Rare 1967 Mr. Norm's 383 4 speed dart

Mopar General Discussions

  1. gts340

    gts340 Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Norm's guys built a 383 Dart and got the ball rolling with Chrysler to get the big block A-bodies into production.
    As for the 67 mentioned in the beginning of this post, it's a rare car, no matter where it was sold from. If the guy who has it has some paperwork with the car stating that it was sold new at GSD, even better. Larry Weiner has the dealership paperwork for GSD but I think it only goes back as far as 68.
    If the owner of this car does have paperwork from GSD, there is a chance that it will show any modifications done to the car prior to it being sold that could increase it's value since it's documented. There is that slim chance that the car you found is THE original "GSS" 383 Dart, as that's what they were calling it. It would have been a 273 coded car. What color was this car you found? Pictures would REALLY help here too.
     
  2. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    HyperPak is right. Chrysler built 457-odd BB GTS's in '67, some were likely sold at Mr. Norms place, Grand Spaulding Dodge, but not all of them by a long shot. The Plymouth guys beat the Dodge boys to the punch by releasing the BB 'Cuda before the BB Dart, so Mr. Norm just used the 'Cuda pieces to build his Darts. Not earth-shaking, but, yes he did build the 1st BB Darts, using Plymouth parts.

    '67 GTS's were coded as 383 cars, having an "H" in the engine location.

    The "GT" tailpanel is correct for '67 GTS, as are "GT" door panels. "GTS" only shows up on the front fenders, with "383 FOUR BARREL" underneath
     
  3. Blownfish

    Blownfish Well-Known Member

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    Chrysler may have built the BB Barracuda before the Dart, but Mr Norm still did the first BB A-body before Chrysler.
     
  4. LovetheA's

    LovetheA's FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Guys I thought you might like to see my 1967 4 speed GTS a dark copper on light copper car. It wasn't sold through Grand spalding but I have all the ownership data and the original dealership location.

    Carl
     
  5. dart4forte

    dart4forte FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I may be interested.
     
  6. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    I've been told not to argue.

    1 question though...If he did it b4 Mother,how'd he do it without the special ex.manifolds?
     
  7. rhinodart

    rhinodart Banned

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    The Dart that Mr. Norm's crew built was a 67 GT in GG1 green and was a 273 car. It used factory exhaust manifolds and there have been plenty of big block A-body's built with those particular manifolds. Does anyone have the date when the first Barracuda was built?
     
  8. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    OK, then...why did Chrysler make special exhaust manifolds for the 383 if existing ones worked?

    Here's some info I discovered years ago...

    copied from (dartstechspec.com)

    The story of the 67 GTS is filled with rumors, half truths, and urban legends, its origin is one of the biggest mysterious, and at times hotly debated of all Chrysler cars.

    Lets see if we can shed a little light on the subject. You may or may not agree with what is presented here, and that is your right, however I believe its pretty close what actually happened.

    The 1967 Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Dart got a newly designed platform. Wheelbase, Length, and Width all were enlarged, paticurally the engine compartment which was widended by two inches.

    The guys at Plymouth set out to put the 383 in the Barracuda after leaving off the power steering pump and making new exhaust manifolds they succeded. The 1967 Barracuda had a 383 before it was offered in the Dart.

    In fact Plymouth produced 1,841 - 1967 383 Formula S Barracudas.

    Chrysler’s other division Dodge took a look at the Barracuda and rightly reasoned if the 383 fits in the Barracuda it will fit in the Dart after all they use the same platform.

    Thus was born the Dart GTS.

    Now much has been written claimed and repeated that a certain car dealer in Chicago was the first to put a 383 in a Dart. While that may or may not be true.

    By following the ground work Plymouth had done it wouldn’t be to difficult to do. If I were going to do it i would. Simply get a Barracuda and swap parts.

    We must be certain not to loose sight of several facts.

    Plymouth put the first big block in a "A Body".

    Plymouth was way ahead of Dodge on this conversion.

    In 1967 the only engine that came in the GTS was the 383 hp 4 bbl.

