A few weeks (?) back there was some speculation on Castrol and the probs
that some - but not all people had with it. I've been delving into a pile of
old papers and discovered an interesting article written about ten years
back relating to Castrol. Thought I'd pass it on to the list.
The name is alleged to come from Castor Oil and this substance with various
goodies added to it was almost the lingua franca for racing engines in the
1920's and 1930's in Europe. The article claimed that in the post-war years,
Castrol still had some vegetable oil in its basic constituent and under
certain operating conditions, was proved to be unsuitable for certain types
of engine and operating conditions. I believe the last Castrol product to
have a very nominal vegetable oil content was Castrol XL on the 1960's.
Certainly, the classic Castrol XL we can still buy in England for old cars
is different and better than its forebear - and Castrol themselves claim
this. The product (GTX and Magnatec) is no longer found in any form with
vegetable oils or traces of it and is regarded by the oil industry generally
(in Europe) as a high grade mineral oil, though more recent versions seem to
be semi-synthetic GTX Magnatec.
But the old style Castrol of 60+ years ago, the stuff they used in racing
engines is still available in the UK - maybe elsewhere too? It's Castrol
Racing 40 and its got that wonderful smell of burnt castor oil that's so
evocative of racing motorcycle engines and all the rest, of the pre-war
years. I treated myself to a 500ml can of it last week (for fun). I added a
few drops to the fuel tank of the lawnmower - and wow, did the grass get cut
fast :) Being a glutton for punishment, I then put a bit more in the fuel
tank of the Fergie and breathed in the sweet nectar last weekend during a
day of straw bale carting. Suppose a few drops in both Triumphs wouldn't do
any harm but I wouldn't get to experience the smell myself.
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