This paper presents the results of a laboratory investigation on the behavior of motor oil-contaminated, partially saturated compacted clays. For the study, both a natural clay and an artificially purified kaolinite, contaminated with 0 to 8% of motor oil, were firstly compacted following the ASTM standard procedure. Secondly, permeability tests were carried out in a triaxial cell on 10 cm-diameter compacted clay specimens. The results of the investigation indicate that increasing percentages of motor oil decrease both the optimum water content and the optimum dry density of the two clays. However, whereas the optimum water content on the average decreases by about 6% when the percentage contamination increases from 0 to 8%, the corresponding decrease in the optimum dry density is less than 3%. Even though the optimum dry density decreases as the percentage of oil increases from 0 to 8%, there is, however, a range in oil content varying between 2 and 4% for which the optimum dry density is slightly greater than that of the untreated soils. As far as the permeability tests are concerned, the results indicate that as the percentage of oil increases, the coefficient of permeability decreases substantially, specially for clay specimens which were initially compacted on the dry side of optimum.