A legend among muscle cars will go under the hammer at Mecum’s auction May 12-20 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
The car is a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE known as the Black Ghost, which was originally owned by Godfrey Qualls and was passed down to his son Gregory in 2015 and has officially been part of the National Historic Vehicle Register since 2020. Gregory Qualls has now decided to part with the car.
The Challenger R/T SE is special because of its unique, one-of-a-kind specification with an alligator skin-style vinyl roof, white tail stripe and a 426 Hemi V-8 under the hood. However, what really sets it apart is its original owner.
Qualls Snr. was a Detroit cop by day and a mysterious street racer by night. It would show up at 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-winning military veteran, finally parked his Dodge in 1975 and kept it hidden for decades while his attention turned to more important things like helping raise his young family. Qualls finally introduced the car and the stories behind it to his son in 2014. Qualls would die a year later, but not before handing over the keys and paperwork to his son.
No estimate has been given, but a number approaching the seven-digit range would not be surprising.
“When you have the combination of a Purple Heart-awarded military veteran and a one-of-a-kind ’70s challenger with the mythical street races of a stealthy Detroit cop, muscle car, drag racing, and mopar enthusiasts take notice,” Frank Mecum, Mecums Vice President of Broadcasts said in a statement.
Anyone who misses out on a winning bid on the original Black Ghost could still snag a modern-day tribute. The modern car is one of the Last Call special editions Dodge is launching 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 body shell and alligator-skin-style roof vinyl to match the original.