Home > History Of Bardahl
This is a story of a man who, against all odds, prospered by hard work and determination. Ole Bardahl was a Norwegian immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1922. When he arrived in Seattle, he was a complete stranger and couldn’t speak a word of English.
Eventually he found a job in a Ballard sawmill. When not working, he struggled to save money from his meager wages and went to school studying chemistry, accounting and English.
In 1929, Mr. Bardahl had saved enough money to become a building contractor. Throughout the depression era, he worked 16-hour days building and selling homes he had built. By 1936, he had reached a point where he was able to try his hand in other business opportunities.
1939, he began his second business and bought a small chemical company (the beginning of Bardahl). He had a small manufacturing plant in Ballard, a small community of Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish immigrants. He personally oversaw the entire operation from operating blending tanks, serving as salesman, shipping clerk and canning machine operator. The company he bought had a number of cleaners and one oil product. Ole Bardahl was a man of vision quickly realizing the potential of his oil additive.
Sales in the first few years were slim. In 1939, sales amounted to a mere $188 and WWII kept growth to a minimum due to wartime shortages. After 1939, racing enthusiasts in America found that adding Bardahl to their automobiles gave them an advantage over their competition. These enthusiasts demanded the performance and Bardahl delivered every time. Bardahl has been present in all forms and levels of racing around the world including Formula 1, the IndyCar Circuit, Unlimited Hydroplanes, Airplanes, Off-Road and World Rally Championship Series and such world famous races as the Indianapolis 500, Monte Carlo and the Paris to Dakar.
In 1947, Bardahl saw sales rise to $200,000 and by 1952, Bardahl sales were ranked third among it’s competitors. Soon after, the results of an effective television advertising campaign established Bardahl as the top seller in the United States and then the international number one seller, a position still enjoyed in many countries.
Prior to Bardahl, lubricants were weak, molecular-attraction based formulas that brokedown during use. Bardahl’s Polar Attraction Formula allows lubricants to maintain an anti-friction, anti-wear and extreme pressure microscopic film insulating every moving metal part in any mechanical system. The product was so revolutionary that the American army decided to keep it as a defense secret till the end of the Second World War.
Bardahl Manufacturing Corporation corporate offices are still located in Ballard (Seattle) and the company is still run by the Bardahl family with Evelyn Bardahl McNeil, and her Husband Hugh McNeil, Chairman and President of the corporation.
Bardahl is often tested in every day use. The most challenging and hardest on engines is the demanding No-Oil Run. This test consists of adding Bardahl to an engine, letting it run for only a few minutes, draining the oil out of the engine completely and then driving a distance of more than 200 miles (350 km). At the end of the test, the engine is completely disassembled and inspected for wear and tear. Bardahl’s proven technology protects engines even under these extreme conditions. Completed in several countries including America, Malaysia, Argentina and most recently Italy in a large 18-wheel truck, this test proves Bardahl’s long lasting protection of the most critical metal components found in an engine. In 1999, Bardahl decided to challenge the previous No-Oil Run record it had held for years. Bardahl partnered the Malaysian distributor, Cycle & Carriage and organized the longest NO-OIL Run in Bardahl history. Same method was used as in the previous runs, and in 1999, a new record was made in Malaysia – A total of 1,330 km journey was completed by two cars running without engine oils – only treated with Bardahl B1 Oil Treatment – and without overheating or engine burnt