our history

The Marvel Story

Marvel Oil Company, Inc. boasting an enviable reputation among vehicle owners world-wide, is truly a legend of its own. From an auspicious beginning, it is now recognized as a product that has stood the test of time and continues to provide unsurpassed performance and benefits in the automotive, industrial and marine world.

Founded in 1923 by Burt Pierce, the brand has remained legendary for over 90 years. Pierce’s reputation for ingenuity preceded him as he was already well-known for inventing the Marvel Carburetor, standard equipment on 80% of all vehicles produced after World War I. Vehicles of the post WWI era encountered carburetor problems, the most perplexing being clogged jets due to high lead content and other contaminants found in the gasoline of the time. The problem motivated Pierce to direct his creative ingenuity towards formulating a blend of chemicals and petroleum products to clean and maintain clogged jets. He was successful beyond his wildest expectations and the legend of MMO was born.

Marvel Mystery Oil proved to have other beneficial effects on the engine. By creating a top ring seal, it produced higher compression and by preventing blow-by on power strokes, it resulted in more power. Marvel Mystery Oil also improved gas mileage and minimized engine wear.

Initially based in Chicago, the company moved to New York City and then in 1941 moved to Port Chester, NY. Marvel’s popularity soared as the word spread of its effectiveness in treating all types of engine ailments. It was used extensively in WWII on everything from airplanes to battleships to tanks. In 1999 the company moved back to its roots in Chicago.

Why the name Marvel Mystery Oil? Burt Pierce refused to divulge the formula for his new product and answered all inquiries as to its make-up with “It’s a Mystery!” The name caught on and is still recognized today for its “mysterious” ability to cure and prevent almost any engine ailment.

To Be Continued...

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