Dodge’s 2023 ‘Black Ghost’ Challenger brings back vinyl roofs


The “Last Call” package puts 807 horsepower to use honouring a legendary Hemi-powered Detroit street racer

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If you drove up and down Woodward Avenue in Detroit at night often enough back in the 1970s, there was a slim chance you might come across “The Black Ghost,” and if you did, the chances were even slimmer you’d be able to outrun it. To clarify, said Ghost wasn’t some otherworldly spectre—I’m referring to the unbeatable Hemi-powered 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE street racer piloted by Godfrey “GQ” Qualls, when he wasn’t working his day job as a Detroit police officer. Qualls’ Ghost only hit the strip after dark, and only very rarely, but nevertheless cemented itself as a legend in the local scene.

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The Black Ghost was in fact such a legend that Dodge thought to name its latest 2023 Last Call special edition after the thing, mimicking the original’s “Gator-Grain” vinyl roof pattern, black paint, and white tail stripe on this limited-production new Challenger. Oh, and to make sure buyers can walk any rivals just like the original did, the automaker also stuffed 807 horsepower under the hood.

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Consider the 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost the two-door counterpart to last week’s Last Call reveal, the 2023 Dodge Charger King Daytona, which offered the same amount of power, was also limited to just 300 examples, and which similarly honoured a ’70s racing icon.

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Other tweaks that set this Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody apart from your stock ’23 Chally include a hood pins, chrome wheels and fuel cap, and a bevy of badges inside and out; an African flag sticker like the one the original Black Ghost wore behind its front wheels is not included.

The Challenger Black Ghost is the last special edition 2023 model that Dodge plans to unveil until the SEMA show in early November, when it takes the covers off its “very last of its kind” send-off.

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It was preceded by five other cars, including the aforementioned King Daytona, the Challenger Shakedown, the Charger Super Bee, and the Challenger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger. Those latter trims are basically appearance-package cars limited to 1,000 units each, but we have a hunch that number seven will boast some veritable mechanical improvements and a much more limited production run.

Besides the seven specials, we’ll note that even base 2023-model-year Challengers and Chargers will get a special “Last Call” plaque under the hood, what with this being the end of the nameplates and all.


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