- Oct 28, 2002
- Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
I actually took the time to watch the Al Amatuzio "Life Story" DVD. To be honest I went into this totally skeptical, being sick of the "rah-rah" Al pep rally mentality. For the first 30 minutes I was not let down....Al had a tough upbringing in Duluth, not at all unlike my Italian father's childhood in Cincinnati, but mostly boring stuff. It seemed to drag on until about minute 45. The video really detailed his ANG service - I never knew most of that stuff he did. Finally he finished his years of service as a Lt. Colonel with lots of honors and awards. Finally Al is out and wants to chase his idea. Synthetic oil in everyday driver's cars. The video gets interesting at this point. He was the first. He beat Mobil1 (there is a retired Mobil1 guy on the DVD), and yes he beat the Germans. He is not claiming to have invented synthetic oil - just innovated it for passenger cars and trucks. One problem? No stores will put it on the shelves. Just too expensive - imagine $6 qt oil in 1972! The DVD does a great historical job of describing how he nearly went bankrupt, got sick, got stuck....and it details what brought him to MLM and Shirley Green. The details of what they did to improve on the MLM model of the time are not given, but it is clearly stated for the haters out there. Really if it wasn't for these rules (such as no forced minimum stock buys) I would not be a dealer today. Al was sued by Pennzoil. We have all read the details of that. But he was also sued by Amway. He won both cases, but the Amway case was nasty. Amway wanted to shut him down for his choice of logo colors and company name. I love the part when Unser now freely admits to running his Indy winning cars on Amsoil - brought to the track in Valvoline (or other sponsor at the time) jugs!!! They do touch on the racing world, buster. The video is very light on technical details, but I guess that wasn't the point (bummer). The main selling point early on was low temp starts without a pan heater and built up to long OCI's. It's humorous when they note all the "new" synthetic oils on the market now. I wish I had a way of posting the video free for all with fast connections to download. It's a good watch if you are interested in lubes at all.