Mr Norm’s 1968 Dodge Dart GSS
The Car That Detroit Said Couldn’t Be Built
No dealership ever epitomized the “Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday” theme more than Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge, at the corner of Grand and Spaulding streets in Chicago. Norm Kraus ran the dealership, and on Sunday he’d be winning races driving the cars himself during the heyday of the muscle car era. He lived the dream and had more than a little to do with how muscle cars were built by Chrysler back in the day.
A great example is this 1968 Dodge Dart GSS modified to Mr. Norm’s spec right there at Grand Spaulding Dodge. Every Mopar sold at Mr. Norm’s Dodge dealership has now become a valuable collectible just because of the Mr. Norm affiliation. Show Your Auto.com tells us that this one comes from the Bill Sefton Collection. It has been completely rotisserie restored and kept in a private museum since completion. It is one of only 12 that are known to exist today, and is the only one with maroon exterior and white interior.
By 1967 Grand Spaulding Dodge looked at the competition and realized that Mopar was seriously behind in the newly formed Pony Car segment of the muscle car market. Ford was producing the Shelby Mustang and Chevrolet had the COPO Camaro to dominate at the track. So Norm Kraus wanted Chrysler to give him something to compete with in that market. He showed the boys at Chrysler engineering that it was possible to stuff a 440 Super Commando motor into the economy class Dart in 1968 with the help of Hurst-Campbell.
Each of 48 1968 Darts were ordered by Mr. Norm as a Special Order vehicle, build as if they were 383 cars, but delivered to Hurst-Campbell less drivetrain for 440 conversions. The broadcast sheet for these models read “BUILD LESS ENG TRANS CARB AIR CLNR”. Once the 440 conversion was completed by Hurst-Campbell, each car was inspected by Chrysler, then shipped directly to Grand Spaulding Dodge. Mr. Norm’s dealership was the only place you could buy one. Chicago racers had it made.
This car has been SOLD.
Click the video window below to hear in Mr. Norm’s own words how the GSS emblem came about:
See more classic cars for sale in this week’s Cars On Line Newsletter!