This was the 3rd 1972 Mr. Norm Demon GSS that I bought. It is also the most highly documented one I have ever seen. It had all of the original paperwork from Mr. Norm’s dealership. It had never been restored, so it was considered to be a Survivor – unfortunately it didn’t survive that well. By the time I got it, the vinyl roof was in tatters, the interior was ripped and falling apart and the car was rough. Even so, it was a very cool car – it just needed a restoration.
In addition to the original dealer documentation, the car came with a letter from Mr. Norm’s Sports Club validating the car. Here’s the letter:
Your 1972 Dodge Demon GSS 340 is one of only 50 cars manufactured. Even more remarkable it is currently #3 of only 7 left in existence as of our current rare auto registry.
Below is some history on how your particular model came into being.
In late ’70, you didn’t need a crystal ball to see the handwriting on the wall. The bottom was beginning to fall out on hi-performance cars due to conspiratorial efforts on the part of the insurance companies. Their goal was to make insurance for muscle cars so expensive as to be unaffordable. To add insult to injury, at the same time, the federal government was imposing increasingly stringent legislation for emissions. These actions were not only beginning to have a negative effect on performance, but additionally caused a deproliferation of engine and powertrain options as manufacturers scrambled to produce vehicles that conformed to the new laws. Magazines of the period were predicting an ominous gloom and doom scenario, such as Super Stock and Drag Illustrated showing a new Camaro posed alongside a gravesite suggesting the approaching end to our beloved cars.
For dealerships that built their reputations on hi-performance, the impending scenario did not look promising and the thought of alternative paths to maintaining sales weighed heavily on their minds. Yet in spite of all of this uncertainty, at Grand Spaulding Dodge, Mr. Norm Kraus felt that the demand for hi-performance was still very much alive and it was time to do an encore to the GSS 440 Darts of the late ’60’ s and the 340 Six Pack GSS Demon of 1971. The obvious question was how to produce and market hi-performance in a period when it was becoming increasingly difficult, and the preferred engine choices were becoming emasculated, or worse yet, being discontinued.
The green light was given for the Demon GSS project and Paxton in conjunction with Gary Dyer at Grand Spaulding Dodge developed the package. It was released in the latter part of’ 71 as a 1972 car and was well received by both the public and automotive journalists. Here was a car that actually delivered on its promises.
For only $3595 the GSS Demon offered great performance at a truly modest price. It had a reasonable insurance premium and got acceptable gas mileage. This was no mere token hi-performance car with little more than tape stripes. The Supercharged Demon GSS was genuine performance in an alternative package.
The GSS Demon 340 program was a great success and lasted through the ’72 model year after which it became illegal for a dealer to do even these kinds of modifications. After that came the Arab oil embargo of ’74. Definitely a period most of us automobile enthusiasts would sooner forget, but at least we have the Supercharged Demon to show that when the chips were down, we would really rather fight than switch! Yes, it was the end of an era, but thanks to Mr. Norm Kraus, it went out in style. The Supercharged Demon GSS offered an alternative to what was currently available, and put out plenty of power for the most discriminating performance enthusiast. Additionally, Mr. Norm accomplished what he set out to do; offer a high performance package that was affordable to insure.
Today these cars are very desirable, and enthusiast’s prize original examples of genuine Mr. Norm’s GSS Demon’s as the last of the breed of dealer installed power packages.Collector's Guide to Muscle Cars 05-04 2-page