This is the truck that shattered existing speed records – and people’s perception of diesel performance. Cummins diesel-powered Project Sidewinder set five land-speed records and became the World’s Fastest Pickup Truck.
Surpassing Gale Banks’ personal goal of 210 mph, the Banks Sidewinder smashed the world 159.647-mph record with an average speed of 217.314 mph, making Sidewinder the World’s Fastest Diesel Pickup! Amazing Overall Top Speed: 222.139 mph!
Try getting a pickup truck, with the aerodynamics of a brick, to go 222 MPH with a diesel engine. Banks did, and kept it street drivable too.
If you’ve never extensively modified a vehicle for performance, including a major engine and drivetrain swap, construction of a safety/chassis roll cage, and complete revision and replacement of the suspension, then you can’t imagine the amount of work required. Add a complete engine upgrade program, and all of the special equipment required for a Land Speed Record attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and the task becomes monumental. It takes the resources and knowledge of companies like Cummins Engine Company, New Venture Gear, Wilwood Engineering, the Progress Group, and of course, Gale Banks Engineering to create a vehicle like the Project Sidewinder Dakota. Even so, after a year of preparation, the vehicle wasn’t declared “race ready” until midnight, Oct.16th, at the Banks Race Shop in Azusa, California. The World Finals had already begun earlier that same day at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, some 700 miles away.
Built entirely in Banks’ race shop, this 735 hp, 1300 lb-ft 5.9L Cummins-powered Dakota is street driven and averages 21.2 mpg on the Hot Rod Power Tour. The Banks Sidewinder® Dakota is the official F.I.A. World’s Fastest Diesel Truck @ 217 mph (two-way average) and a best one-way of 222 mph. It also towed its own support trailer to the salt!
Project Photo Gallery
The Banks Rat Rod gets a Duramax, the Sidewinder Dakota gets a Cummins, and a who-knows-what gets an 866T.
In a special edition of Diesel Power magazine called “Diesel Swaps,” the writers and photographers covered “25 trucks, cars, and hot rods made better with diesel!”
ON THE COVER: We visited Gale Banks Engineering in Azusa, California, and ... Read more
50 years of automotive and marine engineering innovation was put on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum to honor Gale Banks and his achievements.
It’s called the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Inside this 28,500-square-foot building are some of the most important pieces in drag racing as well as motorsports history. From early sllngshot ... Read more
Pomona, California – – On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, fifty years of automotive and marine engineering innovation was put on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, in Pomona, California.
Pomona, California – – On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, fifty years of automotive and marine engineering innovation was put on display at the Wally Parks ... Read more
Smoke free, high efficiency diesel engines are Gale Banks Engineering’s specialty. We look at how the company progressed to become the undisputed leaders in the field.
To understand where native Southern Californian Gale Banks is going, it’s necessary to know where he’s come from. His Gale Banks Engineering company, now in its 50th year of operation, ... Read more
Straight Talk With the Man Largely Identified as the Creator of the Diesel Aftermarket
Gale Banks is a hot rodder from the word go and is just as involved today as he was 50 years ago when he founded the company. But long before that he was a gearhead, and until this day he remains a ... Read more
Here’s a guy who’s done it all and done it well, and he has the records to prove it. You’ll find his name in the record books for building the fastest pickups on earth. This article features the Shop Truck, Gale’s 502SS, Sidewinder GMC Sierra, Sidewinder S-10, and the Sidewinder Dakota.
One of the benefits of ... Read more
Gale Banks knows how to make power, whether he’s land-speed racing or improving the performance of an anemic motorhome.
(Editor’s note: Gale Banks knows how to make power, whether he’s land-speed racing or improving the performance of an anemic motorhome. Light-duty diesel truck engines are a big part of Banks’ business, so we asked him about ... Read more
Could performance cars like Corvettes and Mustangs and others be powered by diesel engines in the future? They not only could be, but they would be if Gale Banks had his way.
The Banks Engineering aftermarket products are clean, socially conscious,’ owner says in 49th year.
Could performance cars like Corvettes and Mustangs and others be powered ... Read more
For Decades, Fringe Hot Rodders Have Been Predicting a High-Performance Diesel Revolution. It Turns Out They Were Right. Expect Diesels to Be Smoking Musclecars at a Track Near You.
It’s like an eyewitness account of Jabba the Hutt showing up to an NFL training camp and running the 40 in 3.9 seconds. Poppycock! Aside from being ... Read more
The Banks Race Shop makes preparations to break its own diesel truck land speed record at Bonneville
Some years ago, I had a photo assignment at Willow Springs Raceway to shoot a new 904 Porsche with a 911 engine replacing the original, damn-the-cost, four-cam, bevel-drive unit. As an on-again, off-again Porsche enthusiast, I had convinced myself ... Read more