By Larry Weiner

Photos by Toshi Akatsuka and Larry Weiner

After nearly five decades of developing spectacular performance packages for Dodges, Norm Kraus deserves a party. He got his start back in the fall of 1966, after creating the first GSS 383 M-Code Dart at Grand Spaulding Dodge. From there, “Mr. Norm” quickly became the leading high-performance dealer in the country, paving the way for countless other car builders in the years to come

Mr. Norm followed each year with another GSS special edition, including such vehicles as the 440 M-Code Dart, Six Pack Demon and Supercharged Demon. Over the years Mr. Norm has continued to infuse a wide range of Mopars with the kind of undeniable character that sets them apart from all others.

Today, many of the high-performance vehicles Mr. Norm offered back in the day rank high on the list of the most desirable muscle cars of all time. With the renewed interest in muscle cars, especially since the rebirth of the Challenger in 2008, Mr. Norm has continued his winning ways.

In recent years, he has begun offering serial-numbered, special-edition models that celebrate landmark events in his long and illustrious career. In particular, Mr. Norm’s induction into the Mopar Hall of Fame last year was an important milestone, and to celebrate this achievement, he minted a bold, new model in conjunction with the debut of the 2015 Challenger; The Mr. Norm’s GSS Hall of Fame Edition.

This model follows in the footsteps of the 50th Anniversary GSS Challenger, the most successful Mr. Norm’s model in recent history (featured in a previous issue of CAR BUILDER). The new GSS Hall of Fame Edition is the second in this Limited Edition Series. With only 50 serial numbered copies available, the GSS Hall of Fame Edition is destined to be the next hot collectible, and is the perfect example of a muscle car created by an enthusiast, for the enthusiast.

With Mr. Norm, it all starts with performance, and the GSS Hall of Fame Edition Challenger is no exception. This latest in Mr. Norm’s long-running series of vintage and modern muscle cars is outfitted with well-balanced performance parts, along along with striking visual enhancements.

These attributes have been the cornerstone of Mr. Norm’s vehicle packages since day one, and nothing says performance like a supercharged Hemi. The engineers at Kenne Bell are now completing calibrations on an optional Mr. Norm’s Signature supercharger package for the new 2015 Challenger with the 6.4 Hemi engine. Targeted to produce between 650 and 685 rear wheel horsepower, the Mr. Norm’s GSS Hall of Fame Edition Challenger with a Kenne Bell supercharger has the potential to be a real-world alternative to the Hellcat, with immediate availability and at a fraction of the price.

The Hall of Fame Edition package can be installed on any 2008 to 2015 Challenger, it’s only a matter of time before one of these rompin,’ stompin’ modern Mopar muscle cars starts tearing up the street and strip, leaving blue ovals and bowties looking for a place to hide.  

Balancing the performance of the GSS Hall of Fame Edition Challenger is an upgraded suspension that consists of Mr. Norm’s Hotchkis Performance lowering springs and sway bars. Complementing the suspension is rolling stock with a staggered fitment that includes 20 x 9 Milanni Kapri alloys up front, matched with wider 20 x 10.5’s in the back. Sticky BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2 tires in 245/45ZR20 lead the way, with 275/40ZR20 taking up the rear. They work together with the increased spring rates, lower center of gravity and stiffer hollow sway bars to make the GSS Hall of Fame Edition Challenger corner carver of the first order.

The Mr. Norm’s GSS Challenger shown here is Serial Number 1. It’s loaded with sizzling custom features, setting a benchmark when it comes smokin’ hot.

For starters, check out the custom Mile Deep Gloss Black paint on the upper body that provides the perfect contrast for the Sublime green. Adding definition to the side body mid-belt on the Challenger is the innovative Mr. Norm’s “Tip of the Spear” body side graphics that are a whole new take on the classic Challenger split side stripe.

In addition, both the new Mr. Norm’s Speedway Front Splitter and matching Speedway Rear Spoiler with corner “kick-outs” generate additional downforce at speed. They lend the GSS Hall of Fame Edition a Trans Am flavor, providing not only handsome additions to the new Challenger, but also an example of form and function complementing each other.

For even more attitude, the Super Stock hood, inspired by Sox & Martin, is retained with functional hood pins. And in a salute to the original Challenger T/A, a modern version of the rear window louvers are also showcased in this vehicle, making it obvious that the GSS Hall of Fame Challenger is anything but ordinary. 

The interior of the 2015 Challenger is new from top to bottom, a marked improvement over the preceding model. Proving the old adage that anything can be improved upon, Mr. Norm worked with the artisans at Katzkin Leather to create a customized cockpit treatment for the GSS Hall of Fame Edition.   Replacing the standard cloth interior of a 2015 Challenger R/T Scat Pack (provided by Bosak Motors) is soft, supple custom leather in a deep black hue. In the case of this Challenger, for the special Hall of Fame logos and contrasting top stitching on the seats, Katzkin used thread that color matches with the Sublime green paint on the exterior. Additional interior touches include the Mr. Norm’s embroidered signature carpet mats.

It’s no secret that one of the most exciting things about driving a muscle car with a manual transmission is the joy of shifting. So the new Mr. Norm’s Classic Chrome Shifter “hits you where you live,” sporting a great vintage look with a chrome-plated arm, along with a big cue ball on top that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Stirring through all six gears, this stick really brings back a lot of fond memories, with a precise muscle-car feel. 

All told, there’s been no shortage of interest in the Mr. Norm’s GSS Hall of Fame Edition Challenger. It’s throws a performance party that you surely don’t want to miss.