The draw for Bugattis, buggies, rails, and motorcycles is on the bottom line
  • The draw for Bugattis, buggies, rails, and motorcycles is on the bottom line
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The highest priced regular gas in San Diego County on June17 was found at the 76 station in Coronado, at $4.59 a gallon — wait, one station in Rancho Santa Fe posts a much higher price — $8.99 a gallon.

The station, at the corner of La Flecha and Via de Santa Fe, is one of the few in the state can dispense racing fuel to the general public — 95 and 100 octane. “I believe there are other stations in El Cajon, PB, and Vista, but we’re the only ones in the state that is licensed to sell 95 octane,” said manager Steven.

Steven’s station also happens to be one of the few Sunoco dealers in the West, and the only one in California. The chain is most popular in the Midwest and South. Sunoco is the official racing fuel of NASCAR, IndyCar, and the NHRA (dragsters).

Are there any production cars on the road that need the higher octane? Only one — Bugatti. But at a base price of $1.7 million, one should be able to afford $9/gallon gas.

“We get a lot of race Hondas that are good customers," said Steven. "People on the way to the desert with motorcycles and quads also use it because of the increased horsepower....

“We also get a lot of higher-end, high-compression Mercedes, Porches, and BMWs. They have had the car’s software changed in order to take advantage of the higher horsepower,” he added. Otherwise, a regular car will be virtually unaffected by the higher octane, other than perhaps cleaning out the fuel injectors. But any auto-parts store sells much cheaper gasoline treatments that accomplish the same thing.

Once the car’s fuel-injection system and software are changed, the high-end gas meets the restrictive regulations of the California Air Resources Board.

Historical footnote: Back in the 1950s and ’60s, Hancock stations offered seven octane ratings through a selector dial on their pumps. One could choose from lawnmower gas all the way up to racing fuel.

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Comments

jnojr June 19, 2015 @ 8:49 a.m.

GAAAHHH, higher octane does NOT add horsepower, and most of the dopes buying it are throwing their money away! Higher octane fuel is needed in higher compression engines to avoid knocking and pinging.

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Visduh June 19, 2015 @ 7:42 p.m.

If you look closely at the report, you'll note the mention of "Mercedes, Porches, and BMWs. They have had the car’s software changed in order to take advantage of the higher horsepower." I'd bet those modifications are illegal. (California has been highly restrictive about swapping engines, cams, fuel systems, etc. for many years. Engine software is likely no different. To do those things usually means that you have to lie to get the car re-registered, or just pretend that you made no modifications at all.)

But, after souping up your hot car, you might experience knocking and pinging, and then this high octane soup might be the answer. If anyone can afford to modify an expensive car for reasons that have little to do with normal use, he/she can afford $9 or $10 a gallon for fuel.

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AlexClarke June 20, 2015 @ 6:05 a.m.

RSF and desert rats do not seem to go together.

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Ponzi June 20, 2015 @ 11:25 a.m.

Look at the prices. Only 10 cents more for "full service." I'm guessing nobody that goes to that gas station gets out of their car.

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