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Past Meeting

Guy Lachlan - Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Which Oil For You?

Guy Lachlan of Classic Oils shared his professional expertise and gave us a talk about the highly relevant and interesting history of the development of motor oil and what is involved in selecting the correct lubricant for your particular application.

Beside engine oil, Guy also touched on transmission oil, coolant and petrol.

He was joined by Martin Gough of Penright UK.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

A light-hearted and interactive stroll through the history of lubricating oil from the days of steam all the way through to the present day, covering the basics of why some - but not all - aspects of vintage lubricant design are still appropriate for your car or motorbike.

Over the years, lubricants have been made from animal, vegetable and mineral oils - and mixtures of all three - and in the very early days it was far from clear which was going to become the dominant lubricant for internal combustion engines.

Viscosity - what is it, what do the numbers mean and why do the numbers on gearbox oils look so different to engine oil viscosities?

Monograde or multigrade? A simple guide to what might be more appropriate for your vehicle.

Ever wondered why water is such a good lubricant on the bathroom floor? We go over the basics of lubrication from first principles, and offer some real life tips for lubricant selection and care.

Penrite Classic products are designed and blended from the point of view of the enthusiast, resulting in some unique products - some of which will be discussed in detail.

Guy Lachlan

Guy owns Classic Oils, an Aylesbury-based retailer specialising in lubricants, coolants and additives for veteran, vintage and classic vehicles of all types. Classic Oils does not (yet) manufacture its own products, but rather represents the classic products lines made by top blending companies including Penrite, Castrol, Millers, Morris, Silkolene and Valvoline.

Before acquiring the business in 2010 he had a 20-year career in aviation, first with Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge and then with Honeywell, which took him all over the world.

His interest in lubrication is founded on a lifelong passion for old vehicles, which first crystallised into something more useful when in his final year at Oxford Polytechnic he undertook a project investigating the torque/tension relationship of threaded fasteners, which he did in co-operation with Austin Rover. It turns out this "dry" subject is more interesting than you might at first imagine, and it started a keen interest in the science of lubrication, or tribology as it is more correctly termed.

Over the years he has had many unusual and interesting cars and motorcycles, and as well as being a member of the OxCMC, Guy is a member of the VSCC, the Berkeley Enthusiasts Club, the Royal Enfield Owners Club, the Bentley Drivers Club and the Singer Owners Club. He has raced motorcycles on circuits in America, UK, Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary and competed in the 1994 Classic Monte Carlo Rally in a 1961 Morris Minor.

At weekends during the summer, Guy is often to be found either at Classic Car and motorbike shows in the South East of England or underneath one of his own cars.

He is married to Claire and they have three children aged 14, 12 and 10.

Martin Gough

Martin has been in the lubricants industry for 25 years with companies such as Castrol, Mobil, Texaco and Q8 Oils, now with Penrite Oil, the Melbourne headquartered lubricants company, for whom he has been the General Manager, UK & Europe since Feb 2011.

A former Senior Tribology Engineer with Anglo American and de Beers, Martin's career has spanned southern Africa and Europe and he has specialised in wear reduction on key equipment. This is very relevant to lubricant selection in Classic cars where spares are often both rare and expensive.

Penrite Oils Veteran, Vintage and Classic oil range is the most comprehensive of its kind, boasting ten different engine oils supported by a complete range of gear oils and ancillary products. Most of the Penrite Classic products are blended in the UK at their Forest of Dean facility, including those for the Australian market.

Martin lives in Cirencester with his wife and son.

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