STP is an American brand and trade name for the automotive additives, lubricants and performance division of Armored AutoGroup.
STP is the sponsor of Richard Petty on Petty Enterprises’ famous #43 and is the longest sponsor relationship in motorsport history.
Founded in 1953 in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the company’s name, STP, was derived from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”. The company entered into the marketplace with one product, STP Oil Treatment.
In 1961, the company was acquired by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation. Studebaker briefly tied STP into its advertising as an abbreviation for “Studebaker Tested Products”. However, Studebaker-Packard CEO Sherwood Egbert felt that STP could one day outpace its parent company and recruited Andy Granatelli as the CEO of STP to help raise the product’s image. At the same time, Granatelli became the public face of STP, often wearing a white suit emblazoned with the red oval “STP” logo to races, distributing thousands of all-weather STP stickers. Granatelli ran two Novi specials at the 1964 Indianapolis 500. Jim Hurtubise and Bobby Unser were the drivers. There was a film made of the race centering on the Novis. While Studebaker abandoned auto manufacturing in 1966 to become a closed investment company, STP sales continued to climb to the point where it was spun off Studebaker-Worthington Corporation’s balance sheet and into a publicly traded company in 1969.
In 1978, it was acquired by Esmark. Esmark was purchased by Beatrice Foods in 1984, who sold STP to Union Carbide the next year. In 1986, Union Carbide's auto products, which included Prestone and Simoniz, were subject to a leveraged buyout. The resulting company, First Brands, was purchased by Clorox in 1998.
In the fall of 2006, STP fuel additives began being used in Marathon gasolines, likely to compete with Chevron's Techron additive.
In 2010, Clorox sold ArmorAll and STP to Avista Capital Partners. It named the business Armored AutoGroup.
In August 2012, STP announced that it will be the title sponsor of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in 2013. STP is now an iconic American brand that symbolizes racing and high quality, American made products.