Legendary “Black Ghost” Challenger up for sale by original family

Godfrey Qualls' 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE, known as the Black Ghost. HVA/Preston Rose

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.

“Unrestored, culturally iconic muscle cars such as the 1968 Bullitt Mustang sell for well over seven figures, and it’s not unreasonable to expect the Black Ghost might do the same,” Wiley said.

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.

Click below for more about
Read next Up next: Classic motorcycles are leaving the UK at an unprecedented pace


    Great story it brings back memories of my 66 427 corvette I raced on the streets of Long Island New York which I bought when I returned home from the army in 1967 Ed Heinser

    Great story brought back great memories of my street racing days with my 66 maroon 427 corvette on Long Island New York 66 and 67 until marriage called. Ps never lost a race on the street

    In 1971 I bought a 69 GTX 426 Hemi 4 Speed car w/ Dana 60 that was what we called “”unloaded” at the time (only had p/steering) an was white w/black vinyl top an kind of plain cheap looking black buckets interior an Pistol Grip shifter an it was fast of course an I was very young an just getting the drag racing bug an quickly realized I Hated Losing an did ok till I kept running into the 440 Magnum Roadrunners an Cudas etc an went to look into hunting more HP but wow Hemi Stuff was high $ an couldn’t afford it an ended up trading it for a 440 69 Roadrunner that kept outrunning everyone an tho I came out ahead winning races the guy I traded with was older an smarter knew what I’d found an knew I didn’t know what I had an he came out the overall winner 25-30 yrs later when the car sold ? Factory special ordered GTX race pkg he called it ? Still kicking myself in the ass at times over that !!!

    I’m more sentimental than most but still can’t think of anything I wouldn’t flip for a probable seven figures.

    Sad to see the family sell it. Seems it doesn’t hold any value to them beyond cash. I guess I understand but I still feel they should keep it.

    For such a special car and the fluff piece made about it, the fact that they are selling it now makes me all sorts of sad. I don’t know man. I couldn’t ever let that go.

    Great story. Have to admit (probably due to my age, I’m 39) but I don’t understand or Fully appreciate the muscle Car stories. Was this particular car actually modified with extra power to make
    It faster on the street. They say it was a legend but what’s to stop another challenger with the same engine from
    Challenging and overpowering this particular car? Wouldn’t they be posting similar drag times with the same machinery if they’re stock? I guess it comes down to the better driver but I cant imagine a huge speed difference. Heck if I lived back then I’d be ripping out stuff they weighed these heavy cars down.
    Help me old timers better understand!

    They are probably doing the right thing for themselves and the car. Being born in 1962 I never knew these cars until I got the bug at college. By then, “muscle” cars were all over 10 years old and worth peanuts in comparison to today. The many cars I saw, raced, and admired, wow! I knew they would be collectable, just couldn’t afford even then. Sadly, in 20 years the generations who admired these cars will mostly be gone and the Ghost’s value could be well below what its worth today. This car, with that story, should easily bring 7 figures. That could be life changing money for the son and his family. The car and the legend will live on better this way. I agree, Dodge should buy it.

    It’s unfortunate that whatever the circumstances are leading this family to the sale of this car. Sorry to see this. Great car and better story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *