Wheres Norm? At the NSRA Nationals in Louisville, KY
through the 5th.
the Kookie Monster with Kookie II secured in the back to NSRA
Nationals this year. Before the trip, long
time friend, supporter and master builder Dale Steves had spent some time with the
Kookie Monster to make the trip as uneventful as possible. Could this be foreshadowing? Read on.
The drive to
Louisville went without significant incident. The
A/C kept it pleasant inside the cab for Norm and his passenger Kerry. There was a minor issue with the overdrive unit
but it was quickly resolved on the road. The
454 motored to the hotel without missing a beat. Two
minutes later it felt like it was running on six and a half cylinders. With all of the friends and talent at the
Nationals how hard could it be to remedy a little engine roughness? The next four days would illustrate just how many
people care about Norm.
Back to the rods.
As expected there was quite a gathering in the hotel parking lot before an event as
large as this. Seeing the mix of
everything from rough drivers to award winners was enough to justify the trip. The hotels had added security that kept trouble
out of sight and the lots clear for registered guest and their vehicles. Not surprisingly, Norm could not take
more than a few steps without seeing someone he knew.
This would not change for the next four days.
But how is it in the rain?
Between the traditional style rods of the
50s and the billet rods of the
80s, Hot Rods had a definite style with emphasis on psychedelic paint. This car looks like it could have been in the
parking lot during the initial release of American Graffiti. This is where many of us were in 73.
The event schedule called for vendors and exhibits
to be set up by six Wednesday evening. Norm
was to be part of the Lizard Skin display but could not reach Bob Call, of Lizard Skin, to
coordinate the logistics before the deadline. Due
to a slight mix up the Lizard Skin display would not arrive until Thursday. As it was not a bulky display the event officials
allowed it to come in on Thursday. Everything
came together just a few hours behind schedule.
I thought you brought ice cream
Looks like Norm may have identified the secret ingredient.
Sorry Norm, Bob counted the inventory before you
Norms friends Doc and Kerry were recruited
to detail Kookie II once it was in the booth. You
could hear these guys asking, WHERES NORM? Norm did reappear and provided some new products
from Hot Flash to make polishing the chrome, brass
and aluminum easier. Fred from Hot Flash had
two new products on hand. They worked well
enough to keep Norm in good standings with his cleaning crew.
Showing a vehicle has a recurring theme of
challenges, get to the event, get to the booth, get it clean. With the normal hurtles over Norm could do what he
does best, BE NORM. The NSRA events
attract lots of people and a large percentage know or want to know Norm. People brought items to be autographed and gifts
Teague made an etched glass version of Charlie Smith's caricature of Norm.
Drews 32 has a new addition to its steering wheel.
down from Wisconsin and was happy to meet Norm many years after seeing Kookie in Racine.
Celebrities (besides Norm) were on hand too.
Dinner with friends including Jim Inglese, what to talk about? Lets try
Webers, Hot Rods, drag racing, real AC Cobras and basic family values. Too bad the dinner didnt last longer the
conversation was just getting started.
Charlie Smith in the background. He created
Norms signature caricature and practically oozes talent. See for yourself at this website.
See for yourself at this website.
Memmolo stopped at the Lizard Skin booth to say Hi to Norm
only recognize two of the people in this photo you are missing out big time. In addition to Sam and Norm thats artist Bob
Robertson. Check him out at Bob's website.
Barry Meguiar was shooting some footage. On a previous taping he told Norm to be sure to stop by anytime they were at an event together. Barrys must be very busy and in good shape too. Norm never could catch him at Louisville ."Barry likes me, really".
It feels like home at the Pete and Jakes booth. Norm was at their shop recently but they managed to bring out a few new things since the visit.
Norm offers a hand to Corey
Pete and Jakes had some clever new products on display like their new cover for nine inch differential housings
Pete & Jakes have more than bits and pieces, it is hard to beat one of their complete chassis as a staring point for a project.
David Stutts, owner of,
Hot Rod Air spent some time with Norm to review projects that are in work. Norms Fish Truck will be chilled by
one of Davids stand-alone units.
David and Norm
Braving the heat there was
quite an abundance of fine cars both parked and cruising the event.
Looks like the deuce edged out the squad car by a nose.
You know its hot when people cruise with their suicide doors open.
It was THAT hot.
Butch and Tina brought their Evil Twin.
Straight and black, always a good combination.
The tires might also function as a roll bar on a car this low.
Did you know that sometimes a primered car can steal some paint from nearby cars?
Back inside the show there were sights everywhere. Can you say Cash advance?
If $160K is too much for a 40 year old 67 Vette you can pick up a new one (what do you call a fiberglass replica of a fiberglass car?) for about $16K. Like 1/24 scale plastic cars, some assembly required.
Thankfully there were long time friends with rods who offered chauffeur services. The hotel was close but riding was much better than walking.
Joes '32 STUDEBAKER PRESIDENT has style, lots of room, Norms carvings and COLD A/C.
Norm is quick to point out that he sold this beauty to Joe. If Joe can get a word in edgewise hell point out that the most of beauty was added after the sale.
Barrys 32 has A/C, a Norm shifter skull and a big huffer.
Waynes Ford has a purity that is infectious.
Jimmy must have figured that if Norm rides on the back he cant ask for another favor. We told you Jimmy is pretty smart.
Rusty Jackson's Odd Rods is taking a new Pete & Jakes chassis home.
The event lived up to its reputation. Almost too much fun. If youre wondering about the Kookie Monster, here's the scoop.
See you where Hot Rods gather.