By 1971, the muscle car scene was coming to a close. With looming increases in emissions restrictions, the changing demographics of the original muscle car purchaser, and additional insurance surcharges increased the pressure on the sales of muscle cars. The emissions requirements and aging of the baby boomers could not be stopped, but there were ways to circumvent the insurance surcharges on the performance big-block equipped vehicles of the era.
The successful one-year-only 1970 Challenger T/A inspired “Mr. Norm” Kraus of Grand-Spaulding Dodge. He developed the 340 Six-Pack Demon, which offered similar performance to the Challengers but packaged it in an affordable A-body. As a result, the 340 Demon skirted the burdensome premiums levied on the high-performance Mopars while providing a sporty vehicle that caught the attention of the youth buyer.
In 1972, Mr. Norm extended the muscle car swansong one additional year when he stepped up the GSS Demon package by adding a Paxton supercharger. The GSS 340 Supercharged Demon was a huge success and cemented Mr. Norm’s reputation as the leader in performance. Then, with the onset of the oil embargo in 1973, the muscle car era ended.
Chrysler reintroduced the Demon nameplate in 2018, this time as a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Like the Mr. Norm’s ’72 GSS Supercharged Demon, the ’18 was also supercharged. However, unlike the original Demon, the new one came with an 840-horsepower fuel-injected 6.2-liter Hemi sitting under a 2.7-liter supercharger. The Hemi and supercharger rested under a unique hood scoop of a Challenger wide-body.
The newer Demon is a race car in a streetcar facade. The Demon includes steering wheel shifter paddles, street-legal drag tires, a rear and passenger-side seat delete, a transbrake, and a “Demon Crate” that comes with tools, a performance powertrain control module with a high-octane calibration, a conical air filter, a passenger mirror block-off plate, and lightweight front-runner drag wheels to round out the performance package. The street parts include a finished interior with stitched Demon emblems on the front seatbacks, a Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, and air conditioning.
Jason Johnson, of Johnson Horsepowered Garage, owns one of the GSS 340 Supercharged Demons, and to accompany the ‘72, he desired a 50th-anniversary Demon. So, Johnson met with Larry Weiner of Mr. Norm’s, and the two devised a plan to blend the original Demon design concept onto a new supercharged Challenger. The intent was to debut the new Mr. Norm’s GSS Demon at the 2021 Carlisle Chrysler Nationals.
With a tight timeline (as usual), Johnson quickly procured a 2018 supercharged Demon with only 12 miles on the odometer. He shipped it to SoCal, where the Mr. Norm’s vehicles are built. Weiner and Johnson agreed the 50th-anniversary Demon must have gold accents, and to provide the best visual contrast, the vehicle color needed to be finished in white. Weiner had the artwork completed, and the exterior factory line graphics developed to a true scale to evaluate the exterior look.
Before any work could begin, Weiner sourced the necessary parts to upgrade the Challenger. Because the Challenger was factory painted in White Knuckle, a body-color change was not required. However, Johnson wanted the car color sanded and all the graphics buried under the clear coat. So Weiner’s talented team disassembled the Challenger to a bare shell, repaired any minor imperfections to the body, installed the graphics, and cleared the car before reassembly started.
Working with Katzkin, a complete custom leather interior was created. Among the upgrades were Diamond Tek Stitch inserts on the seats and the door panels. When ordering a Demon, only the driver’s front seat comes with the car. The original purchaser could request the optional passenger seat and rear seat; each cost $1 from the factory. Additionally, a unique 50th-anniversary GSS Demon logo was created and embroidered on the front seatbacks.
To bolster the performance vibe of the Demon, Weiner fitted the center console with a Hurst shifter that included polished black anodized aluminum grips. In addition, Mr. Norm’s GSS Demon emblems were placed on the steering wheel, on the passenger side dash, and even the start/stop button has a custom Demon overlay in place of the factory button. All the emblems were brand new reproduction designs that tied the past to the present. To finish the interior, a set of Mr. Norm’s signature floormats covered the factory carpet modules.
Under the hood, the 6.2L has a pair of long tube headers. A 3-inch dual exhaust directs the burnt hydrocarbons through a pair of Flowmaster Outlaw mufflers to Pypes Performance Exhaust dual chromed tips. With a few additional tweaks and a custom tune, the Hemi was pumping out over 1,000 horsepower. A couple of gold-colored fuel rail covers extend the anniversary idea throughout the engine bay.
While the engine has updated gold accents and Mr. Norm badging, the trunk area remains stock. The factory did not finish the trunk with wheel well trim, inner quarter panel trim, or a trunk mat. Weiner felt no need to add these components, so the trunk remains void of unnecessary weight. Likewise, the factory did not include a spare tire. Instead, a fix-a-flat canister with an accompanying air pump, an oversized battery, and a pair of Harman Kardon speakers comprise the trunk contents.
The exterior graphics and emblems tie the ’18 Demon its history. The stripes are reminiscent of the original. Weiner painstakingly copied the original designs and adapted them to fit the Challenger body lines. He had to consider the fender flares along the vehicle’s sides and the scoop on the hood. The exterior emblems were meticulously recreated and placed on the grill, tail panel, and front fenders. In true Mr. Norm’s fashion, a Grand Spaulding sticker was affixed to the rear spoiler to finish the exterior signage.
The Demon rides on a set of spectacular 20-inch Rallye wheels (20×11-inch front and 20×12-inch rear on the wide-body). The wheels are based on the original ’71 Rallye wheel design. However, these wheels are a two-piece design (barrels (rims) are separate from the wheel center), CNC machined from billet aluminum. The wheel centers are a one-piece design that incorporates the center cap as part of the forging.
The rolling stock consists of a pair of radial 305/35ZR20 Michelin Sport SP front tires and a pair of Michelin 345/30ZR20 tires on the rear. A set of Mopar tire pressure monitoring system valve stems provide tire pressure information to the PCM and the instrument cluster. The suspension is equipped with Hotchkis Sport Suspension lowering springs. A Speedway front splitter with adjustable Heim joints completes the Demon’s low to the ground aero appearance.
From concept to completion, the Mr. Norm’s team completed the Demon project in eight weeks. The Demon was a big hit at the Carlisle show. Following the Chrysler Nationals, the Demon visited the Holley Moparty event. Then it was off to the San Diego Automotive Museum before returning to its rightful place in the Johnson Horsepowered Garage.
If you desire a 50th-anniversary GSS Supercharged Demon, you need to act fast as only 10 Mr. Norm’s Demons will be built. Each will be a unique 1 of 1 design with distinctive badging, sequence numbering, and a rightful place in the Mr. Norm’s vehicle registry. The 50th anniversary GSS Demon tribute is available for Challenger platforms: R/T Scat Pack, Hellcat, Demon, Red Eye, and Super Stock. For more information or to order the 50th-anniversary GSS Supercharged Demon of your own, call Larry Weiner at Mr. Norm’s 760-612-6365.