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History of Penrite at Lane 88

Penrite Lane 88

The Dymond family-owned Lane 88 Auto Museum opened on the 18th of June 2022 on the site of Penrite Oil’s previous headquarters and blending plant at 88 Lewis Road Wantirna South.

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The museum houses a small private collection of vehicles owned by John ‘JD’ and Margaret Dymond, and celebrates the Dymond family’s involvement in historic motoring. The collection has been accumulated over many years, and the museum was inspired by JD’s own mechanical interest, and his love of classic cars and historic motor racing.

Penrite Lane 88

The Dymond Family’s Involvement in Historic Racing

Throughout his childhood, JD frequented racetracks and hill climbs in the English countryside, including trips to the historic Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. It was at this time his passion for cars and bikes flourished, and he set out to learn how they worked and how they could better perform. At 16, JD joined Vauxhall Motors where
he served a seven-year apprenticeship.
While at Vauxhall, JD obtained a mechanical engineering degree at night school, and it was during these years he met Margaret.

She lived locally and had family who worked at the Vauxhall plant. They relocated to Melbourne in 1958, where JD took up a position with BP Australia in the Technical Department. He was involved in the launch of the BP long-life fuel range, as well as the organisation of numerous car rallies and events across the country.
JD assisted in the development of lubricants for the harsh climates of Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia.

Penrite Lane 88

In 1968, he started at Lubrizol Australia – an American international additive producer. JD took this opportunity to become involved in the additive industry which was becoming an important part of lubricant production. In 1979, JD’s passions of classic cars and mechanical improvement collided when he and Margaret took the opportunity to the purchase Penrite Oil Company. JD’s 20 years’ experience in both the oil industry and the additive market gave him the background and knowledge needed to take up the challenge of his own company, along with the nine children he and Margaret would welcome into their lives. Through the 1980s and 1990s, several Penrite product developments, including the HPR and 10 Tenths engine-oil ranges, were the direct result of industry demands the Dymond family discovered through their involvement in racing. Although JD is no longer with us, Margaret and the family still enjoy, and actively participate in, motoring events across Australia and New Zealand.

Lane 88 Auto Museum

Today JD and Margaret bought many cars over the years, but always had a soft spot
for Vauxhalls and European touring cars.
Consequently, the collection features examples from Mercedes Benz, BMW, Bugatti, and Riley, alongside historic racing cars (list of notable vehicles below).
The museum is fortunate to also have several short-term loan vehicles and is home to the newly purchased Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, acquired by Penrite Oil in December 2022.

Penrite Lane 88

The vehicle was sponsored by Penrite at the 2015 Bathurst 1000, and was Penrite’s first major sponsorship involvement in the Australian Supercars Championship, an important milestone in the company’s history. In the blending plant at the rear of the site, much of the equipment and base-oil tanks were retained to capture the charm of Penrite’s history, and to tell the Penrite Oil Company story.
The museum is also home to the John Dymond Library, the collection of his personal technical and automotive books.
The library has been catalogued and is an accessible resource for future generations of automotive-engineering students and car-club historians.

Penrite Lane 88

The Lane 88 Auto Museum hosts Penrite-backed club functions, meetings, media events, and invite -only open days. Recent events have included the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint launch attended by Penrite Racing drivers Dave Reynolds and Lee Holdsworth, and meetings for Vauxhall, Ford Zephyr, Rover and Triumph clubs, VIC Mazda MX-5 club, River City Cooper Roadster Club, and others.
The museum will host the Penrite Racing Gen 3 Fan Open Day on Saturday, 4th of March, a chance for fans to see the new Gen 3 cars before they hit the track, and to meet the Penrite Racing drivers.

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