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#4614128 - 12/25/17 06:49 PM Steen's C Synthetic Oil
harbor Offline

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 296
Loc: Rochester Hills, MI
Anyone recall this oil from a So Cal company in the 60's? I had a Steen Tacquito mini-bike as a kid, and some holiday discussions with relatives prompted me to do some research on the company. The oil was primarily for go-carts & bikes, and they claim it to be the 1st synthetic in the U.S. Here's a blurb from a lengthy article on the company relating to the oil:

"This is the history of STEEN’S Chemical and Lubricants Company. A So-Cal company in the 60’s that (by all accounts) made and sold the first synthetic oil in America, not to mention creating one of the greatest 60’s mini bike brands of all time, the . John Steen created the company in the late 50’s by selling used speed equipment and the synthetic oil formulated by his father in the 40’s while working for Standard Oil as a chemist.  Prior to this in the early 50’s, John Steen was an off road motorcycle rider. John rode with  legendary riders Ed Kretz Jr., Cliff Coleman, Dave and Bud Ekin and Steve McQueen and others. These are  some of the guys who created the Motocross sport on the west cost.  Around this time, John’s Dad  passed away leaving him his formula for synthetic oil. (One side note: You would think that with  John’s Dad working for Standard Oil, they would own the formula for synthetic oil. Well they did, but  they told him that they were in the oil business not the synthetic oil business and he could have the  formula. So John’s Father took it.) John talked to Union Carbide and worked out a deal to start  making small amounts of this synthetic oil and asked people he knew to try it."

This is the link to the full article:
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#4614147 - 12/25/17 07:14 PM Re: Steen's C Synthetic Oil [Re: harbor]
CT8 Offline

Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11012
Loc: Idaho
I used Steen C chemical lube in my 1968 Yamaha 125 twin untill I sold it in 1971.
"Don't let your preconceived notions get in the way of facts."
Geoff Metcalf

#4614352 - 12/26/17 04:33 AM Re: Steen's C Synthetic Oil [Re: CT8]
Langanobob Offline

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 209
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I used Steen C in my West Bend 700 powered mini-bike. Friends with karts used it in their McCulloch Mac 10 engines. Their were lots of aftermarket tuning parts available for the McCulloch chainsaw engines and McCulloch came out with special kart engines. They dominated kart racing, I don’t know what RPM’s they were running but they screamed. Made my West Bend sound like a lawnmower. Highly modified, even with Steen C they would seize up pretty often. McCulloch had an advanced port design that I believe he “borrowed”from Stihl when he worked with a Canadian group that reverse engineered Stihl chainsaws when they became unavailable just before WWII. Interesting history.