The car had been well cared for. "The way you see it is pretty much how it was when she bought it," Ralph says. The original upholstery was still on the front seats, and it had a new coat of black from PPG that matched the original. The repaint, however, did not include the black stripes on the hood, sides, and tailpanel, so those have since been applied. After a few years of use as a driver, the front seat upholstery was also replaced with Legendary skin.
The most notable modification is the spoiler. It was one of the few factory options not originally ordered on the buildsheet. "I didn't want [Ralph] to put it on," Sharleen says. "I was adamant about it. I liked my car the way it was, and I didn't want him cutting it up. But he took the liberty." "The back of the car needed something," Ralph says. "I found an original spoiler, and after I [put it on], she liked it."
This Demon features nearly every factory option available: Dual chrome racing mirrors, power steering, power brakes, console automatic, Rallye wheels, exhaust tips, Tuff steering wheel, wheel lip moldings, and bucket seats, to name a few.
"It wasn't what I was originally looking for," Sharleen says. "But I was happier having something more unique than a Duster. I felt like I had a million-dollar car. I blame my father for all this. He worked at a Plymouth dealership. He had a Charger and my uncle had a Road Runner. [My car] is just an object, but it becomes part of your family. I am going to enjoy it for a long time."
Mr. Norm's Mighty MoparsIn 1962, Norm Klaus and his brother, Leonard, left the used-car business to open a Dodge dealership in Chicago. But it wasn't going to be just another Dodge dealership. Grand Spaulding Dodge's mission was to cater to the young high-performance demographic. Grand Spaulding specialized in performance upgrades not available from the factory.
The gambit paid off. Within a few years, Grand Spaulding became the highest-volume Dodge dealership in the world and the center of the Dodge high-performance universe. Meanwhile, Norm Klaus became "Mr. Norm."
Part of Mr. Norm's appeal was the family-like atmosphere generated among his customers. Everyone who bought a car was inducted into Mr. Norm's Sport Club, earning discount parts and services, club apparel, and special events.
The GSS performance upgrades not only delivered power to the kids, they also opened up new possibilities for the factory. Dart 383s were coming out of Grand Spaulding in 1967, and the '68 Dodge Dart 383 GTS soon followed from the factory. Likewise, after GSS 440 Darts showed up at Grand Spaulding, the factory-produced 440 Darts came along in 1969. But the Demons did not share the same fate, as Dodge discontinued them after 1972. The '72 Demons were the last of the GSS cars. After that, Grand Spaulding backed away from the performance upgrades (mostly because of emissions regulations) and specialized in supplying police cars and other vehicles for state use. But Mr. Norm has remained a key figure in the world of high performance. He is a member of the Mopar Hall of Fame and the Super Stock A/FX Hall of Fame.