1987 Banks’ Bonneville Trans Am displayed at GM Assembly Plant
The record-breaking Banks Trans Am GTA had made a few annual trips to the Bonneville Salt Flats, each time coming back to base victoriously with a new record and a higher speed than imagined. Fresh from salt, Banks took this awesome powerhouse of speed to GM’s Camaro and Firebird assembly in Van Nuys (California) so that the assembly workers could see the vehicle in person on display.
The plant at the time was dedicated entirely to the production of the Camaro and the Firebird, and GM employees from every shift were excited to see the car that was produced right there, return “home” as a winner and a celebrity. Some of the Van Nuys employees actually participated in the modifications that helped make the Banks Trans Am as close as possible to a street machine configuration by bringing various interior, seat and trim components straight from the factory to Banks for installation. They also supplied specially molded body panel shields used on the assembly line to help keep the car from scratches or nicks during prolonged tuning and modifications.
GM officials say the arrival and display of the record-setting Banks Trans Am as a morale booster that contributed greatly to employee pride and product quality. This wouldn’t be the last time Banks would take special vehicles to a factory for display. Each time these “hero” vehicles were taken to their place of birth they brought pride to the employees who worked so hard on the consumer product, giving them the knowledge that what they made was capable of so much more… and it gave them incredible bragging rights.