The Esso Petroleum Company Limited is the oldest major oil company in Great Britain, and with its great new refinery at Fawley, which was opened in September, 1951, it is one of the leaders in the petroleum industry in this country. The Esso Company can also be termed a pioneer oil company in connection with racing.

When Brooklands was first opened, Anglo (as the company was then referred to) was in attendance with supplies under the well known old brand name of Pratts, and they carried on there until Brooklands ceased to be used as a motor racing track. At all motoring events Pratts racing service was available, and today, the Esso Racing Service continues in the old tradition, and is on the spot at all major events.

One of the greatest assets of this company is the loyalty and the length of service of its employees. In many cases, on retirement, employees have put in 50 years’ service with the company.

It is gratifying to know that a company of this size does treat the sport very seriously. Anyone wishing to take an active part in motor sport should contact the Esso Petroleum Company, Limited, since they have always been noted for the fact that they give the same service to beginners as to the star riders and driver’s. They claim that they have also been noted for “spotting the winners,” and we find Dick Seaman, Johnny Wakefield, Charles Martin, Reg Parnell, Stirling Moss, and the highly successful Michael Hawthorn just to mention a few—who must have recognised that “It Pays to Say Esso.”

Address.–Esso Petroleum Co Ltd, 36 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1 (Whitehall 5151).

Works.—Fawley, Southampton ; Vauxhall, London; Abingdon, Berkshire.

Publicity Manager.—E Hardieman.

Competition Manager.—R Tanner.

Filtrate Oils

Edward Joy & Sons, Ltd, makers of Filtrate oil, was founded in 1807 by David Joy, hugely for his Sons, William and Edward, the firm taking its present title in 1840. David Joy, who was on the staff of the first Leeds Infirmary and fond of research work, decided that oil could be produced from seeds, such as rapeseed and linseed, and formed his business to exploit this notion. Many of the early railways that were coming into being in England purchased his lubricants and from 1836 to 1839 inclusive, 3,689 tons of oil were supplied for this and other purposes.

When the motor-car arrived, Edward Joy & Sons turned to the problem of asking oil to face fire instead of steam, research being carried out on a 24-hp Simm’s engine. Soon Filtrate oils were introduced for motor-cars, the name deriving from an earlier product of the company, Filtered railway lubricants. Famous automobile manufacturers began to adopt Filtrate for their cars, the first to do so being Lord Kenilworth, for his Wolseley-engined Siddeley auto-cars, although initially a test in winter proved the grade supplied to be too heavy for easy starting. In 1905 the Wolseley Co recommended “Extra Heavy Wolseley Filtrate” and today the Nuffield organisation continues officially to approve Filtrate oil. “Armstrong-Siddeley Filtrate” followed in 1919 and today this manufacturer continues to recommend Filtrate. Similarly, there was “Edge’s Puroil” for Napiers and “Metol” for Metallurgiques. Percival Perry, too, investigated Filtrate for the rather special lubrication puzzles set by the Model-T Ford, from which resulted “Ford Filtrate,” and “Fordson Filtrate,” later changing to “Farm Filtrate.” Filtrate was used for the motor sledges of Scott’s 1910 Antarctic Expedition, in London’s first motor buses, by Lord Brabazon when he made the first British aeroplane flight in 1909, and for the first Morris car, etc. Today, the “Trafford Filtrate” for Fords and “Armstrong-Siddeley Filtrate” is still listed [and Filtrate is supplied in a jolly five-gallon “Robbican,” with carrying handle and easy to pour from and store in a car’s boot, besides the normal five-gallon drums (so familiar to motor-racing spectators and certain racing drivers !)—Ed]. Of David Joy (1825-1903) it is written that he was “deeply religious, firmly believing that all his inventions came from above”—which is a thought to bear in mind when next you drain your sump.

Publicalions.—Booklets on specialised oil products, etc.

Address.—Edward Joy & Sons Ltd., Kidacre Street, Hunslet, Leeds 10 (Leeds 20773).


Publicity Manager.–JA Middleton-Joy.


