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DOCUMENTARY: Godfrey Qualls and the Black Ghost 1970 Dodge Challenger 426 Hemi


About The Video

The following is from the Historic Vehicle Association YouTube description of the video:

“The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE ordered new by Godfrey Qualls was a piece of legend on the streets of Detroit. Optioned in triple black with a 426 Hemi, it dominated street races throughout the 70s before disappearing for decades. Learn the full story behind this original survivor car, how it made its way back on to the streets, and having its story documented as a piece of America’s automotive history.” [Source]


In 1969, 27 year old, combat veteran, Purple Heart recipient and Detroit Police Officer, Godfrey Qualls special ordered this sinister 1970 Hemi Challenger. Qualls made sure to check just about every option box including the pistol grip four-speed, Super Track Pak Dana 60 with 4.10 rear gears, Gator-Grain top, houndstooth interior, SE package and more.

When he wasn’t policing the mean streets of Detroit in the 1970s, he was street racing them with his Hemi 4-speed. And when he didn’t have the car equipped with racing slicks looking for a late night competition, he was hauling around his Norton race bikes on a trailer behind the Challenger.

But by the late 1970s, Qualls had re-enlisted in the Army and became a Green Beret, serving his country until 2005. During that time however, the car was placed in to storage where it sat until Qualls passed away in 2015.

His son, Gregory, who lays claim to a few of the Challenger’s dents from leaning his bicycle against the car as a kid, has since worked with friends and family to bring the car back out as a tribute to his father.

Completely unrestored save a few maintenance items to ensure the car runs and drives safely, the Challenger has just over 45K miles. We presented the Challenger our National Automotive Heritage Award at this year’s Carlisle Chrysler Nationals.

[Source: Social Media Post by the Historic Vehicle Association, 17 Dec 2020]

Learn More

  • “Black Ghost, a street racing cop’s Hemi Challenger R/T, added to National Register of Historic Vehicles” RK Motors, article by Daniel Strohl, 28 Oct 2020. [View]
  • “This Police Officer’s 1970 Dodge Challenger Was Secretly a Street Racing Legend” Motor Biscuit, article by Gabriel Vega, 15 Nov 2020. [View]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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