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Retro

This street racing Dodge Challenger has an incredible backstory

Nicknamed “Black Ghost”, this Challenger belonged to a Detroit police officer who would race by night

Published: 09 Jan 2023

As car-related stories go, we’re not sure we’ve ever heard one that’s as American as this. You see, this 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE is set to be sold at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction in May this year, and the story behind it should help it fetch a fair old chunk of change…

Nicknamed “Black Ghost”, the stealthily-specced Challenger features black paint, black wheels and a black ‘Gator Grain’ roof. It was originally ordered by a chap named Godfrey Qualls, who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in the 1960s. 

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After leaving the US Army he joined the Detroit Police Department, but by night Qualls would take his new Challenger to street races across the city. He was successful too, and his habit of securing a win and then vanishing off into the darkness earned his car its extremely cool nickname.

Qualls would race at the popular Woodward Avenue and Telegraph Road in Detroit, but in 1975 the now legendary Black Ghost simply stopped appearing. We’re told that Godfrey was so silent about his escapades that even his son Gregory had to learn about his legend from family and friends.

In 2014 Godfrey finally unveiled the Black Ghost to Gregory, with the father and son spending an afternoon cleaning the classic Challenger. Then in 2015, Godfrey signed the car over to his son just days before he died.

So, there we have it. What a story. How much do we reckon the Challenger will fetch, folks?

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