actually work. Bob personally has spent several months on the road with our dyno, driving from place to place, showing people how to install and tune our Weber carburetor kits.
Yes. We knew that the cylinder head had a lot of potential, especially when you consider that an engine is basically just an air pump. The largest horsepower gains are going to be found in the cylinder head. You've got to remember that the motor can only pump as much air as the valves will allow. With this in mind we have produced some of the best performing heads for Volkswagens today.
Pulleys, cylinder heads, camshafts, connecting rods, oil pumps, piston and cylinder kits, valves - basically, if it's an engine part we've probably made it at some point.
After the smog laws became stricter, we did a complete high-performance engine that was certified and legal as a clean burning VW in California for streetcars. That engine is still available, and we sell a great deal of them to this day. This engine is based upon our fuel injection system, which we began working on about eight years ago. It's our feeling that fuel injection is the future of the VW aftermarket. We also have high performance versions of the electronic fuel injection as well as the turbo charged engine that are not street legal on late model VW street cars. We have also designed our electronic fuel injection systems for high performance domestic cars such as Chevrolet and Ford. These kits are ideal for sand cars, and the complete package is very economical to purchase and utilize.