2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition

The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition is a proper homage to the legend that inspired it, and a proper finale to the muscle car era.

2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost
13 mpg on Main Street, 21 mpg on the interstate, $50 at the pump per half-tank of Premium. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

It’s the End of the Line for This Old School Muscle Car

Nearly 20 years ago, Dodge brought its legends back to life: the Charger and the Challenger. Unlike the Chargers of the muscle car era, this Charger has been a four-door family sedan with various engines powering the rear wheels or, if so equipped, all four (yes, this sedan has AWD for capability in snow!). Meanwhile, the current Challenger was its two-door retro-modern companion, its early Seventies’ styling cues reforged for a new millennium. Little did anyone know that these models would kickstart Dodge’s latest incarnation as a high-performance, all-muscle brand, where the horsepower increased to ludicrous levels the old guard could only dream of.

Nearly 20 years later, the madness ends. The push for electrification from not only within Stellantis but from various governments around the world is ringing the bell on gas- and diesel-fueled machines, including the high-performance beasts Dodge continues to build to this day. Dodge already has an electric car ready to carry the torch into the next era of performance, but not much is known about what else will.

Either way, Dodge is giving the Challenger, the Charger, and the muscle car era a final, proper send-off with seven Last Call Edition models. Each represents a piece of Dodge’s place in muscle car history and each is a collector’s item, numbered, named and built in limited production. The next to last to be introduced, 6th of the 7, is the 2023 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Redeye Black Ghost Last Call Edition, which I’ll just refer to as the Black Ghost. It may not draw too many glances at first, but considering what this machine pays tribute to, that’s part of the charm.

Related: The Last of the Great Muscle Cars: Dodge Challenger Shakedown Edition 

The Black Ghost May Seem Like Any Other Challenger On First Glance, But That_S One Of Its Charms - Cameron Aubernon

The Black Ghost may seem like any other Dodge Challenger at first glance, but that’s one of its charms. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

Here and Gone Like a Thief in the Night

The Black Ghost takes its name from one given to a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE purchased by one Godfrey Qualls, a Detroit motorcycle cop who once served in the United States Army as a paratrooper. The Challenger was special-ordered and purchased new in 1969, equipped with the R/T SE package that was available that year only and which placed the SE’s black vinyl roof – in this case, an alligator print roof – on the R/T body. Under the long black hood lay a 426 cubic-inch Hemi V8 with a four-barrel carburetor, linked to the rear Goodyear Polyglas tires via a four-speed manual transmission.

Only 23 1970 Challenger R/T SEs with the Hemi V8s and a four-speed manual were built, and the only one had a the alligator print vinyl roof. Godfrey’s Black Ghost got its name from stories told of a triple-black Challenger that would turn up on the streets of Detroit in the din of the night to take on all-comers, then vanish for weeks, if not months, at a time before turning up once more to haunt the competition. Godfrey retired the Challenger from the streets in 1976, tucking the legend inside his garage with 45,000 miles on the odometer until his passing in 2015. Before he died, he passed the Black Ghost to his son, Gregory, who then brought the legend out into the light in 2016.

Since then, the original Black Ghost was entered into the Historic Vehicle Association Register as the 28th vehicle in the registry, displayed at the National Mall in Washington, DC, and sold at Mecum Auctions’ Indy 2023 extravaganza for $1,072,500. It was also accompanied at the same auction by the first of 300 Black Ghost Last Call Edition models that will ever be made, which sold for a more reasonable $170,500 with 13 delivery miles on the odometer.

Related: Should I Own My Dad’s Cherished Vintage Porsche 911?

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition - 6227807 Thunderhorses Cameron Aubernon

6.2 + 2.7 = 807 thunderhorses. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

Who This Car Is For

No one needs 807 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. In fact, there are only a few opportunities even to use all of that power (and they’re all at your local drag strip). So, who is the Black Ghost for, then?

  • Buyers who have Mecum Auctions/Barrett-Jackson/RM Sotheby’s/Bring a Trailer in their browser bookmarks
  • Fans of old-school muscle, especially Mopar-style muscle
  • Collectors who want a piece of history in their climate-controlled storage facility
  • Drivers in the Sun Belt with race gas in their veins (and a bank account to pay for the
    Black Ghost’s needs)
  • Drivers throughout the United States looking for the ultimate weekend toy
    Dodge Challenger Black Ghost

    No alligators were harmed in making this roof. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

This Dodge Challenger Comes On Like a Hurricane

Based on the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Redeye, there is only one engine under the
twin hood intakes of the Black Ghost: a 6.2-liter high-output Hemi V8 with a 2.7-liter
supercharger bolted on top of it.

