The history of Mobil Delvac™

In its more than 90-year history, Mobil Delvac™, one of the world’s first diesel engine oils, has responded to the trucking industry’s ever-evolving needs with continued innovation and performance.

For the pioneering efforts of early owner-operators and today’s large and sophisticated fleets, Mobil Delvac has been there. It’s been a twisting, turning ride full of challenges met and obstacles overcome. As we look back on our history, we also look forward to the road ahead – and to keeping trucks on it.

  • Profile of Rudolf Diesel

    1892 – Invention of the diesel engine

    German engineer Rudolf Diesel files for patent on a revolutionary compression-ignition engine that will be named after him.

  • Scientists at Vacuum Oil

    1925 – Delvac is born

    To help address the high pressure and heat generated in diesel engines, scientists at Vacuum Oil, a predecessor firm of ExxonMobil, devised a special oil formulation. Vacuum Oil registered the product in 1925 as Diesel Engine Lubricant by Vacuum Oil, or DELVAC. The Mobil Delvac brand was officially born.

  • Early Trucking industry vehicle

    1930s – The first trucking boom

    The increase of roads, along with growing use of pneumatic tires and diesel engines in commercial vehicles, creates the first boom in the trucking industry.

  • Post Word War II diesel truck

    1940s – Diesel dominates the road

    The diesel engine’s performance during World War II popularizes its use in commercial vehicles in the post-war years. As one of the first oils designed specifically for diesel engines, Mobil Delvac is used by many truckers.

  • Federal highway act highway from aerial view

    1956 – Highways connect the world

    The U.S. government approves the Federal Highway Act, funding construction of 41,000 miles of highway. Three years later, the United Nations initiates the Asian Highway Project to help create roads linking Asian countries to each other and to Europe. These massive highway projects spark dramatic growth in the trucking industry.

  • Scientist with beaker and clear liquid

    1977 – Synthetics arrive

    Mobil Delvac synthetic heavy-duty engine oil is launched. Earlier in the decade, ExxonMobil launched its first synthetic diesel engine oil under the brand name Mobil Delvac SHC™.

    Learn more about synthetics >

  • Petro stopping centers truck stop

    1999 – The choice of truck stops

    Mobil Delvac™ becomes the featured brand of heavy-duty diesel engine oil for all locations of the former Petro Stopping Centers®, now part of TA Truck Services, the largest truck stop chain in the United States.

  • Engineer with Mobil Delvac oil in front of truck

    2000s – Worldwide popularity

    Due to continued innovation and exceptional performance, Mobil Delvac™ is trusted by trucking professionals worldwide.

  • Kentworth T400 World fastest

    2005 – Setting the speed record

    On July 16, in Queensland, Australia, a Kenworth T400 using Mobil Delvac is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Fastest Diesel-Powered Truck, after reaching an average speed of more than 182 kilometers per hour (113 MPH) over a kilometer-long course.

    Watch the record-breaking drive >

  • Jug of Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5w-30 close up

    2009 – A new product

    Mobil Delvac 1™ LE 5W-30 – a new, low viscosity synthetic diesel engine oil – is introduced across Europe. In 2013, it becomes available around the world.

    More about advanced full synthetic oils >

  • Coolant being poored into engine

    2010 – The preferred coolant

    Mobil Delvac™ Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze is selected as the featured coolant for the 200-plus TravelCenters of America and Petro Stopping Centers® throughout Canada and the United States.

    More about this product >

  • Mobil Delvac Jug on truck step

    2014 – Daimler fills with Mobil Delvac™

    Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) chooses Mobil Delvac™ 15W-40 as the factory-fill in nearly all Freightliner- and Western Star-branded Class 8 trucks. For DTNA's fuel-efficient Freightliner Cascadia Evolution models, the company also selects Mobil Delvac as the factory-fill oil.

  • Nascar cars in garage

    2014 – Racing to green

    On April 4, 2014, NASCAR® announces that Mobil Delvac 1™ LE 5W-30 synthetic diesel engine oil will be used for its 65 fleet-and-service vehicles (and 16 generators) as part of the NASCAR® Race to Green™ initiative.

    Learn more about NASCAR® Race to Green™ >

  • Black and silver Mobil Delvac 90 years sign for diesel engine history

    2015 – Celebrating 90 years

    Feb. 17, 2015, marked 90 years since the patent was filed for Delvac diesel engine oil. Throughout the year, the brand celebrates its long and productive partnership with the trucking industry.