Today's clutch linings are usually made from fiberglass, kevlar or some type of metal. Throughout most of the 20th century however, clutch linings were made from asbestos. According to the author of an informational website on Ford products, "asbestos provides superior cushioning and better wear" than the modern materials currently in use today.
Regulations in the U.S. that would have made the use and manufacture of asbestos clutch linings illegal have been overturned in federal courts; however, as knowledge of the health hazards of asbestos has become widespread, market forces have more or less ended the domestic manufacture of asbestos products. However, there are no laws that prevent the import of asbestos clutch linings and other friction products into the U.S.