A 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE with an unusual history has been auctioned for an unusually large amount of money.
The car was originally owned by Detroit street racer Godfrey "Dennis" Qualls, who definitely shouldn't have been taking part in the illegal activity.
Qualls was a motorcycle police officer in the city and raced incognito.
He purchased the muscle car in 1969 for $5,272 specifically to race, ordering it with a pistol grip shifter for its four-speed manual transmission and a 426 four-barrel Hemi V8. It is one of just 23 cars that were built in the configuration that year
Street legend has it that he would show up at the illicit events every couple of months, often win, then drive off without mingling with the other drivers. The car became known as the "Black Ghost" and mysteriously disappeared for good in the late 1970s.
Qualls stopped racing and put the car away in the garage, where it stayed for decades until his death in 2015. His son Gregory inherited it and soon learned of the legendary status it still held around town.
"I’d know dad was taking the car out, because starting it shook the house," he told the Detroit Free Press, not knowing what he was up to. Gregory returned it to running condition but didn't restore it, and started bringing it to car shows.
In 2020, the Black Ghost was added to the National Historic Vehicle Register of noteworthy automobiles, which is maintained by Hagerty in collaboration with the Library of Congress, and displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Dodge launched a limited edition of the current Challenger for 2023 that pays homage to the car with black paint, a white stripe around the tail and wrap on the roof modeled after Black Ghost's alligator skin-pattern vinyl top.
In January, Gregory decided to part ways with the valuable vehicle and announced that he was putting it up for auction at the Mecum Auctions Indianapolis event, where it crossed the block on Friday, May 19, and sold for $1,072,500, easily the highest price ever paid for the model.
Ryan Snyder, a collector from Bradenton, Fla., was the buyer and said that one of the reasons he bought it was to continue sharing it with fans at shows rather than seeing it get hid away in a collection.
"The story just really resonated with me and I love how the car community got behind it," Snyder told Fox News Digital.
Snyder plans to give it a deep cleaning, but not restore it, and said that Gregory and his family are welcome to come see it anytime they want.
"At the end of the day, it's his dad's car, I'm just the new caretaker," Snyder said.