The history of Mobil Delvac™

In its 90-year history, Mobil Delvac™, one of the world’s first diesel engine oils, has responded to the trucking industry’s ever-evolving needs with continued innovation and performance. For the pioneering efforts of early owner/operators and today’s large and sophisticated fleets, Mobil Delvac has been there. It’s been a twisting, turning ride full of challenges met and obstacles overcome. As we look back on our history, we also look forward to the road ahead — and to keeping trucks on it.

1892 - Invention of the diesel engine

German engineer Rudolf Diesel files for patent on a revolutionary compression-ignition engine that will be named after him.

1925 - Delvac™ is born

To help address the high pressure and heat generated in diesel engines, scientists at Vacuum Oil, a predecessor firm of ExxonMobil, devised a special oil formulation. Vacuum Oil registered the product in 1925 as Diesel Engine Lubricant by Vacuum Oil, or DELVAC. The Mobil Delvac brand was officially born.

1930s - The first trucking boom

The increase of roads, along with growing use of pneumatic tires and diesel engines in commercial vehicles, creates the first boom in the trucking industry.

1940s - Diesel dominates the road

The diesel engine’s performance during World War II popularizes its use in commercial vehicles in the post-war years. As one of the first oils designed specifically for diesel engines, Mobil Delvac is used by many truckers.

1956 - Highways connect the world

The U.S. government approves the Federal Highway Act, funding construction of 41,000 miles of highway. Three years later, the United Nations initiates the Asian Highway Project to help create roads linking Asian countries to each other and to Europe. These massive highway projects spark dramatic growth in the trucking industry.

1974 - Mobil Delvac™ in Russia

The Mobil Delvac brand is officially registered in Russia. The first staffed ExxonMobil office in Russia, however, will not open for another 20 years, in 1994.

1977 - Synthetics arrive

Mobil Delvac synthetic heavy-duty engine oil is launched. Earlier in the decade, ExxonMobil launched its first synthetic diesel engine oil under the brand name Mobil Delvac SHC™

1983 - Mobil Delvac™ in China

Mobil Delvac is introduced to the market in mainland China. In 1992, the brand supports China’s Three Gorges Dam construction project on the Yangtze River.

1987 - Colombia joins the Club

Club Mobil Delvac, a brand loyalty program, is launched in Colombia and remains active today.

1999 - The choice of truck stops

Mobil Delvac™ becomes the featured brand of heavy-duty diesel engine oil for all locations of the former Petro Stopping Centers, now part of TA/Petro, the largest truck stop chain in the United States.

2000s - Worldwide popularity

Due to continued innovation and exceptional performance, Mobil Delvac is the preferred brand of diesel engine oil for millions of truck drivers around the world.

2005 - Setting the speed record

On July 16, in Queensland, Australia, a Kenworth T400 using Mobil Delvac is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Fastest Diesel-Powered Truck, after reaching an average speed of more than 182 kilometers per hour (113 MPH) over a kilometer-long course.

2010 - The preferred coolant

Mobil Delvac™ Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze is selected as the featured coolant for the 200-plus TravelCenters of America and Petro truck stops throughout Canada and the United States.

2014 - Daimler fills with Mobil Delvac™

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) chooses Mobil Delvac 15W-40 as the factory-fill in nearly all Freightliner- and Western Star-branded Class 8 trucks. For DTNA's fuel-efficient Freightliner Cascadia Evolution models, the company also selects Mobil Delvac as the factory-fill oil.

2014 - Racing to green

On April 4, 2014, NASCAR announces that Mobil Delvac 1™ LE 5W-30 synthetic diesel engine oil will be used for its 65 fleet-and-service vehicles (and 16 generators) as part of the NASCAR™ Race to Green initiative.

2015 - Celebrating 90 years

February 17, 2015, marked 90 years since the patent was filed for Delvac diesel engine oil. Throughout the year, the brand celebrates its long and productive partnership with the trucking industry.
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