LAS VEGAS -- After years of being distributed by Meritor, The Original Gabriel shocks will now be sold direct to aftermarket distributors by Gabriel, otherwise known as Ride Control LLC.

In an announcement during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, Lisa Bahash, president and CEO, explained that Gabriel has a rich history.

It was started in 1904 when Claude Foster invented a car horn and named it after the horn of the angel Gabriel. In 1907 he invented the "snub," the first shock absorber for autos, according to the company. The "Gabriel Rebound Snubber" offered a smoother ride.

The company began developing shocks for the heavy-duty market in the 1950s.

"Today we have the broadest offering -- more than 50% higher in our coverage than our closest competitor," Bahash said, with a range of products to fit makes and models from Class 3 through Class 8.

Gabriels extensive product line covers more than 3,000 OE part numbers and more than 2,000 competitors aftermarket part numbers.

The line is made up of Fleetline series 83000 for Class 3-6 trucks, Fleetline series 85000 for class 6-8 trucks, trailers and buses, Fleetline Cab shocks, and GasSLX, an adjustable shock for class 7-8 trucks and buses.

Last fall, Ride Control LLC was sold by OpenGate Capital to MAT Holdings Inc. Ride Control has been a portfolio company of OpenGate Capital, a private investment and acquisition firm headquartered in Los Angeles, since June of 2009.

MAT Holdings Inc. is a global manufacturer and distributor of products in the automotive, hardware, and power equipment sectors.