Sterling Celebrates 80 Years of Engine Parts

Sep 9, 2016

Sterling Engine Parts, a Missouri-based warehouse distributor of engine parts and machine shop supplies, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month.

Sterling’s long tradition relating to engines started in 1936 when Max Glessner and Papi Cook founded Sterling “Bearing” and began reconditioning babbitted connecting rods. The company grew quickly and as automotive technology advanced so did Sterling by shifting production from connecting rods to production crankshaft re-manufacturing, according to the company.

In 1976, after 40 years of machining, owner Max Glessner sold the company to an employee, Tom Winkler, who owns the company today, 40-years later. That same year, Sterling introduced one of the first engine kits in the U.S., the BLOCK-MASTER.

Sterling operated a full-service machine shop and production crankshaft plant until 1994 when the company shifted its resources to distributing engine parts and remanufactured engine components. In July of 1999 Sterling opened a branch warehouse, Sterling Engine Parts, in Minneapolis.

In May 2009 the company acquired New England Engine and Parts Warehouse, a well-known engine parts specialist warehouse in Worcester, Massachusetts. In August, 2014, Sterling opened a branch warehouse, Sterling Engine Parts, in Dania Beach, Florida.

Sterling has been a member of the Engine Parts Group Inc., since 1990. The group, equally owned by nine shareholders operating 36 distribution centers in the USA and Australia, provides Sterling with improved buying power, national marketing, and a private label parts program. The Engine Pro brand of parts includes OE gaskets, bearings, timing, camshafts, valve train, and the program has a large list of perfor- mance products and shop supplies.

“We are grateful for excellent employees and loyal customers who are responsible for our continued growth and prosperity,” said Steve Rich, COO. “We look forward to the next 80 years, partnering with our customers to ensure continued vitality of our company.”