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Sidewinder Dakota

Sidewinder Dakota

Message from Gale Banks


Dear Friends,

The objective of the Sidewinder Project is to provide a positive showcase for diesel. For this effort we have chosen the "anvil strong" Cummins ISB 24-valve 5.9L engine.

Diesel has a negative image in many quarters. We intend to erase that image.

The whole idea of the Sidewinder Project is to illustrate that a diesel can be an extraordinary performance engine configuration.

In our massive West Coast market there are a lot of people in the BMW league that, if they were considering a light truck or sport-ute, wouldn’t even consider diesel. If we can illustrate through the Sidewinder that you can have a high performance street vehicle that is diesel powered, then I think we’re going to break down a wall with all those potential buyers, nationwide.

Further, I think we can get to the point that environmentalists think we’ve got something notable because we’re consuming less fuel and we’re now clean and quiet.

For twenty years I’ve believed that the future fuel is diesel—there is an inherent efficiency. If we can show that the rough edges are gone, or going rapidly, and we can show that this technology gets you 50% better fuel economy—without a sacrifice in power—diesel is gonna be hip!

We want diesel compression ignition engine technology to be in demand. We want to create a demand that’s pull-through so that the guy who wants to buy a new light duty truck or sport utility vehicle is asking for diesel. If the buyer chooses the products of our partners in the project—Cummins Engine Company, New Venture Gear or Holset Turbochargers—then so much the better.

We want to drive the Sidewinder to the Bonneville Speed Trials, towing our racing gear, with great fuel economy. Then we want to put on the proper wheels and tires and go racing. And, we want to eclipse the current National Speed Record. The current record for a pickup with this displacement diesel engine is 159 miles per hour. Along the way we intend to tour, slalom, truck pull and drag race the Cummins. The Banks Sidewinder will be a capable demonstration platform for them all.

As icing on the cake, we also want to eclipse our own overall FIA World Pickup Speed Record that was set in the GMC Syclone project at 204 miles per hour. 210 miles per hour will do it nicely. Damn revolutionary goals for a light duty diesel but... those are the goals!

Bonneville Five Mile PostPower to the Fifth


Few street-legal cars are capable of speeds in excess of 200 MPH. They include Ferrari F40, Ferrari F50, Dodge Viper GT-R, Lamborghini Countach, Ascari and Project Sidewinder.


Project Sidewinder is the only street-legal vehicle capable of 200 MPH that is a sport truck.


Project Sidewinder is the only street-driven vehicle capable of 200 MPH speeds that is diesel-powered.


Project Sidewinder is the only diesel-powered, street-legal vehicle capable of setting a Bonneville speed record in excess of 200 MPH.


Project Sidewinder is the only diesel-powered, street-legal vehicle capable of setting a Bonneville speed record in excess of 200 MPH after trailer-towing any one of the other 200 MPH vehicles to Bonneville.