“Black Ghost” 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE heads to auction..

A legend among muscle cars is set to go under the hammer for the first time. The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE known as the "Black Ghost" will appear at Mecum's sale at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis running May 12-20.

The car was originally owned by Godfrey Qualls and was passed to his son Gregory in 2015. It has officially been part of the National Historic Vehicle Register since 2020. Gregory Qualls has now decided to part ways with the car.

The Challenger R/T SE is special in its own right, due to a one-of-one specification with a gator skin-style vinyl roof, a white tail stripe, and 426 Hemi V-8 under the hood. However, what really makes it stand out is its original owner.

Qualls, Sr. was a Detroit police officer by day and mysterious street drag racer by night. He would show up to local Detroit haunts like Woodward Avenue and Telegraph Road, win a street race, and then disappear for weeks or months at a time, a habit that earned the car its nickname.

Qualls, who was also a Purple Heart-awarded military veteran, finally parked his Dodge in 1975 and kept it hidden for decades, as his attention turned to more important things, like helping to raise his young family. Qualls finally introduced the car and the stories behind it to his son in 2014. Qualls passed away a year later, though not before handing over the keys and paperwork to his son.

No price estimate has been given but a figure approaching seven figures would not be surprising.

“When you have the combination of a Purple Heart-awarded military veteran and a unique ’70 Challenger with the mythical street racing of a clandestine Detroit cop, the muscle car, drag racing, and Mopar enthusiasts take notice,” Frank Mecum, Mecum's vice president of consignments, said in a statement.

Anyone who misses out on a successful bid for the original Black Ghost may still be able to snap up a modern tribute. The modern car is one of the Last Call special editions Dodge is rolling out for the 2023 model year to mark the end of the road for the current Challenger and Charger muscle cars. A total of 300 examples will be made, all in the same black exterior and with a gator skin-style roof vinyl to match the original.

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