    The Dart GTS cars were built by Chrysler in Chrysler assembly plants. Mine was built at the Hamtrack facility.*

    We are not talking about cars modified, and then rebadged such as the GSS and other varations.

    There is some question as to the exact number of 67 GTS cars. The hobby accepteded number is 457 (228 automatic, 229 four speeds) However no one seems to be able to produce documents to substainte this number.

    On the contary I have a letter from Mr. Bruce Thomas (Historian, Chrysler Historical Collection) in which he states.

    "There is no breakout on the volume of 383's in Darts that I can find but it must be low (his underline) volume. In another letter Mr. Thomas states "Our records indicate 34,496 Dart GT 2-door hardtops were built in 1967. We do not keep records of engine or transmission options."

    Now if no record of engine options was kept on the 34,496 Darts in 1967. Where did the number of 457 GTS's come from? Also were did the breakout of Automatic to Four speed come from?

    Who are we to believe knows what they are talking about? Self appointed Experts on Mopars? Or the people responsible for the history of the Corporation?
     
  9. autoxcuda

    autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, overpriced. I've seen unrusted complete driving GTS 4spd convertibles sell for the same money. But not with NOS parts included.
     
  10. 451Cuda

    451Cuda Well-Known Member

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    The reason the '67 A bodies were widened was so they could put a B engine in. They saw that in the upcoming 1967 model year GM was going to have a 396 Camaro and 400 Firebird, and FoMoCo would have the 390 Mustang and Cougar, so they didn't want to get left behind in the hp wars.
     
  11. Longgone

    Longgone John/68 Barracuda & Dart

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    65 Val, those production numbers were probably recorded quite early in the history of the Dart and passed down. I think at one time, (early in production) those numbers were readily available and quite accurate. The more time that elapses, the greater the chance of facts being lost and/or distorted. That`s even when we lived through it.
     
  12. pettybludart

    pettybludart Well-Known Member

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    That sure is a beauty and just love that interior,very different.8)
     
  13. matthon

    matthon Well-Known Member

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    Chrysler has all the records for 67 cars, (not for 68s and up).

    They have the IBM punch cards, aka buildcards, and if you send proof of ownership they will send you a copy along with a letter decoding it.

    This includes everything a buildsheet and fender tag would include, (as they were made from the buildcard), and more, and it is more accurate.

    So, if someone at Chrysler would go through the buildcards for 67 Darts and Barracudas, they would have a complete and accurate count of all cars built with the H code, body styles, transmissions, etc.

    Anyone know someone who works at:
    http://wpchryslermuseum.org/newsroom.do?id=390&mid=135&mid=146
     
  14. swedefish

    swedefish Well-Known Member

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    Hey Matt, never asked you. Have you been able to decode the IBM punch card?
    I´ve been trying to but haven´t been 100% succesfull.
     
  15. HemiMark

    HemiMark Well-Known Member

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    that looks outstanding............ Your making me rethink the paint color for my 68 Dart........... Very nice
     
  16. HemiMark

    HemiMark Well-Known Member

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    SUPER NICE! You are making me rethink the color choice for my 68 Dart! LOL
     
  17. rhinodart

    rhinodart Banned

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    I have owned 3-67 GTS's and have been involved with a dozen or so including 2 convertibles. I have known about the 457 number for 32 years now and believe it to be true. I have also contacted Chrysler Historical several times on the cars I have owned and know about and they do not have every IBM card (or copies) produced for these cars. The 457 number includes the convertibles and there is no breakdown between the two. Plymouth indeed produced the big block A-Body's first but Norm did not use parts from one to build the Dart. I have used B-Body manifolds before and you have to grind a little off the driver's side to work but bolting up the exhaust pipe is still a pain.
     
  18. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    OK, I'll ask the question again...why did Chrysler make special exhaust manifolds for the 383 A body if existing ones worked?

    The only manifolds available at the time (1967) would have been log style, no? Magnum ones came out in '68?
     
