23.6 MPG from a Truck that Runs 222 MPH!

OK, you haven’t heard from me in a while and I’m going to use the same excuse as everyone else; Power Tour, blah, blah, blah. But since I am doing so, I would like to continue my theme on fuel economy with a report from the Power Tour. As you know, we took five vehicles on the Tour, four trucks with diesels of various flavors and one truck with a twin turbo small block Chevy. One of the trucks that completed the entire 1700+ mile trip was the Banks Sidewinder Dakota. You remember this truck, it holds the world record as the fastest pickup truck at a top speed of 222 mph. The cool thing is, it is completely street drivable and is actually fun to drive.

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High School Biodiesel Brain Power

There are lots of articles being written about “home-brewed” biodiesel today but I’ve felt that most of these backyard projects getting ink are the automotive equivalent of brewing moonshine. I say this, because while the end result is probably combustible in a diesel engine, the biodiesel fuel produced is not refined and finished to any known standard.

Here’s a project worth mentioning for a variety of reasons. Technology Teacher, Michael Winters, at San Gabriel, California’s Gabrielino High School’s Tongva Technology Center began an Eco-Fuel Research Project five years ago to educate his students on the benefits of alternative fuels.

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The World’s First Roadracing Pickup Truck

How many of you know that Banks’ Race Shop is building a roadracing truck? Did you know that the truck is going to be diesel powered? That’s right! A diesel powered roadracing truck! And it will be twin-turbocharged!

What’s the big deal you say? Well, diesels have several advantages over gasoline. First is mileage. Diesels generally achieve 20-40% higher mileage than gasoline-powered equivalents. Improving mileage means less fuel stops in an endurance race. This is a huge advantage and one that can shave critical minutes off of a team’s total time.

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Running After the Ice Cream Man, or Picking up the Sidewinder

Remember when you were a kid and you heard that sound? You know, the sound that could motivate the dead to rise and you to drop whatever you were doing and run like hell screaming with whatever coins you could find clinched into your tiny hands? It was a melody that seemed to carry through the air even from miles away and could interrupt anything that was going on in your life at the time making you swing your head it the direction it was coming from. Yeah…

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Time Travel or Power Tour Epilogue

And so here is yet another late entry in my log of blogs. Let’s set the clock back… back… back… to June 8th…

… So this is my first time flying Southwest… and I have to tell you it ain’t bad. Oh, I’m sure that if it was packed like my flight to Milwaukee I would have much more to say. But hey, airlines don’t always smash as many folks as they can into a tiny plane like it was a dare or something like that… do they? The thing I thought was funny was that there are no assigned seats on Southwest, and it was every person for themselves. What a hoot it was to see everyone running to be first in line. I even got caught up in the rush. Hah… that little old lady never knew what hit her.

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What a Long, Strange Trip its Been

Throwing a bunch of guys together for a seven day, 1,700-mile tour is bound to have its ups and downs. This sign found in Joe’s Crab Shack in Kissimmee, Florida on the last day of Power Tour says it all. The merry bunch of Banks employees (and journalists) that traveled with us now share a common bond and many memories that will last a lifetime.

We did the ‘long haul’ with virtually no problems to speak of and the 2005 Hot rod Magazine Power Tour was a great success. It was an excellent way for Gale Banks Engineering to meet its customers and make new friends and champions for our current and future products.

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Bosch DCX Tech Fair or “Drive Sample Vehicles Like You Stole Them!”

I know… it’s been a while since I’ve written, but I’ve got a good excuse. No, really… I do. See, I went on the Hot Rod Power Tour and before that, Bosch’s DCX Tech Fair. Vehicles, meetings, logistics, details and way too many “what ifs” make Johnny a dull boy. It’s as if I’ve been a cross between the proverbial one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest spliced with a chicken with its head cut off. Sort of a one-legged chicken-man with no head trying to kick some butt if you will. See the problem?

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Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour: A Huge Success!

Perhaps you’ve noticed the lack of blogs from all of us during Power Tour? The days went by like lightning. There was, literally, no time to blog. Here’s how our tour went.

Day one:
Wake up (5:30 a.m.); shower; shave; meet in hotel lobby (7:00 a.m.); quick breakfast (7:15 a.m.); schlep bags to the truck-of-the-day (8:00 a.m.); drive to event city (usually around 300 miles); park truck at booth (2:00 p.m.); get swarmed by gawkers (2:01 p.m.); talk to people about Banks products (2:01-8:00 p.m.); pack up trailer (8:00 p.m.); eat dinner (9:00 p.m.); sleep (10:30 p.m.); zzz

Repeat six times.

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Air Travel Hell: Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour (Pre-Tour)

4:44 a.m.
Okay, the trip stared off badly when the shuttle van that was supposed to pick me up at 4:00 a.m. hadn’t arrived by 4:30. When I called, they told me, “oh, our driver just now told us he was experiencing vehicle trouble…” Great. What about my ride to the airport?

The shuttle company called a cab for me and my $45 trip to the airport wound up costing $68.30. The shuttle company is going to pay me the difference. Yea – there’s money I won’t be seeing again anytime soon. The only saving grace was Richard, my taxi driver, was also an Armenian philosopher. I got an Armenian history lesson on the drive to the airport. Interesting.

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Banks Sidewinder All-Terrains are Ready to GO!

It’s been a real thrash for the past few weeks getting ready for Hot Rod Magazine’s Power Tour. You may have noticed the lack of new blogs recently. Sorry, but we’ve all been swamped. Imagine the logistics and man-hours involved in getting five trucks ready for the 1500-mile Power Tour…

Anyway, we now have all three 2005 Banks Sidewinder All-Terrain trucks finished and ready for Power Tour. Banks “Rat Rod” Shop Truck and Banks Bonneville Record-Holding Dodge Dakota are also ready to fly.

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