B.P. Oil and Fuel


May I refer to two references to BP products in your January 1969 issue. Mr. Heywood’s letter on page 54, under the heading “Which is the Best Oil?”, made references to characteristics “of the visco-statics”.

Although this was printed in lower ease, I fear there is a real possibility that in some readers’ minds this might be associated with Visco-static Motor Oil, which is the registered trade mark of the British Petroleum Co. Ltd. The viscosity characteristics attributed by Mr. Heywood to “visco-statics”, by which term he is possibly referring to some multigrade oils, do not exist in our BP Super Visco-static motor oil, and no manufacturer of high-performance engines has warned against the use of BP Super Visco-static motor oil. In fact this oil, in either the 10W-40 or the 20W-50 version, meets the most stringent technical requirements of all such engines.

On page 14 of the same issue, “W. B.” comments that the engine of his Jensen Interceptor “pinked” on BP “super grade fuel” dispensed from a Superblend pump and described as “99”.

In fact the Superblend pump, of which there are now more than 2,500 operating on our sites, was introduced by BP into the U.K. market to give the motorist a wider choice of octane number and price of motor spirit to enable him to cut his petrol costs by selecting the correct grade for his car from the existing range of 91, 93, 95, 97 and 99 octane grades. The limits within which these pumps operate are very closely controlled by the Weights and Measures Act requirements, which is applicable to both conventional and blender pumps. Furthermore the octane number of the motor spirits dispensed is governed by rigid product quality control measures throughout our distribution system.

With regard to the suggestion that BP “Super grade” may be inferior to competitors grades, this was not confirmed by the recent Which? magazine survey on gasoline when all brands were tested and the BP Superblend samples taken by Which? were the correct octane number and comparable with corresponding competitive grades, where they exist.

In view of the foregoing comments, I cannot agree with the sweeping conclusions drawn by “W. B.” concerning the cause of his engine “pinking”, which could have arisen due to many other factors beyond our control in this case.

G. F. Sheppard, Manager,

London. BP Retail Division.

[While I cannot argue about trade names, I did give another reason why the Jensen’s engine may have pinked after it had been re-fuelled, but it seems odd that this happened at this stage of the road test when it had been running satisfactorily previous to this on 99 octane fuels of other makes. It could be multigrade pumps confuse the operator, who might supply inadvertently the wrong octane fuel.—ED.]