Authentic Rally Adventurers
This is a story that the older employees in Pakelo know by heart. It is 1988 when a neighbor-company called Perlini Dumpers knocks our door with a challenging project: taking part to Paris Dakar Rally with their heavy duty vehicles. Perlini's headquarter was 10km far from Pakelo's and African rallies where for both companies as far as Mars.
Thierry Sabine, a French professional driver, founded Paris Dakar after getting lost in the Libyan desert during Abidjan-Nizza Rally Raid. Out of this extreme experience he conceived the route of what became in everybody's imagery "The Rally of the Rallies". From 1970 to 1992 there was no GPS system. Only rudimental ones started to join in the early 1990s, but the most common navigation tools were still old good compass and maps sketching Touareg's roads (or trying to). Starting from the 1980s the rally became a media success and its fame exploded.
Perlini Dumpers, made for victories
The first Dakar for Perlini Dumpers is in 1988 with a crew made of French driver Thierry de Saulieu, French navigator Jacques Houssat and Italian Mechanic and Co-Driver Danilo Bottaro. The Dumper is a Perlini 105F called "Red Tiger" weighting 12,8 tons and darting full speed at 93 mhp, even if some sources say 114 mhp. But let's stick to the official info. During the first attempt Perlini Dumper scores a victory for truck category and P4 in the overall standing. Not bad for a rookie. However, the real Golden Era of Perlini Dumpers is between 1990 and 1993 when the son of Perlini's founder, Francesco, joins the team as driver and the team subscribes to victory Hall of Fame.
Birth of Pakelo 80w140 Transmission Oil
Pakelo's Africa sickness probably starts here at the legendary Paris Dakar Rally of the 1990s with Perlini Dumpers. They tested our engine oil - namely Pakelo Kentron Over SAE 40 - which is long gone out of the catalogue now. Danilo Bottaro, the mechanic we interviewed revealed us that they didn't change engine oil every night like other big Factory Teams did. They were smaller and had less spare parts to use with them. He used to change engine oil halfway to Dakar, just in case. High temperatures were enemy #1 there, but they never broke an engine.
However if we have to be accurate. For Pakelo Paris Dakar Rally was the true field test for its transmission oils. A brand new viscosity was tested for the occasion. It was a SAE 80w140, quite an innovative product for the time since only few European oil producers had it. During the rally mechanic parts connected with the transmission (front and rear axle, gear and reduction units) suffered of incandescent temperatures. Imagine the heat produced by a dumper truck running 93 mhp speed with 30-35°C outside. Parts were 120°C hot. With this temperatures an oil could potentially oxidate and loose its lubricating power. Pakelo transmission oil used during those races was conceived to resist from -60°C to +180-200°C. Full protection mode on.
It's undeniable that in time Pakelo benefited of the expertise made during Paris Dakar Rallies to bring product innovation on transmissions forward. To discover our current range of automatic and mechanical transmission oils click here.