We always love to see projects that are not yet completed, but have been under way with the hopes of hitting the road soon. Sometimes those goals are lofty, and other times the goal isn’t necessarily for hitting the road – sometimes the goal is to hit the track with the sole intent on going faster than fast.
That notion brings us to another What Are You Working On for our series, but this time we caught up with Gale Banks, president and founder of Banks Power. We toured the Banks campus recently, and spent the better part of a day seeing what the team was up to and we were stopped in our tracks by one project that was underway.
Throughout the campus, we saw Camaros and Mustangs, we saw some military vehicles, and we saw lots and lots of engines, primarily GM diesel engines. Some were in crates, some on stands, and one was going into this dragster that you see here. We were intrigued, a diesel dragster? Of course, and we just had to ask about it.
We’ve watched Gale Banks put turbos on everything from a Salt Flat Dakota to Military prepped JLTVs, street cars to drag cars, and gasoline to diesel engines. This time, however, the crew at Banks Power has a goal for this dragster: to break the Top Diesel Dragster record.
It’s a lofty goal, but not one that is so far fetched that it can’t be achieved. The car is coming together well, and the goal is to get out on the track in late 2017 or early 2018. They plan to run the car at either Fontana or Famoso, depending on ease of towing the car to the track and also basing it on who has test time.
Banks Power has a poll posted on its Facebook page to vote for which track their fans might want to see it run at, and we’re told that Vegas leads the way. But for the test runs, they’ll likely have to stick a little closer to the Azusa campus.
Duramax With Triple Boost, And Squeezing The Bottle
The base engine for this dragster is going to be the L5P, but the program will start with an LML based engine and switch over to the L5P as Banks Power starts bringing in their own development parts. They’ll supplant the new engine into the 2008 Spitzer chassis, but it will have a few updates.
The last time they ran the car was in late 2010, but they will be coming back this year with a vengeance to take the record. The plans for the build include a supercharger, then adding Super Twin turbos. “Oh, did I mention nitrous?,” Banks added to the list of power adders. When we asked how big the turbos will be, we got a Banks-sized answer: “Big enough to do the job,” he said.
All of this boost and Duramax technology should be good for over 2,000 horsepower and over 3,000 lb-ft of torque when all is said and done. We’re going to plan on being there with the team where ever they run, and bringing back some photos of the car rocketing down the quarter mile.
The current record for the NHRDA (National Hot Rod Diesel Association) stands at a 6.64 ET run at the Texas Motorplex in September, 2013, and a 211.86 MPH pass a year prior at the same venue. That means that Wes Anderson has some stiff competition if he’s going to come back with the W.
As with any project, some parts that go on in the beginning might change when the project is done. Those mismatched valve covers will be matching soon enough wearing the signature red color we see on so many other Banks Power vehicles.
As you can see, the car has a ways to go before it’s completed, but how cool is it to see how it all comes together. We can’t wait to see the finished dragster – and to be able to be there when Banks Power hits the track. They’re working hard on the car, and working even harder on breaking the record.
We are all about working on and finishing projects, no matter if it’s just to get your project back on the road, or to break a record. We wanted to add Gale Banks to our feature, and he’s in good company here with plenty of other projects with lofty goals. If you have a project of your own that you’ve been slaving away at, share it with us! Send us an email and yours could be the next project featured in “What Are You Working On?”.