In the 1960s and 1970s, muscle cars were the epitome of American automotive culture. With their big engines, loud exhausts, and flashy designs, these powerful vehicles were symbols of speed, performance, and freedom. They were also rare and expensive, especially for young drivers who dreamed of owning one.
One of that era's most coveted muscle cars was the Dodge Challenger, a two-door coupe that debuted in 1970 as a competitor to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The Dodge Challenger offered various engine options, from a modest 225-cubic-inch slant-six to a monstrous 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8 that could produce 425 horsepower and reach 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds.
But among all the Challengers, one stood out from the rest: the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost. This was a special edition of the Challenger R/T (Road/Track), which featured a 440-cubic-inch Magnum V8 engine with three two-barrel carburetors, known as the Six Pack. The Black Ghost was painted matte black, giving it a stealthy and sinister appearance. It also had a hood scoop, dual exhausts, front and rear spoilers, and black vinyl bucket seats.
The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost was not an official model name but a nickname given by enthusiasts who spotted it on the streets of Detroit in the early 1970s. The car belonged to Godfrey Qualls, a Vietnam veteran and police officer who bought it new in 1970 for $4,900 (about $33,000 today). Qualls loved to race his car at night against other muscle cars, often winning by a large margin. He also kept his car in pristine condition, rarely driving it during the day or in bad weather.
Qualls' car became a legend among local racers and car fans, who dubbed it the Black Ghost because of its mysterious and elusive nature. Many tried to find out where Qualls lived or worked, but he always managed to evade them. Some even doubted that the car existed at all, thinking it was a myth or a hoax.
But the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost was very real, and it still is today. Qualls passed away in 2015, leaving his car to his son Gregory Qualls, who inherited his father's passion for muscle cars. Gregory decided to share his father's legacy with the world by restoring the car to its original glory and displaying it at various events and shows. He also agreed to let Stellantis, the parent company of Dodge, document his story and feature his car in a short film that was released online in November 2022.
The film, titled "The Black Ghost: A Detroit Legend," tells the history of Qualls' car and its impact on the automotive scene in Detroit and beyond. It also shows how Gregory honors his father's memory by preserving and driving his car with pride and joy.
The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Goes to Europe
The film was well received by muscle car enthusiasts and critics alike, who praised its authenticity and emotion. It also caught the attention of Stellantis' European division, which saw an opportunity to promote its brand and products in a new market.
Stellantis decided to create a limited edition of the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost for Europe, where muscle cars are not as popular or common as in America. The company wanted to introduce its European customers to the heritage and spirit of Dodge and its iconic models.
The European version of the Black Ghost is based on the current generation of the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, which is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine that delivers 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. The car can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 203 miles per hour.
The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost edition features a matte black paint job with red accents on the hood scoop, grille, wheels, brake calipers, and badges. It also has a black leather interior with red stitching and embroidery on the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, and floor mats. The car comes with a numbered plaque on the center console that identifies it as one of only 50 units produced for Europe.
The price of the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost edition is €149,900 (about $170,000), which includes shipping costs from America to Europe. The car is available for pre-order now through Stellantis' official website or authorized dealerships across Europe. The first deliveries are expected to start in March 2024.
Stellantis hopes that bringing the Black Ghost to Europe will attract new customers who appreciate its performance, design, and history. The company also hopes that it will inspire more people to discover and enjoy muscle cars as a form of transportation and entertainment.
The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost is more than just a car; it is a legend that transcends time and borders. It is a tribute to Godfrey Qualls and his son Gregory Qualls, who shared their love for muscle cars with millions worldwide. It is also a testament to Dodge's commitment to innovation and excellence in creating fast, powerful, and fun vehicles.
The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost is a rare muscle car that haunts the streets of Detroit and Europe with its presence and performance. It is a dream come true for those who seek speed, style, and history behind the wheel. @via Dodge.
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