2007 Dodge Ram Hemi - Mr. Norm Lives
Think of this feature as the one that got away from our horsepower issue (which was last month, for our new readers). We're not exactly sure how a Screamin' Hemi Orange Ram slipped through the cracks, but here it is, in all of its blown, Hemi glory: Mr. Norm's Dodge Ram Super Truck.
Before we dig into the truck, there needs to be a little history lesson. Don't skip forward just yet, it will be short; there's some good stuff here. In 1956, Norm Kraus shifted his used car lot on the corner of Grand and Spaulding in Chicago to feature used performance cars. Six years later, "Mr. Norm's" became a Dodge dealer, but still kept its focus on performance. Soon Grand Spaulding Dodge installed a Clayton chassis dynamometer and dyno-tuned all of its new performance cars, including carb rejetting and custom ignition advance settings. The reputation for performance spread across the country and throughout the '60s Mr. Norm's became the beacon of Dodge muscle-car performance, fielding record-setting drag cars and developing high-performance muscle cars that served as prototypes for later factory offerings, including 383- and 440-powered Darts and 340 six-pack Demons. In 1970 the dealership expanded to cater to the expanding truck and van market, which eventually led to an early version of the Dodge Ram Super Truck we see here.
For the newest iteration of the Super Truck, Mr. Norm's started with a Ram regular cab shortbed. Mr. Norm is synonymous with horsepower, so the 5.7L Hemi was fitted with a 2.6L Kenne Bell Big Bore supercharger. Hemi engines tend to be a bit finicky when you add boost, but the Kenne Bell kit also includes an intercooler, and most importantly: Optimizer II engine software. After the air/fuel mixture is crammed into the cylinders and fired off, it exits through a Corsa exhaust system that ends with dual polished tips on the passenger side. To keep the extra horsepower planted, Hotchkis Performance supplied the dropped suspension and Rodtana Wheels were chosen for their Viper-styled looks. Wide Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico tires were fitted into the 22x10-inch wheels, after SSBC Force 10 Tri-Power 14-inch brakes were bolted on. The result is much better handling, added traction, and stopping power to match the thrust of the blown Hemi.
The Ram's sheetmetal and SRT-10 bumper cover were sprayed with Sherwin-Williams Screamin' Hemi Orange by Mike Face Custom Paint, while the SRT-10 hood was shot with semi-gloss black in homage to Mopar muscle cars from the '60s. Sharpline Converting continued the muscle-car theme with the "C" stripe and Mr. Norm's emblem on the bed sides that were applied by Lil' Louie. However, the truck isn't all retro, as a Sir Michael's roll pan was installed, along with a Gaylord's hard tonneau cover.
Mopar fans in the '60s might have been perfectly happy to prowl the streets in a stripped interior-devoid of any accessories that might add a few ticks to a drag strip run-but this is now, and this Ram packs some luxury too. Katzkin leather seats bring some Hemi orange inside, and Woodview Products satin nickel dash and door trim breaks up what would have been gray monotony. In case road noise isn't your thing, Quiet Ride Solutions insulated the cab.
But don't worry, if you want to hear the Corsa exhaust, either crack the window or mash the gas pedal. If, for some reason, you don't want to listen to a blown Hemi, there's a Sony sub and Sony amps located behind the seats with Sony separates in the doors. A Sony XAV-W1 double-din A/V center with a Sony 7-inch touch-screen display mounted in the dash serves as the control center.
When the dust settled from the construction of the newest Mr. Norm's creation, the final tally was impressive: around 500 hp, a look and sound that is unmistakably Mopar, and an interior that makes time fly by while waiting for your next dragstrip opponent. Mr. Norm would certainly be proud.