2016 Hurst Heritage GSS 1500 Takes Ram 'Back to the Future'

Hurst Front 1 II

By Richard Truesdell

It's been nearly 50 years since the legendary Grand Spaulding Dodge set up shop at the intersection of Grand and Spaulding in Chicago in 1963. For the next 15 years it was the epicenter of the Mopar performance universe, operating under the guiding light of Norm Kraus, aka "Mr. Norm," who knew if fast was good, faster was better.

Mr. Norm pioneered the concept of dealer-installed performance parts and was dedicated to giving customers the opportunity to customize their new Dodge automobiles before driving them off the lot.

At the same time in Warminster, Pa., George Hurst was developing a line of premier high-performance shifters while establishing close working relationships with Detroit automakers. Hurst shifters would soon find themselves as factory-installed options in several performance-oriented cars, including the landmark Pontiac Grand Prix GTO.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Norm and Hurst eventually crossed paths in a big way. In an attempt to better compete with the powerful Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros of the late 1960s, Mr. Norm pushed Dodge to offer a 383-cubic-inch-displacement version of the Dart in the form of the Plymouth Barracuda Formula S. A production run of 500 units followed.

While a 383 Dart was good, Mr. Norm knew that a 440 Dart would be better. And after Chrysler told him that the 440 engine wouldn't fit, Mr. Norm quickly built a prototype that proved Chrysler wrong. The next 50 cars were serialized with an M in the vehicle identification number and became known as the M-Code Darts. The first vehicle collaboration between Mr. Norm and Hurst was the 1968 Dodge Dart M-Code. All were built by Hurst-Campbell exclusively for Mr. Norm, who quickly sold all of them.

Well, the M-Code Dart has been reincarnated by Mr. Norm, and this time pickup truck enthusiasts can get a taste of the action. Introduced at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, the limited-production Hurst Heritage GSS Ram 1500 and Hurst Heritage GSS Challenger can be had by go-fast fans.

Hurst Decals II

The Hurst Heritage edition starts with a 2016 Ram 1500 in any trim level in regular or crew cab with two- or four-wheel drive. The model pictured is a regular-cab, two-wheel-drive Express. It's equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It will be offered only in white.

Each Hurst Heritage GSS Ram gets upgraded in three areas: exterior, chassis and the interior. The exterior features Hurst custom-painted stripes and the Ram R/T-style hood anchored with custom pins and lanyards. The rest of the exterior upgrades include Bushwacker fender flares, Mr. Norm's aero roof spoiler and a special fuel door applique. Around back you'll find a 1960s-style "Hurst Equipped" badge and a Hurst logo license plate. Out back is a BedRug upholstered bedliner beneath the SnugTop SnugLid SL tonneau cover.

All Hurst Heritage GSS Ram chassis are equipped with standard 20-inch Stunner wheels with 22-inch PVD chrome wheels and Nitto 420S 305/45R22 performance tires as options. The truck's stance is enhanced by Ground Force lowering springs shock absorbers. Sister company Flowmaster supplies the cat-back dual-exhaust system with 5-inch exhaust tips peeking out from the back bumper. Under-the-hood modifications are limited to a K&N intake system, and the engine cover is painted Hurst gold to match the stripes.

Inside, black-and-white Katzkin custom leather upholstery with Hurst embroidered logos and carbon wings create a modern retro feel. Before the new trim is installed, each front seat is treated to Katzkin Degreez heating and cooling elements. Other upgrades include plush carpet mats, a serial number plaque, a unique shift knob and stainless-steel pedal pads.

The Hurst Heritage GSS is offered as a package, but it can be built to order depending on customers' needs and desires. The standard Hurst Heritage GSS Package starts at $15,995 over the price of the regular-cab Ram Tradesman/Express. Since not every owner will want the cooled and heated seats, the tonneau cover or the bedliner, these are available as options. The interior upgrades shown on the pictured truck are all included in the base package price; crew-cab versions will cost slightly more given the upgraded Katzkin rear-seat trim to match the front buckets. A complete list of the standard Hurst Heritage GSS Package can be found by clicking here.

This new sport truck follows in the footsteps of legendary Hurst performance cars and is now available from select Ram dealers nationwide. For more information on the Hurst Heritage GSS Ram 1500, call Mr. Norm's at 813-789-6179 or visit www.mrnorms.com.

Cars.com photos by Richard Truesdell

 

Hurst Front 4 II

Hurst Engine II

Hurst Seats II

Hurst Wheel II

Hurst Nose II

Hurst Cab Fin II

Hurst Rear II

Hurst Front 2 II

GrandSpauldingDodge1500px II

 

Comments

For once I agree with Clint. Except for the fiat part

what what what a regular cab! but people hate regular cabs. Can't even use it to bring kids to soccer practice or buy groceries which is the entire point of a truck to look tough and manly cruising at the mall. Oh there is also a crew version what a relief.

Would prefer black and gold myself, but not bad. A Dakota-sized version with extended cab would probably be more popular.

Wow. I just assumed that it would have a traditional shifter in in.

What did Hurst do?

Put a Hurst Decal in the dial shifter and charge Ram 15k for the embarrassment?

@BAFO,

There are a few people running mid 12s with a simple tune at 107 mph. It's a nice little truck, no slouch either.

If Fiat wanted a cool cheap/easy to do special version that would sell pretty well along these lines they ought to do a "lil red truck" package... wheels, a little bit of lowering, exhaust, intake, special seats, extended cab, old fashioned lettering, a few other pepboys isle 5 add ons like this thing and make it red, white, or black, with contrasting red white or black trim/graphics depending on the color selected.

viola!!! cooler than the RumbleBee/Daytona, more "heritage" than Hurst, giving more than the usual GM/Ford special edition. Charge silly money and begin collecting.

and they wouldn't have to give Hurst any money for that horrible mismatch of an idea and company. How about a Hurst Heritage Challenger?... that makes ALOT of sense.

A single cab "Lil Red Truck" with a Hemi and a six speed manual transmission.

That old picture of the Dodge dealership is too cool,

it's a shame that dodge is now owned by crappy fiat.

Jeff. single cab/manual is about the worst possible combination one could imagine regarding sales volume. While you could offer a single cab config easily and without extra cost, and it sticks to the history of the lil red its not appealing to most (nor would the little reds manuals in half size full tons short of some crazy ultra expensive special performance version are sadly history. I wouldn't expect to ever see a manual in a Fiat 1500 again unless its some Hellcat version and even then it might only be auto. I also don't see wood or stacks or the sportside bed as good ideas for sales/cost effective for a modern version. I would recommend offering it in 4x4 though.

This truck would've looked so much better if they had gone with blue or red, instead of that nasty burnt orange hue.

What an oxymoron of Hurst where their claim to fame are transmission shifters to choose a RAM 1500 as a Heritage vehicle when the RAM has the worst automatic transmission shifter in the industry being the electric rotary dial POS. Missed opportunity by Hurst.

Lol.

Pointless, money grabber. No manual shifter. No pop. Where is the wow, I want one??? Put a 6.4 hemi in it with a supercharger at least. First thing I'd do is take that stupid looking rear spoiler off the back of the cab. Another forgotten concept by dodge.

I created my own version of the Hurst Ram.
2009 Ram CC 5.7 Hemi
PW1 white base with sunburst gold pearl top. One off custom Hurst Badges. Hurst Shifter on a custom trans with a custom tuned shift schedule that pairs great with the 3:92 and Trac lok out back. JBA LT headers/Y-pipe and a custom exhaust. Deep mellow sound like a well played baritone sax!



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