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Hot Rods Is This a Norm Grabowski Skull Shifter?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brigrat, Dec 18, 2021.

  1. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,083

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I know nothing much about these ghoulish sculptures but being Norm was doing Hotrod and Art pretty much into his last days here on earth perhaps he evolved into more modern adaptations of these to fit modern button shifters as you have shown. Those buttons shifters have been around for quite some time...

    Perhaps he ran out of his more polished signature buttons and made a lesser one and with age and method his signatures became more shaky as well...

    Not trying to sell fakes, which if they are it's disgusting to say the least but verifying them is key, are there family and/or people who hung with Norm that could help?

    Sellers making typos is nothing new and is not at all a sign that things are fake...more a sign of education really...the Hotrod/Custom crowd isn't based on Graduates in English by a long shot...
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2021
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  2. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    I value Morairity's (and others) opinions here, and I can see why there is skepticism, but I believe if you could hold it and inspect it in person you would come to a diff conclusion. It's much more believable in person than the pic's let on. And no I will not send it to anyone to fondle! Actually, that gives me an idea I could sent it off to the FBI lab and have it checked for Norms DNA.........................
     
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  3. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,197

    stanlow69
    Member

    He built a Henway truck. Where`s the crown Royal bag. That`s what the skulls came in. Not a box.
     
  4. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    No bullet no bag the plot thickens!
     
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  5. 33 cdan man
    Joined: Sep 15, 2016
    Posts: 178

    33 cdan man

    I 'm pretty sure a friend of mine owns this car now. Hard to tell from pic but is it dark blue? If so, it resides in Sequim, WA.
     
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  6. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Dark blue, removable hardtop, polished QC, nicely built roadster, I know the car well, just trying to put some dots together on the origin of the Norm Knob which is not with the roadster anymore.
     
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  7. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,705

    arkiehotrods
    Member

    Norm moved to Lead Hill, Arkansas in 1972 (He was 39). His "Henway" was featured on the cover of the March 1974 issue of Rod & Custom magazine. He was in Arkansas for 40 years.
    1974-03.jpg
     
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  8. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,705

    arkiehotrods
    Member

    The original shift knob in Kookie II looks very similar to OP's knob
    Screenshot (292).png Screenshot (293).png wheel.jpg
     
  9. Sure does! And that looks like a Lokar shifter too. I looked over that car pretty close one year at LARS and I’m pretty sure it had an auto trans.
     
  10. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,010

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Soooo..... was the kookie knob a norms ?

    Looks pretty close..
     
  11. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,873

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    It is a Norm Skull.
    Norm made mine and told me it was the First prototype for a Lokar shifter....Over the years he mentioned how it was a PIA to do... I would just laugh.
    Mine was done in the very early 90's.

    IMG_9087.jpg IMG_9088.jpg IMG_9089.jpg
     
  12. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Serving crow to all you naysayer's @ 5, would you like it barbequed? To all that had something relevant to post thank you!
     
  13. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,083

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    20211220_142112.jpg

    https://www.hhlohmeyer.com/memorial...w-a-condolence.php?RegisterBookItemId=4289325

    In addition to Arkie's pics...
    This pic was shared in Norms memorial...RIP Norm

    @brigrat wouldn't that be something if it was from Kookie ll...I see he had another knob on it in other pics...the only thing that catches my eye is the badge on the back in Kookie ll is a bright color where yours is dark with gold text...he probably made a series of dark skulls...still quite a neat bit of Car Culture without a doubt...

    Credit to Photographer, Owner
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2021
  14. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    So if the box is rite and there were 3 made, Jeff has one, there's one on Kookie ll and the one in my possession? The one on the Kookie ll has a lighter shade button on top than the one I posted.
    Maybe they're like the Cristal Skulls, you get them altogether in one place and something magical happens!
     
  15. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,083

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    They're all valuable but the last ones he made are in a way the end of a legacy...
     
  16. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Time for it to come out of the closet! The owner brought it to me to build a display piece out of it, you know a stand of some sort, a shift rod and the skull on top. Will probably use a piece of stainless rod for shift rod, bent into a "S" (swan) shape, than polish. Open to any ideas on a stand!
     
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  17. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,083

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    http://www.normsnews.com/Skulls.html

    :rolleyes:...since we're talking Norm Skulls here is a site no doubt by someone who may be a member here or be known by with some history worth having a peek at...

     
  18. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,873

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I had many chances to purchase many of Norms more intricate pieces of art.... he did all kinds of wonderful wood carvings..... I have a friend that owns a hand made Tiffany lamp amongst other creations.
    But... as we all do..I always said.."I'll get another piece from him very soon"..... well... soon came and he passed.
    He was larger than life.And I feel a very big part of this hobby we share... right into the thick of it in the Mid 50's.
    Anyhow... not sure about rarity, value or such things. Just a piece I have from a guy I miss.A little bit of history ....
    Man.. he could make you laugh.

    Grabowski_4.jpg
     
  19. Great tribute, Jeff.
     
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  20. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Thanks Jeff for all your info & insight! Thanks to the power of the HAMB mystery solved in 2 pages, delete the "garbage" and it might have been one page!
    Does Kookie ll still exist and if so who owns it? Thanks again!
     
  21. I believe the Kookie II and the big blue box van used to transport it still belong to the Norm's family, as far as I know.
     
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  22. That’s an awesome piece to have.
     
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  23. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,873

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Apparently...Norm's Niece Mary...(In the Bucket) owns most of Norms stuff..... Not 100% positive....

    77-sunset-strip.jpg
     
  24. Jeff solves the mystery!!
     
  25. jim snow
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,477

    jim snow
    Member

    X2. Snowman ⛄️
     
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  26. pigIRON63
    Joined: Nov 25, 2019
    Posts: 438

    pigIRON63
    Member

    I love it, the thread and the skull.
     
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  27. hotrodlane
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 301

    hotrodlane
    Member

    Funny me finding this thread as we were just talking about "Norm" yesterday. I remember the first time I met him. I was at Pete and Jakes picking up some customer parts and he was there visting with Jerry and Jason. Norm asked what I was working on and we hit it off immediately. He had just started building his big Truck with the tree trunk front bumper. Jeff is right about him being able to make you laugh as we Laughed and Joked the whole time I was there. He was driving a little smart car at the time and I remember thinking how funny it was that the Man who created the "T" Bucket was rolling around in a tiny smart car. Goodtimes
     
  28. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

  29. Justin in PA
    Joined: Sep 27, 2017
    Posts: 119

    Justin in PA
    Member

    The one in Kookie II has a bullet in the back of it. Why doesn’t the one in question have one?
     
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