Charles “Cheers” Wakefield founded Castrol under the name of ‘CC Wakefield & Company’. In 1899 Charles left a job at Vacuum Oil to start a new business selling lubricants for trains and heavy machinery.
Early in the new century, Wakefield took a personal interest in two sporty new motorised contraptions – the automobile and the aeroplane. The company started developing lubricants for these new engines, which needed oils that were runny enough to work from cold at start-up and thick enough to keep working at very high temperatures.
Wakefield researchers found that adding a measure of castor oil, a vegetable oil made from castor beans, did the trick nicely. They called the new product “Castrol.” In 1919 John Alcock and Arthur Brown choose Castrol to lubricate their engine on the first trans-Atlantic flight.