Mr. Norm poses with model Joan Parker from the “Dodge Fever” advertising campaign at the 1968 Chicago Auto Show. (Image/

Mopar fans knew him simply as “Mr. Norm,” as he and his dealership were synonymous with Dodge performance in the 1960s.

Norman Kraus founded Chicago’s Grand Spaulding Dodge in 1962, right as the muscle car era was set to explode. Mr. Norm’s strategy was to focus on performance, and Grand Spalding Dodge quickly became the Mopar community’s prime source for all manner of go-fast parts.

He would champion Dodge performance both on the street and at NHRA dragstrips. In fact, in an altered wheelbase Coronet, Grand Spaulding team driver Gary Dyer would often best the factory-backed Dodge racers.

Mr. Norm talks with longtime friend and NHRA driver Gary Dyer. (Image/

As a final chapter in the waning musclecar era, Kraus sold Grand Spaulding Dodge in 1977, and the dealership closed for good in the 1980s. Mr. Norm still made the scene over the next several decades, appearing at car shows, races, and various automotive events.

The Mr. Norm legacy still lives on today, in custom performance packages for late-model Dodge/Chrysler cars and trucks. Check them out at

A few years ago, Hemmings ran a more in-depth story on Mr. Norm, you can read that here. Or if you’ve got five minutes, we found this brief video biography that’ll show you how vital Mr. Norm was to the 1960s musclecar scene.
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