In 1899, Charles “Cheers” Wakefield resigned from the Vacuum Oil Company, and founded C.C.Wakefield – later to become Castrol. He launched their first lubricant for cars in 1906, and the company has been at the leading edge of motor technology ever since.
The new business was started at Cheapside in London, selling lubricants for trains and heavy machinery. Eight former colleagues from the Vacuum Oil Company joined Wakefield in the new venture.
Early in the 20th Century Wakefield developed an interest in the latest motorised vehicles, the aeroplane and the automobile. The company started to develop lubricants especially suited to these new types of engine. The oils needed to be thin enough to work immediately from cold at start-up, yet thick enough to remain effective at the very hot temperatures produced by the high engine revolutions.
Wakefield’s researchers discovered that adding a measured amount of castor oil, a vegetable oil derived from castor beans, gave their lubricants the required properties for the harsh conditions imposed by these new engines.
The new oil was named “Castrol”.