Azusa, Calif. - - The Automotive Hall of Fame, the highest place of honor in the International Motor Vehicle Industry, has selected Gale Banks to receive one of their 2009 Distinguished Service Citations.
He will accept the award at the annual Automotive Hall of Fame luncheon on January 25, 2009 in New Orleans. This national citation is Hall of Fame's oldest ongoing recognition and is presented each year to individuals who've had a significant impact on the automotive industry.
Banks is one of only five industry executives being accorded this high honor for 2009. Banks, who this year celebrates his "first 50 years" in the business, was quite surprised by the selection. "I sure hadn't seen this coming. When the letter informing us that I'd been selected hit my desk, I actually had to read it over a couple of times before it sunk in," he explained. "I was just blown away and humbled by the names of the others who've been honored with this citation over the years. It's a rare day when I'm struck almost speechless," he added. " . But this was surely one of them!"
Banks' name now joins a select group that includes the likes of Charles Kettering, Harvey Firestone, Ed Cole, Roger Penske, Leo Goosen, William France, Lee Iacocca, A.J. Foyt, William Petersen, Carroll Shelby, Brooks Stevens, J.D. Power, Leo Mehl, Robert Lutz, Leon Mandel, Ralph DePalma, Keith Crain, Charles Blum, and Jim Press. The full list of honorees for this prestigious award is both long and impressive, and goes all the way back to Ransom E. Olds in 1940.
(for an astonishing complete list please see: www.automotivehalloffame.org)
Banks went on to thank both the Board of Directors of the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Distinguished Service Citation committee. He also personally thanked his many colleagues who wrote compelling letters of support for his acceptance. "There are a number of people who put their names and thoughts about me down on paper and sent them to the Hall," said Banks. "They are the truest of true friends, they know who they are, how much I appreciate it, and how much I thank them all for those kind words."
Notice of the Hall of Fame's award comes directly on the heels of word that the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum will honor Banks' company on its "first" half- century in the automotive business with a special exhibit opening to the public on December 3, 2008 in Pomona, California.
Gale Banks' company Banks Power, located just east of Los Angeles in Azusa, California, is the undisputed leader in the manufacture and sales of complete high-performance aftermarket engine systems for both diesel- and gasoline-powered light trucks, SUVs, and motorhomes. Located in Azusa, California, Banks has, since 1958, focused on the constant improvement of performance and fuel economy through technological innovation, world-class engineering, exhaustive testing, and quality manufacturing.