Register now to get rid of these ads!

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: 23,174

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's so blurry I would be hesitant to assume...perhaps it's a nameplate similar to @brigrat's

    Perhaps the working button mechanism has a bearing on his decision to insert objects...

    Artistic license...

    Maybe we can find a clearer image to verify...

    You are probably correct though as there is red under it and it does appear to be bloodish in nature...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
    loudbang likes this.
  2. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    It looks like a bullet casing to me also but nobody has proven it was done to every single skull. I haven't seen one in/on Jeff's Norm Skull yet and you can take it to the bank his is the real deal...............
     
    loudbang, 57 Fargo and Stogy like this.
  3. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,174

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just as some have signatures on button like discs others are right on the Skull directly...aka artistic license by the creator...no two are alike...
     
    Okie Pete, Jeff Norwell and loudbang like this.
  4. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Another view!
    340251_3794121813566_1117751971_o.jpg
     
    Okie Pete, olscrounger, Tman and 2 others like this.
  5. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,264

    stanlow69
    Member

    If we are talking about the skull in his original T-bucket. He bought that in a giftshop after going on one of the rides in Disney Land. So, Scan0589.jpg no bullet.
     
  6. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 23,174

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  7. I’m in no way qualified to venture a guess if it’s genuine or not but I can tell you that if @Jeff Norwell says it’s real, he’s sure of that. I would 100% believe it is based on his word.
     
  8. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Stogy, Thanks for the pic I like the combination of the polished Aluminum and wood!
     
    loudbang and Stogy like this.
  9. Ratspit
    Joined: Dec 6, 2017
    Posts: 261

    Ratspit
    Member

    A classic example of provenance is everything when it comes to art.

    Brigrat's skull sure looks like it is the real deal. The only things I could find that might be off are that Norm seemed to always dot the "I" at the end of his name and the signature is quite thick. If you look at Norm's other signatures though they do seen to vary through the years a bit which is normal.

    Here is a Grabowski that sold on Ebay a couple months ago with some other ones. Is it a real one? Has the bullet on top but the signature is on the pedestal. Very different than the typical Grabowski. If you look at the skull on the Kookie II in the picture from Stogy, The cheek bone on this skull looks very similar to the Ebay skull. Brigrat's skull cheek bone is a bit different but similar some of Norm's other stuff.

    Jeff's skull has the same tooth and skull cap as Brigrat's. It would be nice to see the other 2 that are part of the 3 that Brigrat is referring to.

    NG1.jpg NG2.jpg NG3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
    Okie Pete, Paul B, Packrat and 4 others like this.
  10. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 903

    Jacksmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What a character Mr. Grabowski was! A true artist and a really cool guy. I got a chance to chat with him at the Chicago World of Wheels a decade or so ago... he was very friendly and "real". I first found out about him when that article in Car Craft showed him with the Corvair powered motorcycle and ping pong ball eyes. I always thought it was a hoot that a fellow like him was named "Norm".
     
    Okie Pete and brigrat like this.
  11. image.jpg image.jpg This thread inspired me to get my signed Norm poster framed that I’ve had since 89.
     
    Okie Pete, ClarkH, jim snow and 5 others like this.
  12. I would be 98% sure it's the real deal. As Jef said, he did a few for Lokar shifters and were a PITA to work out. When I got mine from him, he asked me what shifter I was going to use and had been working on the Lokar workings and talked about how it really messed with how he normally did stuff. While pretty much all his knobs had bullets in the top (filled the center hole he drilled for the threaded mount on the other end), I'm not surprised a Lokar one wouldn't have it since there was a button where the bullet hole would have been. As for the different signature "coin", Norm went through several styles of those over time.

    Norm's skulls went through a series of style changes. The simpler, plainer ones were first, with the first 100 being numbered. The one posted by @Ratspit that recently sold (was part of a large collection that the collectors estate just sold) is one of those first 100. Over time they got more detailed and wilder. This one in question fits the "transitional" style of the time Norm did the few Lokar ones in the early-mid 90's....'94-'95 maybe. I suspect that's about the same time as the other one @bigrat posted that's on that auction site right now (but is probably priced quite a bit too high). The dark one in question is a cool skull....I'd love it in my collection. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
  13. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Dave do you have any pic's you would like to share, especially if they have a "stand" or display? Looking for ideas!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
    loudbang likes this.
  14. 57764702383__0F4B13B7-A849-4C6C-90BE-73CDC142159C.jpg

    Here are mine. The one on the left never had a stand and was given to the guy I got it from by Norm when he helped Norm work on the Kookie II. It's one of the real early ones but is not numbered. It does have a bullet, but does not have a signature coin on the back, rather it has a sculpted brass NG inset on the back. The one on the stand is a little newer and starts to show the transition from the early simple ones but not quite the more intricate ones. The signature coin is not on the skull but is on the bottom of the stand. The one on the right is the one Norm made for me late '97....only one he ever did with braces. LOL This was still kind of "early" in the later more intricate and wilder skulls. From here on, some of them got pretty crazy. :)
     
  15. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Thanks Dave, the one with the braces is nuts but in a good way!
     
