In October 1954, three businessmen with a mere $3,000 in start-up capital introduced the first STP® product in St. Joseph, MO. STP®, began with one product — STP® Oil Treatment. It helped automobile motor oil resist thinning at high temperatures and pressures.
Our history – a timeline
Charles Dwight (Doc) Liggett, Jim Hill and Robert DeHart began packaging STP® Oil Treatment in a backyard garage at night and selling it from the trunks of their cars during their business and pleasure trips.
The company’s initial growth and profitability, attributed to strong word of mouth and the brand’s link to auto racing, enabled STP® to introduce its first Gas Treatment.
Andy Granatelli was appointed CEO of STP® and began to increase the brand’s marketing efforts through auto and boat racing. STP® product distribution began to grow, and soon STP® products were available in more than 200,000 gasoline stations across the U.S.
By the end of 1966, sales had climbed to more than $43 million. In 1969, STP® became a public corporation, and shares went on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol “STP”. STP® sponsored its own Indy Car racing team, featuring Mario Andretti, the winner of the 1969 Indianapolis 500.
STP® made headlines throughout the world by beginning its association with future stock car legend Richard Petty, a partnership that continues to this day. Products were marketed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and nearly 100 countries around the world.
In 1981, Richard Petty completed his 7th and final Daytona 500 victory in the #43 STP car. In 1985, Petty would win his 200th career race.
In 1996, STP Launches its first Complete Fuel System Cleaner while Bobby Hamilton won his first race in Phoenix, returning the #43 car to Victory Lane.
In 2009, Richard Petty drives the pace car at the Daytona 500®, as part of the 25th anniversary of his 200th win. STP® and Armor All World of Outlaws™ driver Donny Schatz won his fourth straight Knoxville National championship in an STP® Indy 500 Tribute car.
In 2014, STP celebrated its 60th Anniversary, launching Ultra 5-in-1 Fuel System Cleaner and hosting the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, won by Kurt Busch.
In 2018, Richard Petty Motorsports hires Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. to race the famed STP No. 43 in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is the first African-American full-time NASCAR Cup driver since Wendell Scott in 1971. Bubba started off the 2018 season strong with a 2nd place finish at the Daytona 500.
On September 4th, Erik Jones drove the iconic #43 Chevrolet into pit lane for the 200th time by winning the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Photo credit to Nigel Kinrade Photography, LLC