In the car community, it seems that every circle has its own legend. A car that is so fast that, under acceleration, the passenger is unable to grab a $100 bill taped to the dash. A car that is so mysteriously fast that everyone else is modifying their car just to be able to keep up. In Detroit, this car was a 1970 Triple Black Dodge Challenger labeled The Black Ghost.
The Challenger was special ordered with nearly all of the best options Dodge had to offer. It was a HEMI car with the SE package, a Houndstooth interior, and an AM/FM radio and was only one of 22 4-speed R/T SEs ever made. Although Dodge rated the Hemi 426 at 425-horsepower, this particular car was putting down 470-horsepower from the factory and the owner used every bit of it.
The car would appear at local street races, wreak havoc on the Fords and Chevys, and disappear. After nearly 20 years of becoming a legend on the streets of Detroit, The Black Ghost disappeared for good and was assumed to be gone forever.
As it turns out this extremely rare Challenger was owned by Green Beret and Purple Heart recipient, Godfrey Qualls. After his military service, Qualls continued to serve his community as a police officer. On his days off though, he would take to the streets in his Challenger- a detail of his life that he never really shared with his family. After Qualls lost his battle with cancer, his son sought the help of a HEMI specialist to get the car running again and that is when the truth of the Black Ghost became known. This extraordinary story was documented by Hagerty in a video that can be seen here. The car has also become a part of the National Historic Vehicle Register.
Oh and another really significant fact about this car and its owner, this is the car responsible for the availability of the shaker hood that was available on the Challengers after they were sued by Godfrey Qualls.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!