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All I want is to be able to choose when to use ethanol-laced gasoline
By Jay Leno
Published in "Autoweek", April 9, 2015
 
Jay Leno's E85 Corvette was built to take ethanol.
Some of his other, older cars were not.
Photo by Jay Leno

I’ve never seen ONE of my columns generate as much controversy as the one I did in the March 2 issue (“Can’t We Just Get Rid of Ethanol?”). I have an ethanol-fuel vehicle—my E85 Corvette—and it runs fine on ethanol. We built it that way. It’s fast!

Today’s cars with modern fuel systems run fine on ethanol-laced gasoline. My old cars don’t; but I have no choice.

I guess that’s my main complaint. It’s like having to eat every meal for the rest of your life at the same place, even though you know the food they serve might make you sick.

In California, every fuel (even racing gas) has to have ethanol in it. That doesn’t seem right, that we’re not allowed to make a choice. As I made clear in my previous column, older motorcycles, antique vehicles, small gas engines—ethanol hurts them all. Judging from the comments we’ve seen, readers (more than 95 percent of the responses) agree with me.

I suppose any number of those folks could have some financial interest in their stance, but just the same … if ethanol is so good, let people choose to buy it.

If non-ethanol gasoline is 10 cents or 20 cents per gallon more and people are willing to pay the difference, they should be allowed to do it.

Perhaps I was remiss in the March column in not mentioning enough that we can’t choose. Ethanol people are calling me a hypocrite, but the fact that using the stuff is made mandatory is unfair.

People have sent me photos of fuel regulators and fuel pumps that have been ruined by ethanol. One guy had an ’89 Corvette, and the fuel system was all rusted out because of the switch to ethanol.

I have heard about these problems from enough people. It’s not like I’m sitting here making all this up. The critics are mostly people involved in the ethanol industry. I have a lot of 25-year-old and even older cars that I use all the time that run terribly on ethanol.

One last time: All I am asking is, let us have a choice.

 
 
First published in "Autoweek", April 9, 2015
 
Posted here on Apr 11, 2015
 
 
 
Sep 22, 2017 - Info and photographs received from Peter Woods for Registration No. NW 5917
Sep 21, 2017 - Info and photographs received from Martin Dolleschel for his Chassis No. BR2353
Sep 20, 2017 - Info and photographs received from Carter Johnson for his Registration No. TD 4512
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