Norm 'right at home' sitting in Dennis and Linda Harris' 2009 Dodge
Challenger taken at our Jelly Belly Factory tour
As a teenager, Norm purchased 3 vehicles before buying his 1925 Chrysler . It was then he became a Chrysler Products believer. He has
been so passionate that he has organized and brought together other Chrysler Fans thru the years, Here is the rest of his story!
Norm Frey is a gentle man, unassuming, and a man of many talents. However, knowing Norm, we do not let the unassuming part of him fool us.
He was born on August 31, 1918 in Berkeley, Ca. As a child, Norm was technically inclined, and he always loved cars. He remembers looking out the
back window of his parents’ car and naming vehicles as they drove. He built bicycles as a very young man, saved his money, and bought his first Model T
Ford at age 13 in 1931 for $15.00. His second car was also a Model T Ford, and his third car, an Essex. His love for Chryslers began at the age of 16 or
17, when he bought his first 1925 Chrysler Roadster. Ford or GM never had a chance to court him after purchasing that car.
After graduating high school, Norm was employed by Western Electric. Shortly after his employment, he replied to an ad from Uncle Sam to join the
Army. He volunteered for the Signal Corp and qualified for a Three Striped Sergeant. They were in need of those that had electrical knowledge and he
wanted to serve in the World War II effort. Soon after joining, he was told to report for a medical checkup at the Presidio in Monterey. There they
discovered he could not see out of one eye, a result of an accident at age seven. He was medically discharged, and, served in the War effort anyway
through his job with Western Electric. A family man who worked hard all of his life, he retired at the age of 63. His accomplishments include, raising 3
wonderful children, all who live close. He built a home in Fremont, Ca. with his own hands, using his ’37 Plymouth pickup to haul the building material. He
still has his pickup sitting at the side of his home. After he built the house, he decided to move his family to Castro Valley in 1963 where he and his
beloved wife found the school system to be of much high caliber. He chose a spot on a hill that was almost a third of an acre to have another home built.
His blue prints included an 8 car garage with a workshop. He still lives in the same home today.
His passion for Chrysler Products prompted him to found the Walter P. Chrysler Club, (WPC). I asked Norm how he did it. He shared that when he met
other Chrysler Owners, he exchanged contact information. One day, he wrote 32 letters from these contacts and invited them to an Owners meeting. Four
Chrysler owners attended his first meeting. It mushroomed into a National Club, and, in the discussion of names for the club, Walter P. Chrysler was
suggested. Unfortunately, with power and ego abound, a disagreement occurred with another Region, and Norm’s Northern California Region was, as
Norm put it “kicked out”. That did not stop Norm and his now orphaned club members. He founded what is now California Chrysler Products Club (CCPC)
(www.ccpclub.org). He is also a Charter Member of IOANC in its infant state. WOW...what a privilege to share his story.
Norm was witness to the Bay Area’s spectacular growth. He remembers what it was like to live in the San Francisco Bay Area before the San
Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge were built in 1936 and 1937 respectively. He loved going back and forth to San Francisco because
you could only go by Ferry Service, which still exists today. While the bridges were being built, he recalls taking the ferries across the Bay, and admiring
all the hard work that it took to build the bridges; men risking their lives many times hanging from those high places. He shared that he actually drove his
1931 Chrysler CG Convertible on a tour for the 25th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge. He also has fond memories of going to the 1939 World’s Fair
held on Treasure Island many times during its stay in the San Francisco.
In 1957, Norm started his formal Collection of Chryslers. He bought his 1925—2 door Chrysler Sedan Model 70, in memory of his very first 1925 Chrysler
Roadster which he used for transportation as a young teenager. In the years to follow, his collection would include Chrysler’s bought and sold to finally
total the 14 Chryslers, and one ’37 Plymouth Pickup he stores on his property today. 13 of his vehicles are registered as Historical.
Norm lives on a cul-de-sac with 2 attached garages on either side of his home, and an enclosed car port which protects his ‘55 Newport Imperial. The
garage that is attached to his home, protects his two beautiful Chrysler Imperials: a 1927 Imperial “80,” and a rare One of Ten production 1931 Chrysler
Imperial CG Convertibles ever made. Norm purchased his ‘31 Chrysler CG in 1964. On July 12, 1987, Norm’s ‘31 Chrysler Convertible served as the
Theme Car for the Classic Car Show, Concours d' Elegance held that year.
In the last 20 years, Norm has served as editor of the California Chrysler Products Club (CCPC) Newsletter. Using ’old school’ methods even today. He
delivers (mails) the CCPC newsletter monthly. We were invited inside to see his home office where I saw his layout of the July issue laying on his desk.
He labors to cut and paste articles, update a very active events calendar where they take road trips regularly, and then he takes it to the printer to be
mailed shortly afterward.
Norm continues to be very active in the CCPC club which he founded, serving as President many times. As a member of IOANC, also, Norm enjoys many
joint adventures that CCPC and IOANC share. We can be assured that he will be present, like us, for as long as he is able.
Norm Frey’s Chrysler Collection Plus One