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Woco Pep, the King of Motor Fuel

An airplane and a 1933 Ford V-8 advertise Woco Pep Motor Fuel and Tiolene Motor Oil.

With the dramatic uptick in fuel prices during recent years, large amounts of time and money have been expended to try to find something to run our engines on other than gasoline. But this isn’t a new idea, as shown in our feature photo today. The Sloss-Sheffield Company of Birmingham, Alabama was looking for a new revenue stream in the early years of the Great Depression and hit upon the idea of refining coke by-products from it’s blast furnace operations into a motor fuel. They tasked the Wofford Oil Company with the project in 1931.

The Woco Pep brand was born with claims of  “More miles, Less Carbon” and “Gets You There With Power to Spare.” We assume that the “V-8 Fact Finding Run” advertised on the cars flanks refers to some type of involvement in the test program by the Ford company. Woco Pep would be sold throughout the southeastern U.S. and it and the Tiolene brand of motor oil prominently displayed on the plane’s fuselage, were eventually absorbed by the Pure Oil Company. Photos courtesy of the Knox County Public Library.

8 responses to “Woco Pep, the King of Motor Fuel

  1. Another “Gets you there with power to spare” is that Bellanca CH300 Pacemaker. The 300 was a six seat utility aircraft known for its long distance endurance. I believe the aero engine in the photo is the nine-cylinder Wright J-6 radial.

    Tom M.

  2. My son’s great-great grandfather is George Thomas Wofford, of Wofford Oil Wodo Pep and we are on a journey to learn everthing we can about him and his accomplishments…we know a lot, but we are finding that we still have a lot to learn…

    • Hi Michael,

      I am trying to find out what happened to Wofford Oil? I have an old photograph showing employees standing outside the George Washington Hotel in Jacksonville FL on Dec. 14th 1928. It says they were there for a WOCO PEP Meeting. One of my relatives, I am assuming my great grandfather, is in the picture.

  3. I have a photograph of my great-grandfather standing in front of his Woco Pep station (his name appears on a sign above the building, the Woco Pep sign hangs in front). From the gas pumps, we believe it was taken sometimes in the 1930s, but no one in the family knows where the station was located. Is there a database of Woco Pep stations or station owners? Any suggestions about how I might follow up on this would be greatly appreciated.

  4. I also have a photo of my own grandfather standing in front of his Woco Pep station in Gardendale, Alabama. His name is on the sign and is G.S. Legg. It was made about 1939. Does this fit?

    I know exactly where this station was located.

  5. Charlie Barnet, the band leader, wrote of running low on gas in his beloved Lincoln Continental and having to fill up on Woco Pep. He made it to the gig, but the Lincoln had to have its engine rebuilt. So it wasn’t suitable for all motors!

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