A Trip To The Toy Shop

One of the things that I like doing during the workweek is to wander through the Banks Race Shop. It is really an amazing place. I can’t think of any other place in the world where I could find high-flow intake manifolds for diesel engines being developed, turbochargers being mounted on a V-12 tank engine and a one-of-a-kind diesel road race truck being built from the ground up… oh and by the way, just a few feet away is the world’s fastest pickup truck powered by a Cummins ISB engine.

Don’t think of it like a NASCAR race shop where you would see a half dozen or more cars being prepped for specific tasks. A lot of people refer to it as a toy shop, but it is really much more than that. It is a research and development facility of the highest order. There is a lot of talent working in the room too. The other day I was looking as some custom aluminum manifolds with welds that looked like they were done by a robot. They were actually done by Michael Markowitz, one of our newest fabricators. As far as I know, he is fully human. He clearly has more metalworking capability in his little finger than I will ever have.

I guess one of the reasons that I love it so much is because I love racing. What better way to develop new ideas and expand automotive concepts? That is really what racing is all about. And on top of that, it’s fun.