Dodge continues to slide into the future by paying homage to its past with the latest “Last Call” model: the Challenger Black Ghost special edition.
The new offering — six of seven — was inspired by a Detroit-area racing legend from the 1970s: the Black Ghost. Only 300 of the Black Ghosts will be produced.
The original was a 1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE, black with a white bumblebee stripe, owned by Godfrey Qualls. He established a reputation for essentially coming out under the cover of darkness on Woodward Avenue, the major north-south artery leading from downtown Detroit out to the suburbs of Oakland County.
It was not a showy car, but powered by a 426 Hemi V-8 and Qualls was all business. Take a few practice runs to gin up interest in a few races, smoke the competition and then disappear just as quickly. After its racing days — at least its formal racing era — the car showed up in the famous Detroit Autorama and a few other places around town.
The car still remains in the Qualls family, taking a few (victory?) laps along Woodward during the Woodward Dream Cruise each year. It’s been the subject of slew of articles and a short documentary and now is on the National Historic Vehicle Register, where the vehicle’s history will be archived in the Library of Congress forever.
A modern interpretation
The current run of special edition Dodge Challenger and Chargers allows fans to reminisce about times gone by, but this is a serious ride the brand is honoring — and it’s doing so seriously.
“There are so many legendary muscle cars in Dodge brand history, it was hard to choose the seven vehicles we wanted to pay homage to with our Last Call line-up, but the Black Ghost was an easy pick,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer — Stellantis.
“The 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost is the prelude to what we’re going to unveil with our seventh and final special-edition model.”
The 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost special edition offers a modern manifestation of the historic vehicle, wrapping a black-and-chrome appearance, including unique black “gator skin” roof vinyl graphics similar to the original, around a Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody bumped up to 807 horsepower.
It also features black six-piston Brembo brakes, 20-by-11-inch Satin Carbon Warp Speet Wheels, Challenger grille script, fender and spoiler badges and Midnight Metallic SRT grille badge accent the interior, along with white rear fender graphics. On the inside, you’ll find a Black Ghost instrument panel badge, Alcantara/Laguna leather seats and door bolsters, and Alcantara steering wheel with red SRT logo dress up the interior.