On January 25, 2009, Gale Banks received a Distinguished Service Citation from The Automotive Hall of Fame. This citation is Hall of Fame’s oldest ongoing recognition and is presented each year to an individual or individuals who’ve had a significant impact on the automotive industry. At the time Banks (who was actually celebrating 50 years in business then) was one of only five industry executives accorded this high honor for 2009… and the first in the automotive aftermarket to receive the honor. And he was in good company.
Past recipients have included Charles Kettering, inventor of the all-electric starting, ignition, and lighting system for automobiles; Harvey Firestone, founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.; and Lee lacocca, who revived Chrysler Corp. in the 1980s, among others. “Those are all my heroes,” said Banks. “I’m beyond humbled.”