You may not have heard of Mr. Norm, but today Nice price or no dice Challenger lets you pretend to be best friends. That is if the six-figure price tag doesn’t sour the relationship.
There is a common joke that could be applied to yesterday’s BMW 528i Touring from 1999 and other cars of its kind. The apropos wry we could use is the old saw: “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” In the case of the otherwise attractive Bimmer, that death came by way of a rebuilt title. That, as we all know, can negatively affect the value of the damaged car. Combined with an asking price of $8,500, for example, that title sent yesterday’s car down with a No Dice loss of 65 percent.
It’s safe to assume that the 1960s were the heyday of the muscle car era here in America. And it’s arguable that no one did more to push muscle cars onto the streets than Norm Kraus. It was Kraus – or rather “Mr. Norm” – who opened the Grand Spaulding Dodge dealership with his brother Len in 1963. Mr. Norm’s passion for racing and penchant for marketing led him to make a name for himself earned as one of the Midwest’s best-known race car sponsors, and for a time led to Grand Spaulding becoming one of the country’s largest purveyors of Mopar performance.
Mr Norm passed away last year at the ripe old age of 87but his legend lives on in this 2013 mr. Norm 50th Anniversary Dodge Challenger. This is one of 100 built to celebrate the opening of the Grand Spaulding dealership five decades earlier. The Base Challenger – if you can call it base – offers a 470 horsepower 392 Hemi V8 and a five-speed automatic. Attached to it is a Hurst shifter, gold-painted 20-inch Hurst wheels, and some Mr. Norm totems added. The latter include embroidery on the backrests, Mr. Norm floor mats (have some respect and make sure they don’t get muddy) and a special exterior paint and stripe treatment.
The upholstery is done by Katskin and includes gold stitching. There is a plaque with a serial number on the dash, but the seller doesn’t bother to tell us where this car is in the production run. The ad does note that no one has yet bothered to pull the protective plastic off the stereo. All the 50th anniversary trim appears to have been added by GSS Supercars, a modding shop that also gets its own bill on the Challenger’s hood and flanks.
This isn’t just another appearance package tied to a car that already has a hair shirt. According to the internet, the 50th Anniversary cars got Mr. Norms/Hotchkis Performance lowering springs and sway bars to improve ride and dangle angle on those BFG-coated Hurst alloy wheels. On the “that’s an odd choice” side, it’s also equipped with front LEDs that can turn the headlights into all sorts of different colors, including a few that are probably against the law in a number of states.
According to the ad, the car was in a museum in Tennessee before the seller took possession of it. The ad also curiously notes that the car will “become even more valuable” now that “Dodge no longer produces the Challenger”. How so? That’s news to me.
The car comes with a clean title and 20,000 miles on the clock. According to the seller, one of these sold on the internet for $143,000, which is a lot of money even for the internet.
This one is asking for $100,000 and the seller claims that price is “fair” and says it’s “non-negotiable.” The seller also claims to be in no rush to sell the Challenger, saying they ‘just love looking at it’.
Well, we can negotiate to our heart’s content since all our back and forth is purely hypothetical. Hey, let’s do that now.
What do you think of this Mr. Norm 50th Anniversary Challenger and that $100,000 price tag? Does that seem like a deal to honor one of the biggest names in Dodge dealerships? Or will that price make Mr. Norm roll in his grave?
Boulder, Colorado, Craig’s Listor go here when the ad disappears.
H/T to Jerry Cleveland (again!) for hookups!
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