Mom’s “Hot Rod”

14-year-old Gale Banks modifies Mom’s ‘31 Ford Model A from 40 to 105 hp

Gale Banks begins his career as a hot rodder by modifying the engine in his mother’s car.

Fifty years of engineering milestones for Banks Power president and founder Gale Banks began at age 14 with an engine teardown of his mother’s ’31 Ford Model A that resulted in an increase of 65 horsepower.

Gales Model A

  • Four port Riley OHV conversion
  • Riley intake manifold
  • Dual Winfield SR carbs
  • Home made exhaust header
  • Bendix fuel pump
  • Wyco mag or Mallory dual point
  • B Block (pressure oiling)
  • C Crank (counterweights)
  • Durant rods
  • Chopped flywheel
  • Auburn 3 finger clutch
  • 39 Ford Transmission
  • Jahns Pistons
  • Grant rings
  • Isky cam, tappets and valve springs

Stock power 40hp
Finished power 105hp

I started on this project when my mom blew the head gasket on her $35 Model A. Dad asked me to fix it and bought her a 41 Chevy.

It was just an every day thing in Southern California for a kid who delivered newspapers for two publishers, mowed lawns, weeded flowerbeds and helped neighbors with most any odd jobs. It only took two years to save up enough money to buy all the old speed equipment, back in the mid ’50’s. Everybody was putting V8 power in their hot rods at that time, you could get this stuff on the cheap!

— Gale Banks

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Mom's Hot Rod | 14-year-old Gale Banks modifies Mom’s ‘31 Ford Model A from 60 to 104 hp
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