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75-Year-Olds Have Interesting Storys - Here’s Turtle Wax’s Story

Turtle Wax turns 75 this year. Here’s a look back and a look forward at a company that every car enthusiast knows and loves.

Seventy-five years ago, first-generation American Benjamin Hirsch invented an early version of Turtle Wax car polish called PLASTONE in his Chicago bathtub. Today the brand creates leading-edge vehicle protection products including its Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Graphene Paste Wax.

Turtle Wax company is celebrating its 75th birthday by establishing The Healy Family Scholarship Program to help promote and educate details and chemists involved in the automotive protection film business.

Turtle Wax, Inc. grew to a global brand from a $500 initial investment. The company makes no apologies for its success being built in part on advertisement and promotion. That has included a massive 3,200 square foot fiberglass turtle atop Chicago’s Flatiron building. Another promotion the company details on its website include beloved singer and actor Jimmy Durante. The story goes that he was supposed to flip the switch to illuminate a sign promoting Turtle Wax, but event promoters found him passed out in his room at the Drake Hotel with a collection of chorus girls. They left him to sleep it off. Another tactic Hirsch employed was to wax half a car parked during a baseball game at Wrigley Field. He’d leave a business card on the car to explain the transformation.

Turtle Wax’s current line includes 1 & Done Compound Correct & Finish To the Max Wax and Pro Flex Wax. To learn more about Turtle Wax and its interesting history check out the company’s website.

Torque News received no compensation from Turtle Wax for the publication of this story. Though one of our test vehicles was recently discovered to be much shinier on the passenger side.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


DeanMcManis (not verified)    March 8, 2021 - 12:51PM

Fun story John. I've definitely used Turtle Wax on my cars in the past. These days there are so many paint treatments, coatings and protectants that it is hard to keep track of all of them. Auto detailing became it's own giant business over the years.

Ryan (not verified)    March 17, 2021 - 8:01AM

Wax was much more important in the old days. Im talking lacquer and enamel paints.those old paints cracked and wore away once all the solvents gassed out. Nowadays with modern catalized paints, wax really ísnt a must have. Sure it makes your car pretty, and makes it easier to clean,but ii have a saab with 20 year old sikkens 7 layer paint processfrom the factory in trollhotten that looks damn near as góod as the new cars i park néxt to.