With a few tweaks to the Hemi’s computer, the V8 puts out 807 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, all going through the rear pair of 20-inch Satin Carbon Warp Speed wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zeros via an eight-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode, so you can use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel to shift your own. The twin hood intakes are not for show, either, feeding cooler air into the behemoth underneath.

The package surrounding the monster V8 stirs the soul like few others. Like the original, the modern Black Ghost is a nearly all-black affair, with a black gator skin graphic on the roof, a white stripe on the back, and retro-modern badging on the hood, grille, spoiler, and front fenders. There’s even a chrome gas cap for extra retro flair and a pair of hood pins to keep the hood from flying off during a run down the quarter-mile.

The widebody fender flares and low stance give the Black Ghost a daunting presence few can ignore, especially when they realize just which Challenger model this is. The only things missing are the decals bearing the red, green, and black colors of the Pan-African flag, placed on the original Black Ghost by Godfrey as one of the few modifications he made.

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition - The Black Ghost S Command Center Full Of Knobs Buttons. And Access To Excitement Cameron Aubernon

The Black Ghost’s command center is full of knobs, buttons, and access to excitement. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

Disappearing Into the Heart of the Black Ghost

Behind the mammoth supercharged Hemi V8 is a view few will experience. There’s nothing like seeing the pair of hood air intakes before you and the front passenger stretch out into the blacktop, the hood pins floating along in the breeze.

For you and your four lucky passengers, the Black Ghost comes with black Alcantara and Laguna leather seating with white stitching, including a pair of front buckets with the SRT Hellcat logo stitched into the seat just below the headrests.

The steering wheel, too, is covered in Alcantara for maximum luxury on those passes down the quarter-mile. The rest of the interior is blacker than black, times infinity, accented with carbon fiber trim on the dash and center console. Finally, in case no one knows what sort of Challenger this is, the front passenger air vent on the dashboard has the Black Ghost name stamped into it.

Dodge Chllenger Black Ghost

Yep, it’s got a Hem… erm, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

No Unnecessary Subscriptions in this Dodge Challenger

Worried about the trend toward subscriptions for features like navigation and increased horsepower? You won’t need to think about such silliness with the Black Ghost. UConnect 4C NAV is ready to guide you to your favorite restaurants and drag strips either on its own or through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Your favorite SiriusXM stations will sound great over the V8 through the Harman-Kardon 18-speaker sound system with subwoofer and 825-watt amplifier. And if you’d rather simply listen to exhaust notes, the UConnect system also includes controls for the SRT Drive Modes and the SRT Performance Pages app for destroying those Pirellis and the competition.

As far as cruising down the highway goes, you do have cruise control, but you will be the one adapting to traffic, not the Black Ghost. Then again, this is a machine that commands your respect and attention at all times. Luckily, this throwback has modern conveniences like a rear backup camera, blind-spot monitoring (necessary since the thick B-pillars are a big blind spot),rear cross-path detection, and automatic high beams.

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition - 13 Mpg On Main Street 21 Mpg On The Interstate 50 At The Pump Per Half Tank Of Premium Cameron Aubernon 1

13 mpg on Main Street, 21 mpg on the interstate, $50 at the pump per half-tank of Premium. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

Practical Defiance in the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost

If you didn’t already know, I come from the enthusiast side of motoring. You’d think I’d be enamored by not only a high-performance Challenger but a special one like the Black Ghost, right? It’s got a Hemi! With a supercharger! More horsepower than I’d ever need, ready to leave everyone everywhere behind, all struggling to catch me! And you’d be right. At first.

Like everyone else who gazed upon the Black Ghost (and especially once they realized it was the Black Ghost), I loved seeing the painted aluminum wheels, the functional hood intakes, the hood pins holding everything down, the white stripe in the back, the faux gator skin roof. The sound of the big supercharged V8 was glorious to behold, especially when the supercharger whined while I pushed down the accelerator.

More than a few people noted how tough the whole package was, all in a good way. And then, it was time to live with the Black Ghost. It is not for the faint of heart or the depleted of pocketbook. Let’s start with the fact that this Challenger needs premium gas, period. You’re not giving the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 regular fuel because lower octane fuels will damage the engine over time (and no one’s gonna want to buy a damaged Black Ghost at Mecum. I think).

