Although its ownership had long been a mystery, the world discovered recently that the car was owned and raced by Godfrey Quails. A Detroit police officer by day, Quails also served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, earning a Purple Heart for his service.
Upon returning home from the military, Quails ordered this car new from Raynal Brothers Dodge, in Detroit, and took delivery on December 5, 1969. The black Challenger had a white tail stripe and a “Gator Grain” roof treatment that would become the stuff of legends.
As a police officer, Quails couldn’t afford to be caught street racing. And although that didn’t stop him from participating in the local racing scene, it meant that he maintained an air of mystery.
The car’s disappearing act earned it the nickname of the “Black Ghost,” and its career lasted until 1975. Even after he retired from street racing, though, Quails never boasted about his exploits, and his legend might have been forgotten were it not for his son Gregory.
The car’s legend is such that it has now been honored by the Dodge company itself with a special edition “Last Call” version of the 2023 Challenger designed in its honor. Based on the SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody trim, the modern car makes 807 hp (602 kW/818 PS).
And while that’s an enticing model, collectors are now being given the opportunity to own the real deal. The original Black Ghost will be sold this spring at Mecum’s Indy Auction, which runs from May 12-20.
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