Text by Marv Herbert

Photos by Steve Temple and Marv Herbert

“Long live the King!” That was the traditional proclamation announced during the accession of a new ruler. And we’d say the same about Mr. Norm’s GSS King Cuda, because it’s an all-conquering monarch of modern muscle cars.

That might sound intimidating, and it should, because this is no ordinary Challenger. Powered by a Mr. Norm’s Signature Kenne Bell Supercharged 6.4 Hemi, this SRT-8 powered muscle car is one step away from Hell on Wheels. The King Cuda commands some 650 horses, running on 91-octane pump gas. Which means it’s is a no-excuses street machine built to show all comers who’s the boss. This car has performance that rules the road.

So what’s the edict on the King Cuda? We went straight to the source, Mr. Norm, for the proclamation on what make this car tick. After hearing what he had to say, we realized that it wasn’t just about the car; rather, the car is a natural extension of who Mr. Norm is, the King of Hi Performance (his regal title that dates back to the Sixties).

The King Cuda is just one in a long line of tire-smoking, asphalt shredding Mopars that Mr. Norm has created. Not only that, but he has a long history of creating vehicles for enthusiasts that are hands down better than what the competition offers, and for a lot less money. Recall the GSS 440 Dart or Supercharged Demon from back in the day.

Not good enough? Then how about blown Hemi powered, acid-dipped, altered-wheelbase Dodge Coronets that ran a nitro load that would make your eyes water all night. When Norm showed up with the Coronet, most of the competition would have rather gone home early than face this man and his machine. It was the kind of car that would make a grown man quake in his boots. Got the idea?   

Getting back to his latest offerings, what’s it like to drive Mr. Norm’s GSS King Cuda? With 650 hp on tap, this Cuda was born ready for life on the wild side. When equipped with the Kenne Bell 2.8L Twin Screw Liquid Cooled Supercharger, it’s the equivalent of bringing a gun to a knife fight. Or more like a Howitzer.

So much power and torque that the big 275/40ZR20 BF Goodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 meats on the back simply cannot put all of the power to the pavement when things get frenetic. Nothing less than a good set of street drag radials, running on low pressure and heated up so that they’re good and sticky will put this kind of power down to the pavement with any degree of effectiveness. Going up in smoke may look exciting, but it’s not the fast way down the track—wherever it is that your King is holding court.

Bangin’ gears with the Mr. Norm’s Pistol Grip Shifter is great fun, and certainly the fast way to row through six speeds of pure nirvana, thanks in part to the leverage provided by the long chrome arm. Between the seamless gear changes, the ever rising and falling crescendo of the big, bad blown Hemi, you’ll get thrown back into the seat every time you crack the throttle wide open after a gear change.

The interior of the King Cuda is simply sumptuous. It features glove soft Katzkin Leather, neat Barracuda perforated inserts and of course, the Mr. Norm’s Hemi Cuda logo embroidered on the seat backs.

Outside, the King Cuda leaves no doubt as to its intentions, with its Shaker hood and Cuda Gill stamped front fenders, along with a ’71 style Cuda sawtooth grille and ’70-style tail panel. The pedigree is obvious from the big, bold, in your face Hemi billboards. Functional Hemi Cuda Hood Pins and Lanyards, and Hurst Stunner Wheels drive home the point about who’s really the King here. Long live the King!