Over 45 Years of Experience
Born in 1961 son of Gene Berg, volkswagens have been a part of my life since the beginning. At the age of 7 while still living in Washington me and my brother Doug would tear down core motors for my dad. It was my first experience turning a wrench and I was hooked. In 1969, we moved to California when dad was going to be partners with the brothers Lowry in this newly formed company called Deano Dyno Soars. Unable to fit in with that arrangement, 6 months later in December of 1969, dad opened Gene Berg Enterprises. I started working at Gene Berg Enterprises when I was in grade school. My first job was sweeping the floors and cleaning the toilets. Quickly I moved up to simple deburring of parts. At the ripe old age of 12, I started helping with production runs. My first one was rocker shafts, it was a real eye opener for me, I learned how to hold tight tolerances over a run of 1000 pieces or more, doing more than 10 different steps on each single part. This training instilled a genuine ability to see what is going on and what I was doing, the ability to focus my attention.
After a couple of years, I realized that production runs were not for me so I asked my dad if I could do something else and he said "What do you want to do?" I told him I was interested in learning how to do the cylinder heads and so began my life of cylinder head and motor education. I was 14 years old. The first thing I ported was my Honda CL70, I was so determined to make it haul butt (because my brother Doug had a CL70 also and I wanted to beat him) I ported right thru the sides of the head castings, so after Gene welded it back up, I proceeded to finish porting a little more carefully. Lesson learned. The next lesson was disturbing. Doug's honda was faster than my freshly ported one, what do I do wrong? Well as it turned out I over ported the head intake and exhaust port and installed a large tube straight pipe, a combination which left the motor with no back pressure and it was a dog. I installed a bigger cam, bigger carb and a smaller exhaust and finally my bike was faster than my brothers. This was a very important lesson for me, it taught me that a motors combination is everything and bigger is not always better!! Something that I hold true to this day. Soon after that I ported my first set of vw heads, they were for a customer and they had to be done correctly, nothing else was acceptable (talk about pressure) so dad ported one intake one exhaust and one chamber handed my the porting tool and said "Have at it". As it turned out, it was easy for me to duplicate what dad had done and from that time forward I did almost all the street heads sold by Gene Berg Enterprises.
Over the years my education and passion grew as I watched dad help fellow racers and head porters improve their heads, I was always watching and learning right along with whomever it was at the shop using the flow bench. People like Dean Lowry, Fumio Fukaya, Steve Tims, Dick Nuss and Roger Crawford just to name a few. It didn't matter who it was, his competition or customer, dad always shared everything, never holding back any secrets. In the 70's I started doing the race heads for customers of GBE but not for the Black car. 1976 I got my motorcycle license and started riding on the streets of southern California. In 1977 I purchased my first volkswagen it was a 1969 Karmann Ghia I paid $1400 for it. I have so many great memories with that car. From building my first motor by myself to my first experiences racing. In the 80's I built my first racecar. I spent years learning and watching dad do the heads for Berg's famous black 67 but I wasn't allowed to do the heads for it. Over time I developed my own theories and ideas regarding what I thought would work best and finally in 1991, I got the chance to do my own set for the Black car. Many hours later, lots of flow bench time the heads were bolted on. They worked, they were fast, they set a number of records and won many championships. Ever since then I have been learning and growing my knowledge of what works and what doesn't, it is a never ending adventure and I love every minute of it.
I feel blessed and honored for the people and situations I was lucky enough to have experienced growing up, THANKS DAD!! In 2002 I left Gene Berg Enterprises and started my own business Clyde Berg Heads and Motors, with the help of my lovely wife Joell, support from my son Gene and my daughter Courtney. Joell does all the accounting, pays all the bills, keeps us feed, keeps our home clean, keeps our garden growing, works another job so we can have medical insurance, makes sure Gene gets to school, well I could go on and on, so lets just say Joell is the glue that keeps my life together. THANKS JOELL!! Let the adventure continue...