The roaring twenties. Castrol Australia gets off to flying a start.
Our first decade in business needed plenty of Aussie grit. Luckily we had the right man for the job. Cyril Westcott served in France and Belgium during WW1 and returned to his Sydney motor accessory business with a simple handwritten note authorising him to set up what was to become Castrol Australia, on behalf of C.C Wakefield & Co. Ltd (the original name of Castrol UK).
It was the roaring twenties but two major oil companies had the Australian oil market sewn up - so Westcott had to innovate. He hit on the idea employing only ex Air Force pilots as his branch managers. They were living breathing examples of Castrol innovation as Castrol oil's superior technical qualities had helped their aircraft outperform the enemy over the battlefields of France.
They gave fledgling business significant credibility at a time when huge crowds flocked to see pioneering aviators. That included the likes of Ross and Keith Smith who used Castrol oil to become the first to fly from England to Australia in December 1919 - a feat that took nearly a month! Aussie fighter pilot Bert Hinkler was first to fly the same trip solo in 1928 - this time in just 22 days.
Castrol's connection to these epic airborn adventures was also very down to earth. While aircraft needed oil that performed at extreme temperatures - so did Aussie motorists and farmers - leading Castrol's market share to jump from near zero to 15% within the decade.