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It’s an infamous muscle car that hid in the shadows.
The “Black Ghost” is a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T SE originally owned by Detroit police officer and US Army veteran Dennis Qualls.
Qualls used it for street racing in the city, but kept a low profile given his profession.
He’d show up to race, usually dominate, then drive off into the night and disappear for months at a time instead of hanging out with the other drivers.
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The 426 Hemi V8-powered car was known as the “Black Ghost” until it mysteriously stopped showing up and faded into legend after Qualls re-enlisted in the Army in the late 1970s.
Qualls mostly kept it in his garage until he died in 2015 and it passed onto his son, Gregory, who only then learned about his illicit history.
“I’d know Dad was taking the car out because starting it shook the house,” Gregory Qualls told The Detroit News.
The car was added to the National Historic Vehicle Register of significant cars and trucks that’s kept at the US Library of Congress and maintained by the Hagerty Drivers Foundation in 2020. It even spent time on display on the National Mall last year.
Dodge is now saluting the car with a Challenger Black Ghost limited edition model that will be one of the last V8-powered muscle cars it ever builds before the Challenger is replaced by the electric Charger Daytona SRT in 2024.
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The widebody Challenger is equipped with an 807 horsepower version of Dodge’s supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 and a 20-by-11-inch wheel and tire package.
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Cosmetic updates include Dodge lettering on the nose, hood pins, black Brembo brake calipers, throwback Challenger script badges on the fenders, a white tail stripe and a unique alligator skin roof wrap inspired by the vinyl top on Qualls’ car. The interior features Alcantara and leather trim, plus carbon fiber inserts and a Black Ghost dash plaque.
Dodge will build just 300 examples at a yet to be announced price that’s likely to be above the $88,335 starting price for a Challenger Jailbreak model that it shares its body and engine with.
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The Black Ghost is the sixth of seven special edition “Last Call” Challenger and Charger models Dodge is releasing in 2023.
It previously revealed the Challenger Shakedown, Charger Super Bee, Challenger and Charger Swingers, Charger King Daytona and there’s one more on the way.
The seventh will be unveiled at the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas in November as the final new V8-powered Dodge model.
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No details have been released, but Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said it will be “history making,” which suggests it could surpass the 808 hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon as the most powerful muscle car ever built.