Besides shear cubic inches, compression ratio has just about the greatest impact on the ability for an engine to produce torque output and horsepower. The higher the ratio the more horsepower the engine will produce, to a certain extent. In years of research we have found that these Oldsmobile engines will continue to make torque and hp with compression ratios that well exceed 12 to 1. The increase of compression ratio will allow the engine and its cylinders to absorb more cubic feet per minute of air and fuel. It will also condense that air fuel mixture greater than an engine with lower compression ratios. The effects during combustion are greatly enhanced producing more torque output and hp than an identical engine with a lower compression ratio. Unfortunately the highest possible ratio is not necessarily for everyone and with the pump gas available today, it is a smart idea to make sure that the compression ratio of choice is matched accordingly. An engine that has compression ratios that exceed today’s pump gas values (octane and content) will encounter problems such as detonation. Detonation will destroy an engine and just because it is not heard does not mean that it is not prevalent and doing damage in your engine. Detonation from elevated compression ratios and pump gas will destroy your engine parts. Your piston rings will be the first to go and the ability to seal those cylinders will be at risk. A cylinder that is not sealed up will be subject to engine oil, which will get past those rings and into the combustion chamber of your cylinder head. Oil burned in the chamber will cause detonation as well. Your engine parts such as wrist pins rod bearings and main bearings will also suffer from increased loads, harmonics and shock caused by detonation. If you want your investment to last, this is the area of concern and it should not be taken lightly when making a decision. The ability to mix pump gas with race fuel offers some great advantages for those who might not want the added cost of straight race fuel. The race fuel has components within that aid and prevent vaporization of pump gas fuel when mixed. Leaded race fuel mixed with pump gas also has its advantages. Lead introduced into the engine will cushion the shock in the chamber, as well as prevent vaporization. Mixing race fuel with pump gas allows for increased compression ratios so you can obtain more torque output and horsepower safely. Even the slightest mix such as a 10 percent addition to your pump gas will allow for increased compression ratios that could add 40 to 60 horsepower to your engines output. Regardless of your choice of compression ratio, you should always run your engine at the coolest operating temperatures possible. The cooler the engine the less prone it is to detonation and the more torque output and hp it will make, not to mention that your engine parts will live longer. To sum this up, I would recommend that you look over your budget and make a decision based upon what you can afford for fuel. Once committed than stay committed to that fuel or ratio mix. If you need further assistance in understanding what compression ratio might be suitable for your budget and horsepower expectations, than you can consult with us. Our email address is listed in the customer care section of our web site.