Hurst—an iconic name known for the finest shifters in the world, and some of the most sophisticated and seductively attractive muscle cars ever built. Back in the day, Hurst enjoyed great success building limited-edition vehicles such as Hurst Olds 442, the Chrysler 300 Hurst and the lightning fast Hurst S/C Rambler Scrambler, just to name a few. But any retrospective must include one of the most feared street-and-strip machine ever built: the asphalt shredding Dodge A-Body terror, the 1968 Mr. Norm’s GSS 440 M-Code Dart.

In the fall of ‘67, hot off of his success creating the 383 GSS Dart the previous year, Mr. Norm, the “Hi Performance King” from Grand Spaulding Dodge in Chicago, decided to ratchet up the little fire breather by installing the 375hp 440 Magnum from the Charger R/T. Fitting the 440 big block into the A-Body was so easy that Mr. Norm instantly knew that he had another home run on his hands. The challenge was to get them built in quantity.

The question of who to choose to build the GSS 440 Dart was easy. Mr. Norm had been working with Hurst since 1965, successfully selling the entire product line though the performance center at Grand Spaulding, and often installing them on customer cars in the service department. Norm called Dodge division VP Bob McCurry and suggested that Hurst perform the conversions. A phone call to George Hurst, and the rest, as they say, was history. In short, Chrysler shipped new 383 GTS Darts to Hurst where they were converted into 440 GSS Darts, and then sent to Mr. Norm at Grand Spaulding Dodge. The 440 GSS Darts were an overwhelming success, and today, they are among the most collectible muscle cars ever built. 

Fast forward 40 years. When the new 2008 Challenger debuted, Mr. Norm and Hurst both created personalized versions of the modern-day incarnation of the much loved early 1970’s E-Body. Much like the cars they offered in the late Sixties, many of the new Mr. Norm’s GSS Challengers were powered by fire-breathing Hemi engines.

At the end of 2010, Hurst ended the vehicle program, but the spark for exciting vehicles with the unique Hurst theme was far from extinguished. Earlier this year, at SEMA’s MPMC Trade Conference, fate intervened. Larry Weiner from Mr. Norm’s met with longtime friend Nate Shelton of Hurst. At the meeting Nate showed Larry samples of a comprehensive array of new Hurst products that were nearly ready to be released. Just like in the mid-sixties when George Hurst expanded the Hurst product line beyond manual and automatic shifters into custom wheels, disc brakes, line locks and air shocks, Hurst was about to expand the product mix once again.

Obviously, a new Challenger could be the perfect showcase for all of these new Hurst products. From a visual perspective, the Hurst Heritage GSS Challenger lives up to its pedigree in every way. In a salute to George Hurst, the colors chosen for the first new Challenger were his favorites; Bright White with contrasting Hurst Gold stripes. But while the colors are traditional, the Hurst Heritage GSS is thoroughly modern. The foundation is a new 2015 Challenger R/T Scat Pack equipped with a 392 Hemi and a six-speed manual transmission.

Form and function intersect with the addition of a racing inspired Mr. Norm’s Speedway Splitter with adjustable Heim joints that mirrors the shape of the Speedway Rear Spoiler. The design of both incorporates Hellcat-like raised ends that accent recessed center sections. Additional exterior enhancements include an SRT-8 hood that’s retained with functional hood pins and lanyards that are identical to those used on the vehicle that was the spiritual inspiration for the new 2015 Challenger, the original ‘71 Hemi Challenger.

The already robust chassis of the Challenger is further improved with Hurst lowering springs, coupled with the increased grip offered by a set of BF Goodrich G-Force Sport Comp 2 directional Z-Rated tires. And what could be a more appropriate complement to the rolling stock than a set of Hurst Stunner Wheels. But, rather than an off the shelf set, the Stunners on the Hurst Heritage GSS Challenger have been triple chrome plated, and the unique diamond shaped insets in the spokes have been trimmed in Hurst Gold. One of the few options on the Hurst Heritage GSS, these wheels really add visual impact to the Challenger, setting it off in fine style.

At the front, the open left inner headlight signals the addition of a Hellcat intake tube that feeds the matching air box for increased cool air delivery to the potent Hemi engine. Exterior accents include the legendary Hurst emblem on the front fenders, with Hurst Heritage GSS lettering just beneath it. Out back, a set of polished stainless steel exhaust tips with the Hurst logo provide an undeniable hint that this is no ordinary Challenger. In another salute to those that came before, a Hurst Equipped badge is proudly mounted on the rear spoiler, and serves as a subtle warning to would be posers that they might want to reconsider challenging the Hurst Heritage GSS to a duel.

Inside, the Hurst Heritage GSS features a full custom leather interior that is a big step above any Challenger interior that we’ve ever seen. For starters, the highly bolstered Recaro style front buckets and rear seat are swathed in soft, supple Katzkin Tuscany leather. The top surfaces of the seats are covered in pearl leather, accented with contrasting gold top stitching, perforated inserts and set off with black carbon wings. Completing the “cut above” interior, the iconic Hurst logo has been neatly embroidered into each of the seat backs.

No Hurst vehicle with a manual transmission would be complete without a Hurst Shifter, and the Heritage GSS Challenger is no exception. To insure quick, precise shifts, the six-speed Tremec transmission benefits from the installation of a Hurst Billet Plus Shifter. And in a nod to its storied past, the Heritage GSS is equipped with an original-style, Hurst logo flat chrome shift arm topped with a white cue ball knob with the shift pattern engraved on the top. Other interior details include Hurst logo carpet mats, a Hurst Heritage GSS Unique Serial Number Dash Plaque, a Mr. Norm’s Start/Stop button overlay and a chrome GSS emblem on the center of the dash.

The Heritage GSS Challenger is an exceptional modern muscle car that showcases the best of Hurst and Mr. Norm’s parts and accessories. The result is a thoroughly modern muscle car that incorporates the combined virtues of two iconic brands that have been closely aligned with Ma Mopar for over half a century. The Hurst Heritage GSS Challenger, like the Hurst and Mr. Norm’s cars that came before it, offers the best of both worlds: exciting performance, matched with refined presence.