SEMA 2012: Brad Penn Adds Two Blends to High Performance Line

The latest edition to the Penn Grade 1 oil line is designed for crate engines and other classic performance applications. Labeled Partial Synthetic SAE 5W-30 High Performance Oil, the new formula is available in either quart bottles for general consumers or 55-gallon drums to serve racers.

“This blend has elevated zinc and phosphorous (ZDDP) levels,” explains Nicolas Dixon of the American Refining Group, parent company to Brad Penn Lubricants. “Normal levels might be around 15 parts per million (ppm) ZDDP. This blend is 1,500 ppm ADDP.”

Additional levels of ZDDP help improve wear protection. Modern oils have less ZDDP to meet emissions standards, and these lower levels are a concern for owners with classic engines, especially those with non-roller camshafts and lifters. 

“We tested this oil with numerous cam companies,” adds Dixon. 

The 5W-30 joins the following viscosity ratings in the Partial Synthetic line: 0W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, 15W-40 and 20W-50. The oils also contain strong detergent and dispersant additives. 

Also new to the Penn Grade 1 line is a SAE 60 High Performance Oil for racing applications as well as older Harley-Davidson engines. Brad Penn says the 60-weight oil is suitable for gas, alcohol and nitro engines. This blend also contains 1,500 ppm ZDDP.

For those unfamiliar with the history of Brad Penn Lubricants, the company is based out of the oldest continually operated oil refinery in the world. Located in Bradford, Pennsylvania (hence, the name), this refinery was opened in 1881 and used to operate under the brand names of Kendall and Amalie. The refinery uses crude oil only from a Pennsylvania oil field, according to company officials.

“Pennsylvania crude is unique,” says Dixon, noting it has properties that help the oil cling to steel, which is helpful after the engine shuts down. “Eeverything considered, 75 percent of engine wear happens at startup.” 

All of the Penn Grade High Performance Oils have a distinctive green color.

About the author

Mike Magda

Mike Magda is a veteran automotive writer with credits in publications such as Racecar Engineering, Hot Rod, Engine Technology International, Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive Testing Technology and Professional Motorsport World. He was the editor of four national automotive magazines, including Chevy High Performance, and has authored hundreds of automotive technical briefings. In covering nearly every type of motorsport, Mike has collaborated with many of racing's top engine builders and factory engineers.
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