You Ol’ Ghost: 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Pays Homage

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
you ol ghost 2023 dodge challenger black ghost pays homage

The sixth of seven Last Call editions crafted by the speed freaks at Dodge has been unveiled, showing up for duty as one which makes reference to a muscle car that haunted Woodward Avenue in the 1970s. And, yes, it even has a vinyl roof – kind of.


Witness the 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost, a special edition offering a modern take on the original car that prowled Detroit nearly 50 years ago. That machine was a black 1970 Dodge Challenger RT SE owned by Godfrey Qualls and earned a legendary reputation for flexing its 426 HEMI-powered muscle on Woodward and then driving off mysteriously into the night, often not to be seen again for months. This, naturally, lead to the “Black Ghost” nickname. Not simply a local legend, Qualls’ vehicle earned a spot on the National Historic Vehicle Register two years ago and remains in the Qualls family to this day.

For ’23, Dodge has built this tribute using a Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody as its base, bumping the output to 807 horsepower and adding some styling addenda calling back to the original car. A unique roof graphic is meant to evoke the old-school ‘gator skin’ vinyl roof which was part and parcel of that ’70 model, along with white graphics on the rear fenders and bright D O D G E billboard lettering on its nose. This author is not sure how he feels about the latter, despite generally liking the detail (see: the old Ford Flex), though that could be down to nearly 15 years of seeing this fascia without such adornment. 

Other garnishes on this special edition include the typical tat of special badges inside and out, a smattering of Alcantara around the interior, and hood pins that sprout from the bonnet like dandelions. Keeping with the Black Ghost theme, its Brembo-branded brake calipers are dipped in ink and the 20-inch satin carbon warp speed wheels would be impossible to find in a darkened room.


Like the other Last Call cars, the Black Ghost homage is limited to 300 copies and will have its allocation listed on the Dodge website. One more Last Call is slated for the SEMA Show in November; we’re hoping someone stuffed a Hellephant crate engine into the LX chassis.

[Images: Dodge]

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  • Lou_BC The 2023 ZR2 is burdened with GM's 8 speed. It's been allegedly "fixed" so it doesn't gear hunt and shudder. I still won't trust it. The turbo 4 cylinder should address the lack of torque found in the V6. I test drove a full-sized Trail Boss. I could make it gear hunt. The turbo 4 didn't seem to be lacking in power, at least for an empty crewcab with a 6.5 box. It lacked anything resembling character. It had next to zero compression braking even with tow/haul engaged. Chevy should have continued offering the VM Motori based inline 4 diesel that's in the older Colorado trucks. I do like the fact that the 2023 comes with 33's standard and IIRC the wheel hubs/axles etc. have been beefed up to handle the larger rubber. The bolt pattern (IIRC) is shared with fullsized 1/2 tons opening up one's choice for aftermarket wheels.
  • EngineerfromBaja_1990 That's a >$50K truck right there. I don't need to have the build sheet, it's just way over the top. I'd keep it simpler in LT or Z71 trim. If I wanted to spend $50K I'd have gone full size already
  • MaintenanceCosts The ZR2 looks like a cartoon of a truck. I'd rather have one that just looks like a truck. Without the configurator it's hard to know for sure but my choice is probably a loaded Z71.
  • Roadscholar My 3k mile Veloster N has been at the dealer for 2 weeks for an engine misfire. At least I didn't get a ticket but I'd like to have my car back eventually.
  • SCE to AUX Cox reports that inventory is at 37 days - a far cry from the 60-70 considered normal just a few years ago. Average 'listing price' is $46k.https://www.coxautoinc.com/market-insights/new-vehicle-inventory-july-2022/Demand remains high and supply remains low, which is why dealers continue to mark up prices.As for affordability, it's not that people's income has changed, but car prices are pushing some out of the market. That will have a long-term effect on new car demand, but it will also drive used car prices even higher.In the last year, Tesla has now passed VoA, BMW, Mazda, and Lexus, and is close to catching Subaru. That's gotta bother some people.
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