Black Gold – Keep it Golden!

There are hundreds of different classic blend mineral oils on the market. It would be easy to get bogged down in why one is better than another, but that is best left to a conversation over a cup of tea at the workshop. Rest assured we will be able to advise you of exactly the ‘correct spec’ of oil for your particular vehicle.

As a very rough rule of thumb pre-war cars will use a 30 or 40 single weight oil. Cars built between 1950 to 1980 run perfectly well on a 20W/50 mineral oil and modern classics like a semi-synthetic 10W/40. There are plenty of more exotic blends of oil that complement specific types of engine or running conditions but, when a car is used occasionally, keep it fresh!

Surely a modern oil would be better?

Modern synthetic oils can run at a huge range of engine temperatures for tens of thousands of miles and see very little degradation, but this simply isn’t the case for classic oils. So why don’t we use modern oil?

The answer is that engine design has come a long way in the last 20 years. The oil is engineered for a very specific set of parameters, none of which you will find in your classic’s engine bay. Mostly they are too thin and would find any number of gaskets to leak out of!

What happens to mineral oil over time and use?

As mineral oil degrades it starts to separate, thinning out and leaving behind a thick sludge which clings to the engine surfaces. Given time it blocks oil ways and the strainer in the bottom of your sump. This leads to poor oil pressure and premature engine wear. The worst thing for engine oil is to leave it sitting for long periods. Condensation builds up in the engine, which speeds up its degradation.

Quality mineral oils are better today than in the period, when 6 month oil changes were the norm. Cars in classic use today doing less than 3,000 miles a year should have their engine oil changed annually coupled with a fresh oil filter.

How much does it cost?

The prices below will give you a pretty good idea on what a standard oil change costs. They are based on popular classics such as MG B’s and Beetles for 4 cylinder cars, E-Types and 911’s for 6 cylinder cars, Rover V8/Ford Small Block for the V8’s and an XJS for a V12. For the cost comparison we are using manufacturers recommended lubricant spec and their original oil filter. The biggest determiner of cost is how much oil goes into the sump and what spec we use so if you have a specific requirement feel free to call and we can advise. Prices are inclusive of labour, parts, lubricants, disposal and VAT


Water Cooled Classics

4 Cylinder – £ 150.00

6 Cylinder – £ 250.00

8 Cylinder – £ 185.00

12 Cylinder – £ 250.00


Oil Cooled Classics

4 Cylinder – £ 180.00

6 Cylinder – £ 295.00


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