|Harold Palmer began rebuilding auto parts in the early 1940's. "He was a pioneer in parts rebuilding as we know it in this area today," adds Woody Pyfer. Mr. Palmer eventually taught the trade to his son-in-law, James Pyfer, who made great strides in the field, as well. In the 1960s, Mr. Pyfer was employed by Kaley Motor Service, Inc. in South Bend as a parts rebuilder and refurbisher. After years of continued growth there, Mr. Pyfer founded South Bend Clutch, Inc. in 1967.
South Bend Clutch (SBC) remained a connected part of Kaley Motor Service until 1979, when the company moved to a small building on West Jefferson Boulevard in Mishawaka. Mr. Pyfer taught his skills as a parts rebuilder to his three sons, Woody, Andrew and Peter. They experienced slow, but constant growth in his new location. His sons worked full-time for years with him until his untimely death in 1991.
Today, Woody, Andrew and Peter carry on the heritage of their grandfather and father as equal partners in South Bend Clutch, Inc. "We all knew we would end up in the family business," explains Woody, "We all wanted to be part of it."
Since taking over the business, the Pyfer brothers have only made one serious change. In 1995, an adjacent tavern was demolished and South Bend Clutch was expanded into a more spacious building. Other than that, SBC still holds true to its founder's business philosophy.
"We still maintain a small business attitude," insists Woody. "We continue to provide our customers with the quality and service they have come to expect for over 30 years." And that's an easy task for the Pyfer brothers, as they have, collectively, over sixty years experience in the industry, over sixty years of knowledge in rebuilding clutches, front wheel drive axles and water pumps. "We can work on clutches for automotive, agricultural, industrial and high-performance vehicles," states Woody. South Bend Clutch also provides shop blasting and surface grinding to its customers.
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