  19. 67GTConvert

    67GTConvert Well-Known Member

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    I love your car,looks great....now you've got me thinking of ditching the perfectly good 273 that's in mine and making it into a BB clone car.8)
     
  20. LovetheA's

    LovetheA's FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    65Val

    I'll try to answer your question the best I can. I have a 67 GTS and have done a lot of research over the years. I believe that Chrysler made special manifolds for the BB A bodies because they had to. I'll explain.
    The problem with the B body manifolds fitting into the BB A bodies isn't the passenger side manifold it is the drivers side manifold. That is where the issue is. If you look at a correctly set up BB A body you quickly notice that the manifold on the passengers side has some clearance. If you look at the drivers side the manifold is made to snake around the stearing column with minimal room to spare. That manifold is snug and pinched down to fit that is why there is a horsepower rating compromise. I know that the part numbers for the drivers side manifold changed within the three years the cars were made. They got better at the ability of the manifold to breathe and that is one of the reasons why the horsepower continually rose. The 69 M code cars also had a different drivers side manifold because the 440 is taller than a 383 thus the reason for the modification. If anyone thinks my info is inaccurate please chime in.
    The one question that keeps bugging me is the breakdown of the 67 GTS's made. I don't neccesarily question the number of 457 but I'm not convinced that the 229 4 speeds and 228 automatics is accurate. I've been going to big shows like Carlisle for the last 15-20 years and I think that I have seen one other BB 67 GTS 4 speed. I have however seen 3 to 4X more automatics. So is it that most of the 4 speeds were parted out or destroyed, or was there truly less 4 speeds made?? Please chime in with your opinions.

    Carl
     
  21. 65Val

    65Val Average Length Member

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    Carl...thats a great explanation...one that I can agree with. I've had some experience with BB A Bodies over the years as well .My reason for asking was ; many stories and rumors out there ( and in this thread) that Mr Norms made the 1st BB Dart and it was supposedly some big surprise to Chrysler officials when he took it up to them. If they were already building the BB Barracuda, its really not a big stretch to build a BB dart, since they have the same engine compartment.

    It's this type of misinformation that floats around the 'net for so long that it becomes gospel , and it just is not the case!
     
  22. matthon

    matthon Well-Known Member

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    I think the existing manifolds worked, but with some modifications- with a hammer, lol. Plus wouldn't any modifications to the body to fit existing manifolds cause issues on the assembly line, and possibly with the customer later on?
    I'm not sure, but maybe the existing manifolds only worked with automatics, so that could be another reason.

    For what its worth, they also shaved the stock driver's side motor mount rear flange off the block, on some cars anyway, to clear the steering (the stock mount used in other body styles).

    According to most sources, for the 383 Barracudas 67-69 they made more standards than automatics in all years. When I go to shows I'm always on the look out for 383 cars, especially 4 speeds, and the majority of the time they are autos. If they are 4 speeds, they have a console.

    I would guess that more moving parts to break always plays a role in a car's survival.
     
  23. rhinodart

    rhinodart Banned

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    You must have forgotten about the 67 GTX that had magnum manifolds. I have seen over 20 67 GTS's and the majority have been 4-speeds. The 67 steering column is unique in that is has a spring outside the bearing retainer which makes the column larger farther down the column thus requiring it's own manifolds. When using a B-Body magnum manifold it is much easier to change the column to a 68-up to make it work! I drove a hardtop for years with no console and a convertible with a console. We have a second convertible that was a console 4-speed and a hardtop I sold to Iowa was an automatic. BTW, all automatics would have a console. All 457 also had manual disc brakes. There is much more disinformation on the web about these cars than most, that is for sure, and that INCLUDES this site...
     
  24. LovetheA's

    LovetheA's FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Rhinodart

    So you think that that breakdown of the 457 was accurate? The major show that I have seen the cars at consistantly was Chryslers at Carlisle. It just seemed that I always ran into automatics and not 4 speeds.
    Does anyone know if they ever built any GSS big block 4 speed a bodies. I know that the only ones I've ever heard about are automatics.

    Carl
     
  25. fnabody

    fnabody Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine is selling his real Govier documented 1967 383 console 4 speed GTS. It comes with a truck load of NOS parts and all the hard to find parts are included.
     
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