Valvoline motor oil was founded back in 1866 by Dr. John Ellis, one of the pioneers for the refinement of crude oil. He originally hoped that oil would have medicinal properties but failed in that endeavor. The name Valvoline was incorporated in 1873.
Valvoline motor oil was used in the first North American car race held in Chicago, Illinois, in 1895 and by the early 1900s was the recommended oil of car manufacturer Henry Ford.
The company has sponsored racing events and cars, including the Daytona 500, the Indy 500, NASCAR, and Formula One. Valvoline recently extended their support of Hendrick Motorsports 12 time NASCAR Cup winning champion driver Alex Bowman through 2022.
In 1987, the company introduced its own quick-service oil change locations, providing preventative maintenance for consumers, including oil changes, radiator flushing, batteries, belts, and transmission servicing.
An employee at an Asheville, Kentucky, Valvoline oil change center was fired in mid-July 2019, after listing a customer’s name on their invoice as “Pokahontas.” The post went viral on Facebook. The CEO called the customer to apologize and refunded the money spent at the location.
Valvoline is still owned by parent company Ashland Oil, Inc. and has headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky.