For many years, diesel engines have gotten a bad rap for being smokey and loud, but one man is on a mission to tell people it’s not that way anymore!
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Gale Banks, owner of Gale Banks Engineering. He’s considered by many to be the King of Diesel in the U.S., having designed and raced diesel engines since the late 1950’s.
Banks said he has seen the diesel performance industry evolve at a tremendous rate during his nearly 50 years of building engines. “I sold my first engine in 1958,” he said. “I’ve seen this market change dramatically, and it’s been exciting. The question we need to ask ourselves is how do we work worldwide to make diesel bigger than it is today? The message I want to tell people is that diesel kicks gas, and that’s no smoke. Winning races and setting diesel performance records is the best way to further this industry and to get people really excited about diesel.
“Turbocharger and intercooler technology has changed a great deal and, through R&D testing on tracks and off-road, it is getting better, faster, and cleaner all the time.”
Banks said he has seen explosive growth in the world of diesel, especially within the last 5-6 years. “The diesel marketplace is definitely expanding,” he said. “There are so many different applications out there. We’re not just focusing on the current diesel trucks out there. We’re envisioning the future of diesel cars, too. Looking forward is important, we believe, because this industry is very consumer-driven. You can make the best products in the world, but if customers don’t want them, they won’t buy them. We need to be able to anticipate what the customer will want.”