Fan pays tribute to Black Ghost Challenger with virtual Forza car
The Black Ghost is one of the most well-known street racers in the Detroit area in the 1970s. The 426, four-speed 1970 Challenger piloted by Godfrey Qualls was a legend of Woodward Avenue even if Qualls, a Detroit police officer, kept his vehicular extracurriculars a bit of a secret. Racers just knew the car, and they knew it was fast.
Qualls passed away in 2015, leaving the Black Ghost to his son, Gregory. It had been dormant for years, but now it’s back to driving under its own power. The Historical Vehicle Association (HVA) recently made a great documentary telling the story of Qualls and his triple-black Challenger, but one fan of the car is hoping that it will be able to be piloted by a lot more drivers, digitally.
Cason Vogel, a Hagerty employee, worked with the Historic Vehicle Association to create a mockup of the Black Ghost in Forza Horizon 4, the latest iteration in Microsoft’s popular driving game franchise.
Vogel noticed that there was a Black Ghost already available in-game, as a fan had done their best to duplicate the iconic racer, but it was missing many of the signatures that set the car apart. Vogel’s creation comes a lot closer to the real thing by adding the badges, chrome side mirror, fender sticker, and stripe. The only things missing from his version are the gator skin vinyl top and the proper bumper.
Unfortunately, because Vogel’s creation uses some fan-created custom bits, it’s not available for anyone to just jump behind the wheel. He did, however, put his real-life photographic talents and artistic eye to use using Forza’s in-game photography so that we can all see it in its in-game glory. Forza allows players to place the car anywhere in the environment and gives users the freedom to manipulate shots with lighting, motion, and depth of field. Vogel nabbed a few angles that capture the Black Ghost prowling the streets.
He hopes that this more accurate rendering will create some interest in seeing the Black Ghost and other HVA vehicles in Forza and give enthusiasts a new way to interact with these important vehicles. “I think that the Forza car packs are a perfect way to go about it.” Vogel explained, noting the vast popularity of the Forza franchise reaches a huge audience. “Microsoft works with different brands to introduce five new cars per month” he added, suggesting that HVA would easily fill out a five-car roster, something for which he’s spent the last two years lobbying.
What do you think? Would you like to pilot the Black Ghost on Forza’s digital drag strip, or perhaps cruise the Gypsy Rose? Let us know which of the HVA’s vehicles you’d most like to see in your five-car dream pack.