I can’t say enough about how special this car is to me. I searched for a long time for the iconic 1968 Mr. Norms GSS Dart. When I finally found one, it ended up being 1 of a 2 car package. Fortunately I wanted the other car as well, so I struck a deal and was able to buy this amazing car. I normally drive all of my cars, regardless of how special they are, but this is one I don’t drive. It is so rare and the restoration is so perfect that I don’t want to take any chances with it. That’s rare for me – I usually drive everything I have.
How good is this restoration? Check out these 2 pictures. In the left picture, notice the turn signal indicator on the passenger side fender near the front. The second picture is a close-up of the car and you can see the turn signal indicator in it. The rest of the picture is a reflection in the fender of the grass, building, trees and clouds. There is no distortion whatsoever, and you can see individual blades of grass, leaves and everything. When a photographer was taking pictures of the car for a magazine article, he told me he had a hard time shooting the car because it was so mirror-like that it reflected everything around it and it was hard to get the car itself.
This is a super rare and ultra-restored 1968 Dodge Dart GSS. For the uninitiated, GSS stands for Grand Spaulding Sport. The story behind the GSS is a fascinating one. Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge in Chicago (located at the corner of Grand and Spaulding Streets) was recognized nationwide as the headquarters for high-performance Dodges. Mr. Norm urged the folks at Dodge to put a big block 440 cu. in/375 hp motor in their A-body Dart but was told that it couldn’t be done. He proved them wrong. His shop shoehorned the powerful motor in a Dart GTS and took it to Highland Park for show and tell. Voila, Chrysler decided to build the 440 Dart in 1968. Mr. Norm asked for exclusive rights to sell the powerful car, but Chrysler said no. A deal was struck that all dealers could sell the GSS if they committed to ordering 50 at a time. Perhaps not surprising, only Mr. Norm’s dealership made that commitment. Forty-eight of the GSS Darts were built and only 13 are still in existence. To make the stock Dart GTS capable of receiving the big block 440, several modifications had to be made. Items like heavy-duty motor mounts, special exhaust manifold and a heat shield to protect the steering had to be used.
The build sheet for this GSS shows at the bottom the words “BUILD LESS ENG (engine,} TRANS(transmission,} CARB (carburetor) and AIR CLNR (air cleaner.)” The engine and transmission-less GTS bodywere shipped to Hurst for final assembly. This black GSS was one of my dream cars, and I went nuts. The restoration of the car took two and a half years and I spent more on it that even this ultra-rare car is worth. This is the best restoration of a car I have ever seen, and the body panels are so straight that they are mirror-like.
Of interest, model car maker Revell used this GSS to create a plastic model kit. Highway 51 also made a die-cast model of this car. I display this car with the plastic and die-cast models.
This car has spent the last 2 years on display at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI. If you ever have a chance to visit this museum, I highly recommend it. They have some amazing cars!