Torco is the Name
After two years of supplying his 20W-50 racing oil to owners of all kinds of race cars, Lancaster's company ordered him to stop making it. At the suggestion of his father, Lancaster started his own company in 1950 to manufacture his racing oil under the Torco name. That was the beginning of a legend. During the 1950s, Torco gained a reputation for being a superior lubricant because it supplied what the racer wanted: better lubrication, better cooling, better sealing, less carbon and sludge deposits, better wear protection, and a boost in horsepower by reducing friction. Known then as Torco V-Bloc 50 (SAE 20W-50 was not yet a recognized viscosity grade) this unique SAE 50 looked thinner than other SAE 50 oils because of its clear, pale yellow color. However, it was actually a higher viscosity than the other SAE 50 oils and was closer to an SAE 60.
Racers discovered extra power when they compared Torco with other brands, and their engines ran cooler. World speed records at Bonneville were set using Torco oil. Boat racers found less alcohol dilution from fuel wash when they cranked their engines for warm up before a race.
One of the first racers to discover that his engine ran cooler with Torco was Bob Clawson, in his midget driven by Johnny Moorhouse, in the Torco V-Bloc Motor Oil Special.
When drag racing moved from the dry lakes and streets to the Santa Ana Airport, Torco was there. When drag racing began at the Pomona Fair Grounds, Torco was there. When nitro became a factor in drag racing fuel, Torco was there. But now Lancaster had to face a new challenge. His V-Bloc 50 racing oil formula failed to protect a nitro engine from "black death". It was Gary Cagle who showed Lancaster the scored pistons and cylinders from his nitro motor.
Chief mechanic Howard Gilbert, who prepared cars for Indy winners Sam Hanks and Jimmy Bryan, showed Lancaster how "black death" appeared on pistons used during qualifying runs at the Indy 500. To prevent piston galling when alcohol was spiked with nitro during qualifying, Gilbert inserted Teflon buttons into the piston skirts. The buttons would only survive the warm up laps and four qualifying laps—otherwise "black death" would destroy the engine.