Greg, I saw your column recently about the Nash Metropolitan, and it sure brought back memories. The Nash Metropolitan was the first car that I ever bought all by myself, and the year was 1957. I learned to how drive with my Metropolitan.
The dealership name where I bought it was Toby Murray Motors in South Beach near Newport, Ore. It was a great car and I made several long trips with it. I remember when four of us used to ride to work in it, a total of eight miles one way. I guess we were a lot more nimble back then.
Thanks again for your column, and I also remember that back in the 1950s, gas was only 19 or 20 cents a gallon, so it was a cheap car to operate. I could sure use that car again, and the price of gas to go down, too. Sincerely, Arlene McKay, Colville, Wa.
A: Thanks, Arlene, for you letter and photos of your car. I receive many letters from Metropolitan owners and enthusiasts. To this day, the car is as popular as ever, especially at car shows. Have a great week.
Gail Banks Turbo
Q: Hello, Greg. My question deals with a boat motor. It is a Gale Banks Twin Turbo 454 Chevy engine. According to an article I read, it still sits in a Campbell Boat Company 24-footer and puts out 840-horsepower and 900 lb. ft. of torque. It runs 15 lb. of boost, and has been running this way since 1978. What information do you have concerning this setup, and how hard do you feel it will be to purchase one used on the open market? Any info would be appreciated. Jeremy Baney, FM8175, PO Box 999, Huntington, Pa. 16652.
A: Jeremy, I included your full address in case a reader can help you out with a used unit.
Specifically, Gale Banks Engineering is a well known name in truck power enhancements, be it gas or diesel. Founded by Gale Banks in 1956 when he was just 14, the company started when Banks decided to teardown his momís Ď31 Ford Model A engine. The result was an increase of more than 40 horsepower, and then two years later, Gale was officially in the engine business. His first shop was in Lynwood, Ca, and then moved to the San Gabriel Valley area. Today, Banks remains the hands-on president of the 100-plus employee complex that occupies 12 acres in the Valley town of Azusa, Calif.
Banks marine engines are legendary, winning national and world championships. On the military side, Banks marine engines were chosen to power U.S. Navy SEAL covert-action boats due to reliability and power. After decades of racing, Banks Power is still the only company to set records at Bonneville in both automobile and truck classes.
I would recommend checking eBay and other car websites for used Banks turbo units, or write Gale Banks Engineering at 546 Duggan Ave., Azusa, CA 91702. (Check them out on the Web at bankspower.com.)
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and welcomes questions on collector cars, auto nostalgia and vintage motor racing at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Zyla: Readers relay Metropolitan experiences and Banks Turbo information