The company name B&M came from the names of two friends-Bob Spar (the “B”) and Mort Schuman (the “M”)-who founded it in 1953 after they met in high school. For a time, they worked together as mechanics for Earl William “Madman” Muntz, an American businessman who sold used cars.
Bob and Mort, who are racers themselves, thought of fulfilling the increasing aftermarket needs during the time they founded the company. The pair identified the specific needs of street performance enthusiasts and local racers to create products that address those needs.
B&M is now known as the world\'s biggest provider of performance shifters to tuners and OEMs in the United States and Europe. It also supplies transmission products to SCCA road course racers and a lot of NHRA World Champions around the world.
B&M started out as a general automotive shop. However, Bob and Mort later focused their services on strengthening transmissions and modified engines. Bob\'s brother Don joined the company in 1955, and soon, B&M came up with the Hydro Stick, its first and only patented four-speed automatic transmission for racing.
About a decade since it started, B&M became one of the leading makers of racing transmissions. It developed an automatic transmission for Indy car racing and designed the high-stall-speed torque converter with Chrysler.
B&M is also known as one of the founding members of SEMA when the organization was created in 1963. Bob chaired the original SEMA Technical Committee and because of his numerous contributions to the automotive specialty equipment industry, he was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1981.
A company of firsts
B&M led the industry by introducing innovations after innovations. It initiated the idea of using a performance-reinforced Hydramatic for racing in the 1950s. Hydramatic is considered the first successful automatic transmission. A decade later, the company developed race converters and shifters, which were used along with Hydramatic.
As a leading force in racing automatic transmissions, the company provided in the 1960s the B&M TorkMaster transmission used in the first 200-mph Top Fuel run in history. It also partnered with Plymouth and Indy Car racing pioneer Andy Granatelli to develop the only transmission every for Indy racing. Together with Chrysler, B&M developed in the late 1960s the torque converter for the Hemi in the Super Sotck racing. In the 1970s, B&M introduced shift and transmission improving kits to the market.
Racers around the world and those who drive a hot rod with an aftermarket automatic shifter, automatic transmission, performance-enhancing shifting kit, or high-stall-torque converter have B&M to thank for. Without these innovations, the world of racing would not be just as interesting as it is today.
Unparalleled transmission expertise
Catering to the needs of racers and performance enthusiasts, B&M offers an extensive lineup of aftermarket products, including manual shifters, automatic shifters, transmissions, and torque converters. Its automatic shifters and automatic transmissions provide superb upshift and downshift control and can be easily installed. Also, its high-stall-speed torque converters are thoroughly dyno tested and individually balanced; they are also furnace brazed to ensure strength.