Motul launches range of motor oils for classic cars from the Radwood era and older


Motul’s has formulated a special line of oils for classic and modern classic cars based on their age specific needs.


Motor oil in general and the type of motor oil to use in your vehicle in particular are among the most controversial topics for car enthusiasts. There is entire internet forums – large – dedicated to this. Of course, your car has a recommended oil weight, but this is only the tip of the iceberg, especially if you have an older car. Motul wants to make the process a little easier for buyers with its new classic line of synthetic oils.

Why is the age of the car important? Because different engines have components designed for a specific blend of additives. Some of these additives – in particular ZDDP, aka zinc – are not found in modern oils at the same concentrations for emission reasons, which can lead to wear of older vehicles. This is why the French oil company Motul has designed a range of oils intended for different ages of classic cars, it announced on Wednesday.

Cars from before the 1980s, for example, often lack catalytic converters and have engines with flat tappet valves and generally looser tolerances. These engines benefit from a heavier oil with much more zinc as they need the protection offered by zinc and do not have to worry about its destructive properties as catalysts. These cars – like my old Mercedes – could use either Motul Classic 20w50 Oil or 2100 15w50 Classic Oil.

Cars of the 1980s saw tighter engine tolerances and more emission control equipment, and forced induction (aka turbos) became much more common. These engines – like that of the editor Roadshow Nissan Pao by Chris Paukert – have different needs than older cars. They still need a fair amount of zinc, but these engines are designed for lighter oils, so the Classic 80s oil comes in the form of a 10w40.

Cars of the 1990s got much more advanced – like with Roadshow Toyota MR2 by Tim Stevens – and so we’ve seen much higher-revving engines with more sophisticated valves – think Honda’s VTEC, for example. These still required thinner oil, 10w30 in the case of the Motul Classic Nineties, and even less zinc to avoid damaging their delicate catalytic converters.

If this all sounds a bit too confusing, don’t worry. One thing all engineers and oil experts agree on is that it is more important to change the oil regularly than to worry about what brand or type of oil is going in the vehicle. , so follow your owner’s manual and it will be fine.

If you want to try Motul Classic or Modern Classic oils, they are currently available pre-order via Summit Racing, with wider availability expected soon.

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