The Mythical 1970 Dodge Challenger "Black Ghost" Roars to Life with Its HEMI V8 Prowess

Emerging from its mysterious past as a street drag racer piloted by a police officer, the 1970 Dodge Challenger "Black Ghost" has now claimed the title of the most coveted classic Mopar.

Honoring its legacy, Dodge has introduced a contemporary tribute based on the 2023 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody. In addition to this homage, the enigmatic "Black Ghost" is gearing up for its moment in the spotlight at an upcoming auction.

Captivating audiences at Kissimmee 2023 in January, the "Black Ghost" was proudly displayed alongside its contemporary counterpart. For those eager to witness its numbers-matching 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 come to life, YouTube's "DtRockstar1" recently shared footage of the legendary vehicle making its grand appearance at a few classic car events.

Although the video doesn't showcase drag racing or burnouts, the striking all-black 1970 Challenger, now road-worthy after years in storage, is a breathtaking sight. Remarkably, the car remains in near-original condition, save for a few upgrades like a rebuilt brake booster, new carbs, radiator, master cylinder, and tires.

But what truly sets the "Black Ghost" apart from other classic cars, and how did it earn its intriguing moniker?

The original owner, Godfrey Qualls, was a Detroit police officer by day and a secretive drag racer by night. Risking his career, he would make unexpected appearances at local gatherings, dominate quarter-mile races, and then mysteriously vanish.

While Godfrey's Challenger wasn't entirely stock during its racing heyday, he kept modifications minimal, opting for a muffler delete, an aftermarket coil, and slick rear tires on stock wheels.

The HEMI V8's impressive 425-horsepower output was more than enough for him to claim countless victories before disappearing for good in 1975. By then, the "Black Ghost" had already secured its legendary status in Detroit.

The enigmatic Challenger driver's true identity remained a secret for decades until Godfrey revealed his thrilling drag-racing tales to his son, Gregory. Inheriting the car when his father passed away, Gregory brought the "Black Ghost" to light in 2017, sharing the astounding story of officer Qualls and his legendary vehicle.

Beyond its captivating history, this Mopar is an exceptional rarity from the golden age of muscle cars. Of the nearly 77,000 Challengers sold in 1970, a mere 356 were equipped with the formidable 426-cubic-inch HEMI V8. Godfrey's choice of a four-speed manual gearbox further refines the car's status to one of just 136 produced.

But the exclusivity doesn't end there. With the added SE package, it's one of only 60 Challengers ordered with the bundle. Considering the color and other options, it's possible that fewer than 10 such examples were ever made.

In summary, this Challenger is the epitome of rarity, boasting a captivating story worthy of a book. It stands as a highly collectible classic that could very well be more valuable than any other 1970 Challenger in existence.

Don't miss the video below, and be sure to explore our comprehensive account of this incredible machine.

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