Havoline oil was launched by the Regent Oil Company in April this year. It has been sold in most other markets for some time past but was not until this time introduced in England. The Regent Oil Company was started by SJ Vos in 1923 in a very modest way, commencing with a little wharf at Silvertown called Prince Regent’s Wharf, where from the company took its name. In 1930 Trinidad Leaseholds acquired an interest in Regent and between 1930 and 1939 remarkable progress was made. In 1948 negotiations were entered into with the Texas Company of America and the combined resources of the Standard Oil Company of California, the Texas Company and Trinidad Leaseholds have been behind Regent for more than four years. “Engine Lubritection” is the theme behind Havoline, a mineral oil with the addition of protective additives.

Publications.—”Car Log Book.”

Address.—Regent Oil Co Ltd, 117, Park Street, London, W1 (Mayfair 8474).

Works.—Dagenham and Manchester.

Publicity Manager.—Miss D Nelson.


Vacuum Oil Company Ltd, makers of Mobiloil, began operation in the United States in 1866, and commenced selling its products in the United Kingdom in 1885. It was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1901, and was associated with motoring from its earliest days, introducing Mobiloil in 1900. Down the years it has been used by many famous drivers and pioneers: John Cobb, Malcolm Campbell, Stanley Woods, Lindbergh and the Wright brothers. The Ecurie Richmond use Mobiloil today in their Cooper 500.

Vacuum Oil Company pioneered many of the best methods of producing high-grade lubricants, including “vacuum” distillation, from which it derived its name, solvent refining and modern chemical additives.

Vacuum Oil Company Ltd, is building a refinery at Coryton, Essex, from which it will feed its manufacturing and distributing plants at Birkenhead and Wandsworth.

Publications.—”How to take care of your car,” etc.

Address.—Vacuum Oil Company Ltd, Portman House, 496/504 Oxford Street, London, W1 (Grosvenor 7080).

Works.—Birkenhead; Wandsworth and Coryton.

Publicity Manager.—EHP Bancroft.

Competitions Manager.—Guy Edwards.

Shell and BP

Shell-Mex and BP Ltd, with its associated company, Scottish Oils and Shell-Mex Ltd, is the marketing organisation in the United Kingdom of the Shell and Anglo-Iranian groups of oil companies, and is the largest petroleum distributing company in this country.

Shell-Mex and BP Ltd was formed in 1932 by the amalgamation of Shell-Mex Ltd, the marketing company in the British Isles of the Shell and Eagle Oil groups, and the British Petroleum Co Ltd, which similarly handled the products of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co Ltd. Shell-Mex Ltd resulted from a previous amalgamation in 1921 between the Shell Marketing Co and the Anglo-Mexican Petroleum Co, and succeeded to the business of, among other companies, the Bowring Petroleum Co, the St. Leonard’s Wharf Co, and the All’s Well Oil Co.

The British Petroleum Co Ltd. came into existence in 1906 with the amalgamation of the Consolidated Petroleum Co. (which had previously absorbed, amongst other companies, the Anglo-Caucasian Oil Co) and the General Petroleum Co. The company held the agency for Shell products until 1917, when the Shell group began direct distribution, and the British Petroleum Co was acquired by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.

Scottish Oils and Shell-Mex Ltd was formed in 1932 to carry out the distribution of Shell and Anglo-Iranian products in Scotland. This had been undertaken previously by Shell-Mex Ltd for the Shell and Eagle Oil groups, and by the Scottish Oil Agency Ltd, for the British Petroleum Co and Scottish Oils Ltd. The latter, owned by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co, owns Broxburn Oil Co, Oakbank Oil Co, Pumpherston Oil Co, and Young’s Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co, the last of which was founded in 1866. Amongst the well-known racing drivers who rely on Shell are : W/Cdr F Aiken, Ian Appleyard, B Bira, E Brandon, A Brown, KE Carter, PJ Collins, JN Cooper, N Culpan, B Eccelestone, JG Fairman, FR Gerard, D Gray, D Hamilton, L Johnson, Stirling Moss, D Parker, R Parnell, APR Holt, PDC Walker, K Wharton, AG Whitehead, PN Whitehead, WJ Whitehouse, etc.

Publications.—Shell Guides (12s 6d), Touring Booklets of Europe, Shell Phrase Books (six languages), etc.

Address.—Shell-Mex & BP Ltd, Shell.Mex House, Strand, London. WC2 (Temple Bar 1234).

Works.—Barton; Finsbury Wharf; Shell Haven, Essex and Stanlow.

Publicity Manager.—CV Nye.

Competitions Manager.—GW Todd.