This Gator Grain vinyl topped Hemi-powered 1970 Dodge Challenger R/R SE is known around Detroit, and the car community, as the Black Ghost. A nickname the car earned as a night cloaked street racer during the heyday of the muscle car horsepower wars. The car earned digital fame in 2020 when its story was brought to light by Hagerty and entered into the National Historic Vehicle Register.
It’s been owned by the same family since it left the factory in 1970. However, now someone else will have the right to look after this piece of muscle car royalty when it goes to auction in May 2023.
The story of this car is best summed up as being owned by Godfrey Qualls. When he ordered the Challenger from the dealer, the former United States Army Airborne veteran worked as a Detroit motorcycle cop. So, during the day, he patrolled the streets he would later dominate at night one quarter mile at a time. Qualls raced the Black Ghost from 1970 to 1975 before Qualls reenlisted in the Army and became a Green Beret.
At the time, nobody knew Qualls was behind the seemingly unbeatable black Challenger. Armed with a fire-breathing big block Hemi V8 and a pistol grip 4-speed shifter, the Black Ghost would appear on the street racing scene, leave everyone clocking on its leaded fuel exhaust fumes, and then vanish into the night as quickly as it arrived.
This car symbolizes the horsepower wars of the late 60s and early 70s. Apart from its history, this Dodge is one of only 23 Hemi-powered, four-speed R/T SE 1970 Challengers built and the only one in this spec, making it a unicorn collector car.
The news that the Black Ghost 1970 Hemi Dodge Challenger R/T SE was cosigned for auction was announced during Mecum’s Kissimmee, Florida. The car is set to roll across the auction block during Dana Mecum’s 36th Original Spring Classic event in Indianapolis on May 12–20.
For another car headed to auction, check out the 2000 Mercedes CLK DTM.