Posts Tagged ‘Castrol Achievements’

Oils ain’t Oils…

Posted: February 4, 2020 in Features, Obscurities
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(M Bisset)

The very first motor racing magazines i perused were these ‘Castrol Achievements ‘ booklets given to me by a mate’s father when I was 10 or eleven years old, I still have them 50 years later…

Ronald John Roberts was a mighty fine man, a senior executive of Castrol Australia, he commenced his career in Melbourne and was progressively posted to Adelaide and finally Sydney in the mid-seventies where he finished his long career with the company. His son and I were buddies for decades, the same duo took me to my first race meeting in 1972, I have my lifelong passion for our sport thanks to them, they cultivated and nurtured my initial interest.

Soon the Castrol copy of ‘Racing Car News’, the Australian monthly racing bible came my way a couple of months late after it had done the rounds of their execs but that didn’t matter to me.

When Jon Saltinstall popped up some images from this long running series of corporate promotional annuals on ‘The Nostalgia Forum’ it really did make me rather misty-eyed for times, friends and events long since passed.

I love his summary of the history of the publications and their purpose.

Jon wrote, ‘During the 1950s and 1960s, a series of advertising booklets was produced by the likes of Shell, Ferodo and Castrol, which as well as being quite successful commercially also contributed in no small way to many a schoolboy dream. The longest-running and most successful of these was produced by CC Wakefield Ltd and although its title varied from year to year, is known generally as the “Castrol Achievements Book”.’

‘The Achievements book was produced as an annual and was first published in 1912 to publicise the racing and record-breaking activities on land, sea and air – all those depicted having been attained using Castrol lubricants, of course, as these were after all, advertising booklets. Wakefield had of course been one of the sport’s first commercial benefactors and one of the first to understand the value of endorsement of his products by household names.’

‘Although other companies would produce similar “Achievements” books, only those produced by Shell (1950-1964?), BP (1955?-1964?) and also brake company Ferodo are of similar note to the Castrol publications. The BP effort was similarly orientated across a range of disciplines as the Castrol booklets, while those by Shell and Ferodo were primarily orientated towards Grand Prix racing, which was hardly surprising as both companies were heavily involved in this category.’

1968

‘Looking back at these little (22cm x 13 cm, c. 46-48 pages) booklets, what strikes the reader about the Castrol Achievements Books in particular (and probably what endeared them to motoring enthusiasts) is that they are filled with excellent photographs, often unavailable elsewhere. The fact that they were available free on request from local Castrol companies was no doubt a big point in their favour, especially when – in a particularly clever piece of marketing – for a time one would also receive a free lubrication chart for the car or motorcycle of choice.’

‘The Castrol Achievements Book also benefitted from superb cover artwork (including paintings by including Michael Turner and Gordon Horner amongst others). I understand it was still being published in the new millennium so its longevity was way beyond anything achieved by its rivals. A little-mentioned artefact these days, but possibly an introduction to the sport for a number of TNFers?’ Saltinstall concluded.

So let’s share some of the artwork from the annuals- I was going to do it chronologically but visually it’s better to jump around across the decades as the art direction changed every several years rather than annually so a look of sameness in patches pervades using the year by year in order approach.

Do assist if you know what the featured machine is, I certainly don’t have all the answers.

1909-1959

Percy Lambert’s Talbot? and MG EX181 depicted.

John Cooper/Bill Aston Cooper at Montlhery.

 

Dan Gurney’s #48 Eagle Weslake-Ford at Indianapolis and a Ferrari 250LM at Le Mans.

Dan’s Ford-Weslake engines; https://primotipo.com/2018/06/14/gurney-weslake-ford-v8/

 

 

1957. Ford Zephyr Mk2 of Cuth Harrison during the Tulip Rally.

 

Clearly a race in France but Grands Prix races were thin on the ground in there at the time and I can’t make the Voiturette race results work for me…it’s red so a Maserati perhaps.

Fast Freddie’s Maserati; https://primotipo.com/2018/08/16/fast-freddy/

 

Not so flash is it.

