SEMA 2007 Preview: Performance West Group Mr Norm's Dodge Ram Super Truck
One of the coolest things about the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas is the mad variety of custom trucks. They're the best of the best. Almost anywhere else each of these trucks could mercilessly wrench the necks of the general public in the direction of their fabricated parts and insane paint schemes, but in Vegas most go begging for attention.
The trucks that do get recognized tend to have something more than just big wheels and bright paintwork. They smoothly demand attention because they effortlessly bridge the gap between familiar trends and new innovations.
Here's a rendering of one truck we'll be seeing at SEMA this year that looks to be following this formula for success.
One of the most famous names from Dodge's high performance history is putting his mark on the current Ram full size pickup. Norm (aka 'Mr. Norm') Krause has teamed up with Larry Weiner at Performance West Group to create Mr. Norm's Dodge Ram Super Truck.
For the newest generation of sport truck enthusiasts (who may not have heard of Mr. Norm) there's much to thank the former Chicago-area Dodge dealer for.
Mr. Norm opened Grand Spaulding Dodge in 1962 - at the corners of Grand and Spaulding in Chicago - with a focus on selling the fastest Dodge street cars around, backed up by a racing reputation earned by laying rubber tracks down in seven-second spurts of fury on drag strips around the US.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Mr. Norm ordered and sold the largest displacement Mopars he could order from the factory. Before they left his lot he tweaked their carburetors and running gear to squeeze as much power as possible from the huge pushrod motors, creating conversion legends like the GSS 426-HEMI and GSS 440 Dart.
Mr. Norm's Dodge Ram Super Truck picks up where these cars left off.
The candidate Ram humbly rolled off the line with a respectable 345-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8, but Mr. Norm and PWG are adding a twin screw Kenne Bell Blowzilla supercharger that's expected to boost output to over 500-hp - retired Ram SRT-10 territory. An SRT-10 hood will visually signal the blown engine underneath.
To get the muscle car appearance just right, PWG is covering the truck in Orange Pearl paint that's highlighted by a new interpretation of the classic 'C' stripe with Mr. Norm's Sport Club logo featured near the tail. The Ram's suspension will also be lowered and matched with 22-inch SRT-10 inspired alloy wheels shod with 22-inch Pirelli PZero ultra high performance tires.
Inside Mr. Norm's Ram, the factory seats are being upgraded with Katzkin custom leather skins embroidered with Mr. Norm's logo. An engraved ID plate on the dash will officially mark the Super Truck with Mr. Norm's endorsement.
We're looking forward to seeing the finished show truck in less than a month.