Black Line Fever: 283 mph with Gale Banks.

At the Bonneville Salt Flats, there’s a 5-mile-long black line that’s seen Pontiacs from Mickey Thompson’s four-engine Challenger 1 to the hand-down fastest Firebird of all: the Banks/Pontiac Twin Turbo GTA.

Specially modified to handle an intercooled, twin turbo 7.5L 2200 hp V8, the Banks/Pontiac GTA posted a two-way average of 268 mph, with a peak of 283. And he said there was still 13 lbs. of boost left. But why a Trans Am?

“The rules say that the body has to be stock; there’s just not a better shape for the job” he said. “When you’re pushing 300 mph, you’ve got to have aerodynamic stability, not just a low total frontal area. The aero package really works. Wait till next time.” Could 300 mph be next, maybe?

“Definitely” said Banks. “We’re working toward 300 mph, step by step. That’s our goal, and we’ll shoot for it in the coming months.”


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