Inside Look: Diesel Army Goes Behind The Scenes With Gale Banks

For over 50 years, Gale Banks has been designing and building trucks, cars, and boats more efficient and fuel-efficient. Gale discovered his passion for motors in 1956 at the teenage age when he altered the grandmother’s Model A Ford, approximately doubled the horsepower. In 1958, Gale started his first engine-related business in Lynwood, California, and San Gabriel. In the 1960s, Gale attended Cal Poly studying electrical and mechanical engineering courses, focusing on his passion for heat power.

Setting Records

Presently, Banks Power is well-known in the racing and the speed-equipment aftermarket business. However, the brand’s reputation wasn’t built in a matter of hours. Gale Banks has earned record-setting titles and records through the many years, beginning with 1966 in El Mirage with a C Gas record of 184 mph, set in 1953 Studebaker powered by a small block Chevy.

Gale Banks’ 1953 Studebaker. World record holder C Gas race car.

In 1978, Bruce Geisler’s Banks Powered Studebaker set a world record at Bonneville with a speed of 217 mph (pictured to the left). A 955-hp twin-turbocharged small-block Chevy-powered it. In 1980, an engine from Bank’s twin-turbocharged Corvette made the record reach 242 miles per hour.

In the following year in Bonneville, on the 26th of September in 1986, a new record was set with 260 mph on the Firebird. In 1987, again, Banks set a record of 267 mph with the highest speed of 283 mph. The following years, Gale established or was involved in 11 world speed records. The most notable of these was the Teague-Welch-Banks streamliner, the world’s most powerful wheel-driven vehicle, and an overall speed record of 432 miles per hour, driven by a blow-up Chrysler.

In 1976 and through the following five years, Banks won world championships at the marine race, expanding to 12 new championships in 16 years. Banks diesel’ turbocharged marine engines were a huge success. Banks engine turbocharging marines were so effective that they were even banned from offshore racing.

HTML0 In front of the vast majority of the industry of diesel performance racing

In 2002, a street-legal Dodge Dakota pickup truck (pictured above) constructed by Banks and powered by a 735 horsepower 1,300-pound Cummins 5.9L diesel engine pulled the trailer it had built to Bonneville with fuel consumption of 21 mpg. The truck also established records. It broke the 1990 record of 204 speed GMC Syclone track record previously held by Banks and GMC. It also set the FIA record of “World’s Fastest Pickup Truck” with a two-way average speed of 217 mph, and a top speed for one-way is 222 mph.

In 2007, it was the Banks “Sidewinder” S-10 pickup was operated by Wes Anderson and powered by 1 250 horses Banks 886T Diesel racing engine was crowned”The “World’s Quickest and Fastest Diesel Drag Truck” with an NHRDA official 7.77 second ET and a top speed of 180 mph during one quarter-mile (pictured in the below).

Banks has held the titles of World’s Fastest Passenger Car, Pickup, Diesel Drag Racing Truck, and Motorhome throughout his profession.

Again, Banks was ahead of the curve.

Banks currently has an R&D and manufacturing facility on 12 acres of land in Azusa, California, with more than 100 employees. The grounds are maintained and inside the building looks more like a hospital because of Gale’s perfectionist approach. The main reason for his success is that Gale hires and develops the most talented individuals in their field and provides an atmosphere that encourages new ideas.

Gale Banks Engineering customers include an extensive list of automobile manufacturers and enthusiasts of performance who seek more power and improved efficiency in their vehicles while maintaining reliability.

Gale is a professor of engine design at the General Motors Institute. The topics include turbochargers (design and application), intercooler, engine design ignition systems, fuel systems intake systems, camshafts, and many more. Ingenious by nature, Banks holds nine patents related to transmissions, engines brake, and exhaust tuning. In 2009, Gale Banks was honored with the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall Of Fame.

Leave a Comment