The Banks SS 502 is What Happens When you Let the Syclone’s Creator Off the Leash

Winkingly called the Cowboy Corvette by its creator, Gale Banks, the 1993 Chevrolet Silverado Banks SS 502 is what happens when a hot rodding legend is released from a giant corporation’s strictures.

Powered by a marine engine, Banks says that this is the truck he really wanted to make when he was asked by GMC to manage the Syclone project. Although he tells MotorWeek that the little truckling was a success, this is what GMC wouldn’t let him make.

Not only does it have a 502 cubic inch marine engine specially prepared by Gale Banks Engineering with port fuel injection, but it also has a pair of Offenhauser turbos. All of which means it makes considerably more power than the Syclone V6’s 280 hp. In fact, it makes 1,000 more horsepower. No wonder GMC confined him to a V6.

Even Banks admits that this was all a bit much for the average driver. Really, it was a showpiece. A super truck designed to sell graphics packages, accessories, and bolt-on kits to get more power out of the 350 that he called “quite streetable.”

Streetability seems to be a concern for the Banks SS 502 because when they film it in the LA canyons Banks and host Craig Singhaus are barely going faster than the cyclists.

Banks’s trucks have a history of genuine performance that continues to this day. With a career in hot rodding that stretches back to the late ‘50s and continues today, there are few people you’d trust more with a 1,300 hp bad idea like this one. And who else but a man whose first name means frighteningly strong wind would you trust with the forced induction of your truck?

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