Gale Banks turbocharged engines completely dominated the 1978 edition of the New Zealand Citizen Jet Boat Marathon by powering boats that finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 1978
BANKS TURBO ENGINES SWEEP NEW ZEALAND MARATHON RACE
SAN GABRIEL, CA — Gale Banks turbocharged engines completely dominated the 1978 edition of the New Zealand Citizen Jet Boat Marathon by powering boats that finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th.
Grabbing the win was Reg Benton of New Zealand making this the second consecutive marathon win for him in as many months. Benton also won the Great Smokey Marathon in Canada.
Benton’s margin of victory in the grueling 1000 kilometer event was a staggering one full hour. Powering Benton’s jet boat was a 454 CID, twin turbocharged Gale Banks Chevrolet engine.
Finishing behind Benton, the top five were as follows: 2nd, Howard Smith with a 350 CID Gale Banks turbo engine; 3rd, Alan Johnson with a 454 CID Gale Banks turbo engine; 4th, Max MacKenzie with a 496 normally aspirated engine and 5th, Selwyn Paynter with a 350 CID Gale Banks turbo engine. Every boat in the top five used a Hamilton jet.
The New Zealand Marathon is the third major international event that has been won by a Gale Banks turbocharged engine in the last three months. Benton’s wins in Canada and New Zealand accounted for two and John Westland won his class in the recent Rio Balsas race in Mexico also using a Banks engine.
“Since this trio of races constitutes all of the recognized international river racing marathons”, said Gale Banks, “it seems reasonably safe to say that our turbocharged engines are the World Champions of river marathon racing”.
Project Photo Gallery
Friends since the early 1960s, Gale Banks and Bruce Geisler had teamed up on some of the most famous and significant automotive performance records in history. One of their fondest collaborations was the Geisler-Banks 1953 Studebaker, a vehicle that they ran together multiple times with several different engine configurations. In 1978, Banks built a 955-hp ...Read more
Gale’s love for a particular vehicle goes way back to his teens. It represented many milestones in his career and also represented a “the one that got away” feeling that he still has regrets about to this day. “My favorite car was the ‘53 Studebaker Starliner coupe,” says Banks. “The first time I ever saw ...Read more
I’d rather be Blown than Injected, so reads Bruce Geisler’s t-shirt. It’s the early ‘60’s, we’re in the pits at Bonneville wrenching our Studebakers. It’s over 100 degrees at an altitude of 4,219 feet, no wonder my Moon air density meter is only reading 81%. Despite the low ambient air density, my Hilborn injected, Isky ...Read more
A friend asked for a race car sponsorship recently, but we usually don’t do that. When it comes to race cars, trucks or boats…it’s more fun to build and race our own! And, that way, if we do it wrong, win a race or set a record, it’s our own doing.
When it comes to fuel, ...Read more
Here’s the Geisler-Vail & Banks, 53 Studebaker, on setup day at the 2016 Grand National Roadster Show! The SCTA gave us the premier spot directly across from their display. The Stude is ready to run with a fresh 258″ Banks Blown, gasoline SBC, fresh off the dyno.
I’ll bet that Raymond Lowey has been spinning in ...Read more
The gang from Adam Carolla’s “CarCast” stopped by to see what Gale’s been up to since their last meeting. Lots going on … check it out!
Professor Sandy Ganz and Motorator Matt D’Andria make a visit to Gale Banks Engineering in Azusa, CA. Gale gave them a deluxe tour of his shop and showed just about ...Read more
Here’s something that’s been a part of Gale Banks Engineering history almost since its inception, just now it is going to get bigger, newer power.
By John Espino
There are a few things in this motor-driven world that get folks excited about the automotive biz. I mean there were some dandy headlines this week about two eco-friendly ...Read more
50 years of automotive and marine engineering innovation was put on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum to honor Gale Banks and his achievements.
It’s called the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Inside this 28,500-square-foot building are some of the most important pieces in drag racing as well as motorsports history. From early sllngshot ...Read more
Pomona, California – – On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, fifty years of automotive and marine engineering innovation was put on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, in Pomona, California.
Pomona, California – – On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, fifty years of automotive and marine engineering innovation was put on display at the Wally Parks ...Read more