Valvoline is one of the largest producers of motor oil in the United States. Valvoline was founded by Dr. John Ellis who formulated a petroleum-based lubricant in 1866 and trademarked the Valvoline name in 1873 in Binghamton, New York. Currently, Valvoline World Headquarters are in Lexington, Kentucky. Valvoline is the oldest motor oil marketer in the United States.
In North America, Valvoline is divided into two main sections. The “Do it for me” (DIFM) business, which includes over 800 company and franchise Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations; a contractual “non franchise” branch of automotive care facilities named Valvoline Express Care; and the generally supply agreement only “We Feature” outlets. The “Do it yourself” (DIY) business includes automotive-related products. Included in these are Valvoline lubricants, along with Car Brite commercial automotive appearance products, Eagle One consumer automotive appearance products, Pyroil automotive chemicals, and Zerex antifreeze. Outside of North America, the company has very few auto care businesses, but rather focuses on selling to consumers as well as OEM manufacturers. Valvoline operates in the United Kingdom from Birkenhead, Merseyside.
Valvoline has sponsored several NASCAR and IndyCar drivers, including Buddy Baker (1983–1984), Ron Bouchard (1985–1986), Neil Bonnett (1987–1988), Morgan Shepherd (1989), Mark Martin (1992–2000); Al Unser Jr. (1988–1993); Robby Gordon (1994–1996), Gil de Ferran (1997–1999); Johnny Benson, Jr.; Scott Riggs, Patrick Carpentier, A. J. Allmendinger, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle; Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.; Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, and Casey Mears.
Valvoline also has a long history in Australia. Long time Sydney radio personality John Laws was used in television advertisements to promote their oils during the 1980s and 90s with the line “Valvoline, you know what I mean” becoming a popular catchphrase. It has also had a long association with legendary Australian Sprintcar driver Max Dumesny with their colors appearing on his three Australian Championship winning sprintcars, his seven World Series Sprintcars championship machines, his Australian Superspeedway Championship winning NASCAR, and during his brief foray into V8 Supercars. It has been involved with Garry Rogers Motorsport since 1990, winning the 2000 Bathurst 1000.