Legendary “Black Ghost” Challenger up for sale by original family
If you were a part of the Detroit street racing scene in the ’70s, or if you’ve been a muscle car fan at any point since then, there’s a good chance you’ve heard tales of the Black Ghost, a street-racing 1970 Dodge Challenger that would prowl Woodward Avenue, show its opponents its taillights, and then disappear. The triple-black Hemi-powered Challenger R/T SE was stealthy and, at the same time, distinct thanks to its black “Gator Grain” alligator-print vinyl top.
Now, after more than 50 years with the same family, the Black Ghost will be offered for sale as part of Dana Mecum’s 36th Original Spring Classic event held May 12–20 in Indianapolis. Mecum made the announcement at its Kissimmee, Florida event going on right now.
Godfrey Qualls, a United States Army veteran and Detroit police officer, was the driver behind the mysterious 426 Hemi racer. The fact that he was a cop explains why he kept his after-hours street racing shenanigans quiet. Qualls retired the car from racing in 1975 and didn’t brag about his exploits. In 2015, just before he passed away, he signed the title over to his son, Gregory. The story of Quall’s racing prowess received national attention thanks to the Hagerty Drivers Foundation, which helped the Black Ghost enter into the National Historic Vehicle Register. Gregory shared his father’s story with Hagerty:
How big of a deal is this car? Aside from its place on the National Historic Vehicle Register, Dodge chose to pay tribute to the Black Ghost as one of its seven “Last Call” models that honor the brand’s Hemi muscle cars. The Black Ghost is the only individual car to earn such a distinction thus far (there’s still one more Last Call car announcement coming).
A Hemi-powered 1970 Challenger R/T SE four-speed in #2 (Excellent) condition is currently valued at more than $350,000, although this car’s near-mythical status and history will certainly elevate it above its brethren.
How high, you may wonder? Hagerty valuation specialist John Wiley explains how the car’s unique history will come to play when the Black Ghost hits the auction block.
Mecum hasn’t published any other consignments for its Indy sale besides the Black Ghost, but we can’t imagine any that will eclipse this legendary muscle car. We’ll certainly be watching to see where this car lands, hopefully in a collection that will put it on display and share its fascinating story.