    drdave and loudbang like this.
  16. I used to use it in my consultations and tell kids if they didn't brush their teeth or wear their rubber bands, this is how long they would be in braces. Haha
     
    Okie Pete, chiro, loudbang and 7 others like this.
  17. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 709

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    Just wanted to add pics of my Norm Skull collection for reference ! Also if one of these lokar knobs is available I’m interested ! Actually interested in any Norm Skulls available! BDA0C647-9EB4-4D74-981D-DF38260D513A.jpeg 98DFFC98-D73E-4690-A2BE-54A302392939.jpeg 23ED16B0-D9B9-45EC-8A12-A9D7FE6C24D3.jpeg DAF3D4DC-FFD9-4CDE-B20F-6F917C7495D8.jpeg 6A79ED72-D590-4C38-845D-6C4EA46BCB89.jpeg 5E8B9B3D-0BD0-4909-9F8D-1CFAB9A58E19.jpeg
     
  18. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 709

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    It’s kool to see some of the telltale timeline giveaways on his stuff , I’ve got one with the brass. ( gold ) tooth with the same jewel in it like yours and the other black lokar norm skull seen here that were probably made around the same time
     
    Okie Pete and Jeff Norwell like this.
  19. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 5,018

    sodbuster
    Member
    from Kansas

    Norm signing prints at Pete & Jakes for my son.



    NORM!
     
    drdave, loudbang and R A Wrench like this.
  20. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,425

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    My Norm story... Probably 15 years ago, I was setting up at the HAMB Drags early on Saturday morning. I brought my Model-A that year and it was acting up, so I was frustrated. In rolls this crazy ass art truck thing and out steps Norm. I had never met him and had no idea he was coming.

    He walks up to our booth that was only half setup at the point and asks for me. I walk over, we shake hands, and then he tells me his appearance fee was $200 (I think it was) and that he would appreciate it if I would pick up his room at the host hotel.

    The thing is, what am I gonna say? No? You know how many people would be pissed at me?

    I got strong armed by Norm G.

    So, I paid the man... got his room even... and then, I held a grudge. For years afterwards, I made fun of his shift knobs and laughed at a buddy who Norm did the same exact thing too...

    Then, a year or so before Norm died, we did a fund raiser for him here on the HAMB. I still wasn't a fan at all, but he was sick... and his close pal asked me if he could host the thing. I agreed and they raised pretty good money for Norm's medical bills. If I remember correctly, Doc matched it... thousands of dollars...

    A week or so goes by and Norm calls to thank me. We talked for an hour and a half... For the first 45-minutes or so, I was annoyed and still holding that grudge. I mean... I HATE talking... and I really HATE talking on the phone. But then, the old fart just wore me down with his charm. He broke me.

    That was the last time that I talked to him and the last thing he said was, "Thank you. Not for the money. Money comes and goes. But so do people... And I'm about to go. Nice to know I still have it."

    Lovable shyster I guess... Lovable being the keyword for most.
     
  21. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,054

    alchemy
    Member

    The only time I ever met him was at the HAMB Drags mentioned above. I'm glad you paid his "appearance fee" Ryan.
     
  22. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,329

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    NAH!--------That's one of Norm's famous replies when ask what's a "HENWAY?"
     
    drdave and loudbang like this.
  23. TREBOR
    Joined: Aug 11, 2006
    Posts: 9

    TREBOR
    Member
    from Arkansas

    DSCN1571 copy.JPG DSCN2570 copy.JPG

    Norm's car and truck at a Little Rock shows in 2004.
     
    Okie Pete, drdave, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  24. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,329

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Okie Pete, loudbang and brigrat like this.
  25. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,264

    stanlow69
    Member

    It is a big wrong misprint that Norm was on the cover of Life magazine in 1957. He appeared in the magazine. YES. But not on the cover. He did print up a poster that makes people think he was on the cover. If I`m wrong. Please correct me. Don`t believe everything you read in print. Like what I just wrote. Let`s see the actual cover from 1957.
     
    loudbang and drdave like this.
  26. jackandeuces
    Joined: Feb 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,023

    jackandeuces
    Member

    thumbnail-2.jpeg thumbnail-1.jpeg 4719650-a6d5046aa61b73aa0b6297c1cba8e7f2.jpg thumbnail-3.jpeg thumbnail-4.jpeg thumbnail-5.jpeg thumbnail.jpeg My Norm story,,,I was in a Bass Pro restaurant Branson ,Mo.for a Navy Seabee reunion. Norm came in and sat beside us. I was star struck.. We struck up conversation only to be invited to his home..SEABEECMC and I went the next day for the visit ,,,This is near the top highlight of my many hotrod adventures...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2022
  27. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,496

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Even though they are 2 different types of cars I personally think Norms first "T" Bucket is more iconic than the multi thousand-dollar mint green Merc, there I said it!
     
  28. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,329

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You should have heard him whistle with his mouth closed!
     
    loudbang likes this.
  29. seabeecmc
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,093

    seabeecmc
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's SEABEECMC Jack.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2022
    jackandeuces and loudbang like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.