Racing Gas

Yes, I “broke down” and purchased 100 Octane gasoline a few days ago. It was, by far, the most expensive fill-up in my life. Maybe it was just my imagination and/or the power of suggestion, but my Z06 did seem to have “stronger legs” and run more smoothly with the higher octane fuel.

I can’t predict with any accuracy how often I will use the high octane gas, but that was never an option anywhere near us in the mid-Atlantic, at least not as far as I know. What was also not “an option” in the place in which we used to live is to be able to drive 5-10 miles without stopping on roads that have lights.

On a couple of the major north-south roads near us, I have had multiple drives where even though there are lights, the way the lights are timed meant I didn’t have to stop for miles. Sometimes, I could see a red light in the distance, but by the time I reached that intersection the light had changed to green.

Obviously, that makes for a much more enjoyable driving experience. The fact that this area has about 300 sunny days a year and no snow doesn’t hurt, either. OK, maybe it will snow once every 4-6 years, but the snow will be gone within 24 hours. We have been told to be careful driving on the few days it does rain and if we don’t have drive when it’s raining, then we shouldn’t.

Here’s a photo not of a major road, but of a road in a neighborhood close to us:



Hey, you’ve been warned about my affinity for the native scenery and of my propensity to show it here.


Here’s a photo of some more “native scenery.”



This Maserati GranTurismo coupe is typical of the genre of automobiles we see in this area. I have written this before, but it is really the case that I see more interesting cars in three days here than I would see in a year in the mid-Atlantic. Oh, that color looked amazing in person.

As regular readers know, I am quite enamored with these cars. Unfortunately, they are simply too impractical (read that as too expensive to acquire/maintain, too long for our garage, too valuable to be parked outside) for us to acquire for any reason at present. Maybe some day…yes, so many cars, just one life.







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8 thoughts on “Racing Gas

  1. As you have found, “race gas” doesn’t make a serious difference in most street cars performance. While the ECM can make many adjustments per second, it doesn’t have the parameters to take full advantage of the increased octane. In my drag cars, I adjust the parameters manually, and have to take into consideration many different atmospheric conditions; altitude, moisture density, barometric pressure to name the most important (these are included in the factory ECM in street cars). Then I make my timing curves and injector pulse length, or carburetor jetting, adjustments accordingly, using a “best guess”.

    For racing, I buy fuel in bulk. This is my preference

    In a typical day with my gasser, I will go thru between 4 and 15 gallons, depending on how successful I am in the races. With S Lime Ball it will usually go thru 2 to 8 gallons, again based on my success. As you can see, not a cheap proposition. But then, what hobby is? Other than maybe bird watching? 🙂


    1. Thanks for the info, DDM.

      The guy who owns/runs the shop where I had the Z06 mods done said higher octane gas would only add a “few horsepower” without ECM tuning. I think I mentioned that in a post. Still, a few (5-10) is better than nothing. Besides, the highest octane usually available here is 91, unlike our previous state of residence where we could buy 93 octane. If I mix in some race gas from time to time I can keep the average octane around 93-94.


  2. In Arizona you NEED to be careful driving in the rain. Since there is very little rain, there is not enough to “wash’ away the accumulated oil, rubber and dirt from the road surface to “clean” the surface. The little bit of rain mixed with the dirt, rubber and oil make for a slick surface. The only time this slippery mixture really gets washed away is when we have a multiple-inch “gully washer” rain event. Oh yes. Do NOT under any circumstances drive around any barriers set up to block traffic through a flowing wash. Even flows of only an inch or two will cause you to loose traction and you will end up floating down the wash. We have what is called a “stupid motorist” law where IF you drive around any road barrier to cross a flowing wash and you have to be rescued by the Fire Department swift water rescue team, you will be billed for the cost for them to rescue you.


    1. Thanks, Philip. Having lived in the San Diego area for five years I am aware of the dangers posed by a light rain after a long period of no rain. My Z06 also comes with a “Weather” mode driving setting that makes driving in rain and slippery conditions much safer, although not completely safe, of course.

      I would never be so stupid as to drive around a barrier. If rain is in the forecast I will try not to drive.


      1. Fear NOT the rain in Arizona. Make sure your windshield washer fluid is full as the “rain” will turn the dust on the windshield to mud and obscure your windshield at the first swipe requiring you to use the washer. Stay safe my friend.


  3. Yesterday, my wife and I went for a drive in the Mustang. It has been warmer, but we put the top down anyway and rolled up the windows to keep the wind at bay. We didn’t leave the Buckeye city limits, but it was a drive in the country through all the irrigated farmland that has been annexed into the city. Unfortunately, there are lots of stop signs on the routes we took, so we only got a mile or two between stops until we hit MC-85.


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