The 2000’s saw a lot of activity coming out of Banks’ Race Shop. While the Sidewinders (Dakota, GMC Type-R, S10 drag pickup, and the Top Diesel Dragster) stole the media spotlight thanks to their ultra-powerful and smokeless diesel powerplants, there was one vehicle created for the Banks stable that was a little more based on Gale’s roots: the gas-burning Twin-Turbo Shop Truck… or as it affectionally became known as the Banks “Rat Rod”.
At its core it was pure Chevy, with the donor vehicle being what GM thought a sport truck would be. From ’90 to ’93 Chevrolet decided to produce a limited run of what they dubbed “the truck from hell”, and so the 454 SS pickup was born. This truck was only available with one engine option, the big block 7.4-liter 454 V8 that pumped out 230 ponies and 280 lb-ft of torque. Its only configuration was a single cab short-bed C1500. Updating the suspension and removing (the anemic for its size) big block, the truck was fitted with a Banks twin-turbo 366ci small-block. Feeding it 91-octane super unleaded, the pickup put down 675 hp at the rear wheels. The shop truck featured a Richmond six-speed trans which fed power to a heavy-duty 14-bolt GM rear end with 3.73:1 gears and a Detroit Locker. The 1,200 hp was more than the truck’s stock frame could handles as the crew found out after its shakedown and inaugural run at the drag strip. While doing a once over of the truck it was observed that it just wasn’t sitting right on all fours, the power twisted the stock frame like a pretzel. In need of some surgery, the Banks crew got to work on heavily gusseting the frame.
The fortification of the Rat Rod’s structure worked great, and the truck went on to run in Hot Rod Magazine’s Power Tour in ’05.