 

1954 depicts the debut and return to racing of Mercedes Benz- the W196 is shown at Reims, a win for JM Fangio in July, Karl Kling in another Mercedes Streamliner was second in a dominant performance and a portent of what was to come. https://primotipo.com/2015/10/09/mercedes-benz-w196-french-gp-1954/

 

Isle of Man is the obvious guess but which outfit? Piece on the 1950 IOM meeting; https://primotipo.com/2016/06/21/1950-isle-of-man-tt/

 

Monte Carlo Rally finish in the streets of the principality, car shown is the winning Paddy Hopkirk/Henry Liddon Morris Cooper S.

Cooper S in the Monte; https://primotipo.com/2015/09/29/monte-carlo-rally-1967-morris-cooper-s/

 

 

Roy Savadori’s Aston Martin DB3S depicted in 1955, not sure which event- it ain’t Le Mans. Article on Roy here;

https://primotipo.com/2018/02/22/roy-salvadori/

Some good stuff in this shot including Piers Courage and his Frank Williams Racing Brabham BT30 Ford FVA F2 car and Sid Taylor’s Lola T70 Mk3B Chev.

 

1960- Pat Moss-Carlsson and Ann Wisdom-Ross won the five day Liege-Rome-Liege in a works Austin Healey 3000 in August/September.

 

 

Captain GET Eyston in ‘Thunderbolt’.

On 15 September 1938 Eyston raised the record he had set the year before from 312.00mph to 345.50mph at Bonneville. This was the tit-for-tat 1937-1939 period of the duel for the LSR between Eyston and John Cobb’s Reid-Railton.

 

The Queens lube of choice it seems.

 

1959, love this image of a hill-climbing Cooper with the  wheels adopting all of the angles so typical of the 500s.

 

 

 

I’m not so sure Castrol provided lubricants to Ferrari in 1952 but we seem to be celebrating the sensational Ferrari 500s which were so dominant in the World Championship that year, Alberto Ascari the winner. First lap of the Belgian Grand Prix depicted.

Ferrari 500 piece; https://primotipo.com/2017/03/23/bunbury-flying-50-allan-tomlinson-ferrari-500-et-al/

 

1962 Monte Carlo Rally Pat Moss/Ann Wisdom 26th placed Morris Cooper.

 

1956 MG record breaking- EX179 with Stirling Moss huddled over its wheel- wonderful image with the cameraman in shot at left giving some additional drama and perspective.

 

Some interesting stuff here too- Mikkola’s Ford Escort Mexico, the Bud Moore Trans-Am Boss Mustangs, Jacky Ickx’ BMW Dornier F2 car and a Chevron Ford Coupe.

 

An Alfa Romeo 158 bearing down on a green car in 1950- Giuseppe Farina took the first drivers world championship for the Porttello marque that year. Farina/158 in brief; https://primotipo.com/2019/10/14/things-go-better-with/

 

1963 shows the ‘Around The World In 43 Days’ Ford Corsair crewed by Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers in a Walter Hayes publicity exercise. The amazing adventure is recounred in Eric Jackson’s book ‘Petrol in in My Blood’.

 

 

1963 for both the above two shots- this one shows Rhodesian, Jim Redman’s Honda RC164 winning the IOM Junior TT at 94.91mph- he was six minutes ahead of the second placed Gilera of John Hartle.

 

 

(Gordon Horner)

1961 Monte Carlo Rally, Ann Hall’s Ford Anglia.

 

Record breaking Healeys in 1953. https://primotipo.com/2019/06/08/austin-healey-100s-streamliner/

 

Dan Gurney’s Eagle Mk1 Weslake was a competitive force in 1967 winning the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in a great test of both his Len Terry designed chassis and Weslake built V12 engine, and the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. Piece on the Eagle Mk1; https://primotipo.com/2019/02/19/eagle-mk1-climax-101/

Credits…

Castrol, Jon Saltinstall on ‘The Nostalgia Forum’

Tailpiece…

Finito…