The story of Woodward’s legendary street racing car nicknamed the “Black Ghost”

(WXYZ) – Woodward was synonymous with street racing back then. We found a legendary street racing car nicknamed the “Black Ghost”.

The legendary car is a 1970 Dodge Challenger RTC with a 426 Hemi, all in black and white with a green door and soft top.

“They only made 59 of these cars and in 1970 it was four-speed,” said Gregory Qualls. “My dad used to do street races and nobody knew who he was. So he would go out and he would run. And then after he beat you, he would go on and he would disappear. And so, the street, you know , the street crowd gave you the name Black Ghost. “

Gregory Qualls didn’t know much about his father’s Challenger growing up, as his father, Godfrey, had stopped driving the car when he was about 5 years old.

“When my dad was alive I didn’t know anything about the Black Ghost, I didn’t even know that was his nickname. I didn’t even know my dad was driving the car,” he said. “I just remember the car… it was just in the garage… and then sometimes my bike would tip over and hit the car. And then I was like, ‘oops, I hope my dad doesn’t notice the bumps, scratches over time. ‘ I didn’t know it at the time, it was just a car then. “

Godfrey would run on Woodward, Telegraph, and a street called Stecker.

There was a good reason Godfrey was protecting his true identity, he was a Detroit police officer and a military man.

“As a police officer in your, you know, drag race, I mean, you know, you could probably lose your job… so I imagine, you know, he had to stay on tiptoe and go out. and do his thing with running and then you disappear, ”he said.

After Godfrey passed away in 2015, Gregory inherited the car. He started taking the car to shows in 2017 and that’s when he started to discover the car’s extraordinary past.

“And hundreds of people will come and say, ‘you know, I remember that car, your dad used to race that car. It’s the Black Ghost. “You know, they thought it was a unicorn. People didn’t even think the car existed. Then when they first saw it, it was like, wow, it really existed. was there, ”Gregory said.

The Black Ghost has also been recognized by the National Register of Historic Vehicles. It is one of 29 culturally significant vehicles whose history has been documented.

“The longevity of the story will continue, will live far beyond all of us here, as the average is around 499 years for the information that will be held in the Library of Congress. So the Challenger and the Qualls family story will be told for a very long time, ”said Diane Parker, vice president of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation.

Gregory feels his story every time he gets behind the wheel.

“I feel my dad’s presence in the car, you know, it’s just a once in a lifetime experience driving the car and… being a manual, you know, shifting gears and feeling every little detail of the car when you drive there, “Gregory mentioned.

As for the future plans of the Black Ghost?

“The future of the Black Ghost is up to my son. You know, I want to make sure Gregory has a chance to drive the car so he can drive his grandfather’s legacy,” he said. he declares.

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