Thus, it will be your bank account taking the damage at the pump, especially if you road-trip it like I did between my Old Dominion home in Virginia and Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the Holley MoParty, where you will go through a tank of premium halfway through the journey.

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition - Getting The Black Ghost Ready At The Car Wash For Its Trip To The 2023 Holley Moparty Cameron Aubernon

Getting the Black Ghost ready at the car wash for its trip to the 2023 Holley MoParty. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

Never Meet Your Heroes

Then, there’s the sound. This is an experience best experienced in small doses. Why? Because there are two sets of exhaust tips: the rear pair pointed at the drivers behind you, and another pair pointed downward to the road underneath the rear passenger footwells. A quiet Sunday drive the Black Ghost refuses to deliver. It sounds like driving a NASCAR Cup car if said car had sound deadening and a full interior (the exhaust exits behind the driver on either side, too). You may wish to invest in the sort of earmuffs used at NHRA events to protect your hearing in order to muffle the drone.

Finally, for the driver (me, in this case), it’s not a comfortable space to be in for too long. My right knee was not happy with me after the end of each leg of the trip between Virginia and Kentucky. One of my friends noted that this is the case with every Dodge Challenger trim level, mainly because of how cramped things are for the driver as far as the footwell goes. My mom, on the other hand, said her seat was more comfortable than the one in the car I reviewed after the Black Ghost (a 2023 Nissan Versa SR, if you’re curious). And though the Challenger is bigger than either the Mustang or Camaro, if you want proper legroom, it’s still best to go after a Charger; you also get two more doors for ease of entry for all.

In short, I met one of my heroes, and it was not all it was cracked up to be. The Black Ghost is for the young in spirit who wish to live in the dreamworld of V8s roaring down two-lane blacktops and dark desert highways with the stars sparkling in the sky. I’ll stick with vehicles with enough comfort, reliability, and horsepower to safely navigate I-81 to and from the airport (and take Mom to work in the early morning hours).

Related: 7 Sexy Sportscars to Fulfill Your Need for Speed

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition - All Last Call Editions Receive A Special Plaque Denoting Where They Were Designed And Assembled Cameron Aubernon

All Last Call Editions receive a special plaque denoting where they were designed and assembled. Photo: Cameron Aubernon.jpg

What The Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Costs

The Black Ghost is one of a handful of Last Call Editions, a group of seven Dodge Challengers and Chargers paying tribute to the old ways before electrification silences the roar of V8s forever. This one, based on the SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, is the final step in power before the most powerful Dodge Challenger ever unleashed, the 1,025-horsepower Demon 170. It’s also a fine tribute to the original Black Ghost and its history of haunting the streets of Detroit (and, its million dollar auction price). Thus, it’s a lofty price for the right to own this piece of modern old-school muscle.

  • The Black Ghost, supercharged V8 and all, as-tested, comes out to $99,635
  • The least expensive Last Call Edition, the Shakedown, packs a 485-horsepower 6.4-liter
  • Hemi V8, and starts at $63,590 for the narrowbody, $67,490 for the widebody
  • The most brutal Charger of the Last Call lineup, the King Daytona, has the same
    supercharged V8 as the Black Ghost and starts at $98,420
  • The most expensive and most unhinged Last Call of them all, the Demon 170, starts at
  • A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Last Call Edition - We Will Never See The Likes Of This Or Any Other Challenger Or Charger Again Cameron Aubernon

    We will never see the likes of this or any other Dodge Challenger or Charger again. Photo: Cameron Aubernon

This is the End, Beautiful Friend

On December 31, 2023, a legacy of power draws to a close. Nearly 20 years of quarter-mile domination, nearly 20 years of waking up the neighbors with a rebel yell, nearly 20 years of old-school muscle modernized for a tougher era … vanished in a thick cloud of tire smoke. We will never see or hear the likes of these beasts again, and as of this writing, the only sign of a replacement is an electric muscle car concept called the Charger Daytona.

If you’re looking for an investment to flip on the auction circuit quickly, or to hold on to until selling it later, the Black Ghost and its Last Call siblings are the Mopars to drop your money into. If you’re seeking an experience few will have, the Black Ghost and the Last Call lineup are for you.

Otherwise, the Black Ghost and the rest of the Last Call models are best witnessed through the lens of history, far away from most people’s bank accounts and driveways. They are a special breed for a special driver.

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Cameron Aubernon started her journey over a decade ago as an independent fashion blogger. Yet, they knew a bit... More about Cameron Aubernon