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Best engine oil for a Herald 1200?


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What use will the car get?

Pottering about, long motorway trips, motorsport?


The standard spec oil is 20/50, but you want one with something like an sf or sg rating as it has the correct additives for our cars. Oils branded as classic should be OK.

If just normal use, something like halfords classic is fine. Or indeed some of the millers classsic oils.

a bit better is valvline VR1 20/50, but getting expensive, and penrite oils that are often 20/60, which is good.

As my car gets a hard time I use millers CSS 20/60, but again not a budget buy, however after several hours of had driving it maintains the oil pressure better than most others. Saying that the Penrite is used by some people to similar effect.

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In October, I attended the Restoration Show at Stoneleigh Park and took the opportunity to speak with Guy Lachlan of Classic Oils, who had a trade stall at the show. He is the MD of this company which is located in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire (01296.488927) www.classic-oils.net


His company keeps a wide selection of all types of motoring oils for varied automotive applications. We spoke at length about the ZDDP content in engine oils of today and I was pleased to hear that the company is now producing a 20W/50 engine oil that ticks all the boxes that I have speaking of via other media publications and articles. For example the ZDDP content is 1300ppm which is higher than Millers and on par with Penrite. The ZDDP content in an engine oil is a critical factor, especially for cars with flat bottomed tappets and those areas that have high pressure metallic contact. 


Additionally the "API:SL" specification 5L container of "Classic Oils Heritage 20W-50" (see photo) is pitched at a very competitive price, currently £17.50 plus postage; with a discount for larger orders. Guy runs a superb company and his knowledge of oils is extensive; often attending many significant classic car shows where the oil can be collected free of charge. In addition the free collection is available at the store and warehouse.


Via previous threads on this Forum (about oil quality & ZDDP) readers will know I am a big fan of Millers and Penrite oils; despite Millers hiking their 20W/50 classic oil price to an unacceptable price level !! Without a doubt I will be using this Heritage oil in my two classic cars - excellent price, excellent ZDDP level and all the other qualities that I want from an oil to protect my classic engines.






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Aww, that is a bit unfair! Garth has to promote the stuff in the shop. 

The pennine one is a new addition, and is likely to be similar to the other classic oils. Seems well priced too. I doubt they will be changing supplier again.


Also noticed the price of millers CSS 20-60 :o . I got a box of 4 for a few quid more than a single tub costs now. That was 3 years ago at stoneleigh, I will behaving a rethink when it runs out!

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The "brains" behind the Millers new logo and subsequent price hike on all the Millers oil has been sent walking and rightly so.


I have noticed that the price of Millers oils is starting to drift back towards a sensible level. However, the price hike was so high that it will take some time for this to fully occur. What is even more odd is that the "new" Millers Classic oil is branded as "Pistonezze" which was a specific oil produced in its own right by Millers previously for initial engine start-up after a full strip down and machining. This label added to the confusion somewhat.


It has been a dreadful own goal for Millers and at a time when the company was pushing ahead with sales and a firm customer base. To compound this even more so Penrite are closing their UK production outlet this year or certainly early 2017. This means that there will only be one UK importer for Penrite oils; had Millers done their research they should have picked up on that and kept their original set-up, as it was a proven winner.


With Penrite soon to be scarce as an off-the-shelf purchase and Millers out on a limb due to their price hike, this has caused a mid-point vacuum, which competitors will be eager to fill.





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

We currently stock Castrol, Millers and Pennine, both engine and gearbox oils. These three brands cover all price points, currently I don't think the shop needs to stock a fourth brand unless I get masses of enquires for the Classic Oils Heritage 20W-50.

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  • 1 month later...

I found this thread very interesting, it's nearly time to service my Spitfire and get it prepped for it's MOT. The choice of which engine oil to use is always a torment and I've gone for the Pennine Classic through the Club Shop, it's certainly an excellent price to members. The main reason for this, though, is to thank Garth and co. for an outstanding service - as always!

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Indeed. Not as simple as "best"

Depends largely on type of use. So if doing normal journeys, not trackdays or similar, a decent 20/50 will be fine. So the Pennine from the club shop is ideal. 

Ifyou are giving the engine a hard time, there are "better" options that are just overkill for 90% of owners.

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