E85 IN L.A.
The joys of driving a full E85-fueled engine aren’t all bliss in Southern California, where fuel stations delivering the high methanol content elixir aren’t plentiful like they are in the Midwest. But the satisfaction levels delivered via the carefully tuned powertrain are well worth the effort. With a range of around 250 miles per fill up (Montague states cruise mileage at 17 mpg), treks from Monfortes’ home in Lancaster to Los Angeles require regular tops for fuel — locations carefully charted by Monfortes and his E85 compatriots. To shore up for longer hauls, like the regular runs made to Las Vegas to races at the famed speedway, 55-gallon drums of E85 are stationed at the ready in his garage for him to fill or top off the tank as needed.
While E85 still continues to be hard to find in L.A., it’s gaining popularity in recent years. While most of the growth is due to the increasing number of Flex Fuel vehicles, there’s also a push from the performance market, which has slowly understood its merits. And why not — especially if you can generate close to 1,400 hp and yet maintain street manners as well. That’s the best of all worlds.