Long Hidden 426 Hemi Challenger RT/SE To Appear at MCACN
Many of you know I have lived in the Detroit area all my life. Well, back in
the late 70’s I was known to frequent the local street racing scene. I would
often hear stories of a certain black on black Hemi Challenger that was
owned by a Detroit Police officer. This car was known to be among the
fastest street cars on Gratiot...one to avoid unless you were willing to be
beat! Years would pass and the stories would continue about this elusive
black Mopar that must have only come out at night...
Fast forward to a few years ago; a friend who happens to be an appraiser
called me to ask for assistance with a certain Hemi Mopar he was about to
check out. This car had been packed away in a Detroit garage for over 30
years ago. The owner, a Detroit motorcycle cop and decorated veteran who had
the incredible foresight to order up what is likely a one-off car, had
passed and his son inherited the family jewel. The car? a black on black 426
Hemi Challenger RT/SE! He described the elusive car exactly as I had been
hearing; 426 Hemi, 4-speed and lots of options. Could this be the same car?
For reasons unknown, the car would again be elusive and when I asked my
friend, he said he’d let me know when the owner was ready to have us look at
it. Then a call came from another friend just a few months ago, who happens
to be a long time Mopar aficionado that is one of those guys that is always
coming up with great cars and really knows his stuff. When he told me about
the car and mentioned that he had actually wrenched on it for the original
owner back in the 70’s, I knew it had to be the car. And that led to my
meeting with the family that are the caretakers of this incredible bit of
Mopar Muscle Car history.
Mr. & Mrs. Qualls with Detroit
Police Chief James Craig
Last week I had the honor of being a part of the first public showing of
this car. Darryl and Katie of Karrs Automotive played host to a really fun
show held at Executive Towing headquarters in Detroit. This was the place
where the car was shown for the very first time after the long term storage.
So what is it? Well sit down for this! It is a totally unrestored original
1970 426 Hemi, 4-speed RT/SE Challenger with a mere 45,570 miles on the
odometer. It may be the only black Hemi RT/SE with a Gator Grain top. The
option list continues with the Super Track Pak with 4:10 gears, rim-blow
wheel, remote racing mirrors, rallye dash, 15 x 7 steel wheels, a wide
variety of trim options, the light package, rear defroster, center console,
power steering and much more. Forgoing the wild colors of the era, this car
is somewhat of a sleeper in stealthy black with a white bumblebee stripe.
With all of these options, you may ask, why no Shaker hood? Well that is a
whole other story...and we plan to tell it. Yes, the owner ordered this car
with the N96 Shaker hood and no, it came in without it, and he was not
happy. In fact, he was so mad he actually sued the Chrysler Corporation!
I am pleased to announce this car will be featured at the Muscle Car and
Corvette Nationals show, November 18-19. You are going to find it in our
Shaker Hood Invitational display, Sponsored by The
Wellborn Muscle Car
Museum. Why will it be in that display? Guess you need to join us, meet the
owners and find out! Once again, this is reason alone to join us...and
believe me when I say we have plenty of other reasons to make this years
show another must do.
Special thanks go out to Greg and his family for allowing me to be a part of
another chapter in Muscle Car history. Once again we show that it isn’t just
about the cars, but most importantly about the people and the stories. Make
a point of checking out this incredible machine at the show, meet Greg and
his family along with Darryl and Katie and hear the whole story. The history
and documentation for this car is truly incredible and Greg and his family
will be showing it with us in honor of his Father. We would also like to
thank Darryl and Katie for their hospitality and commitment to sharing the
passion and the history, not only with this car but for our hobby.
This week we are
heading to the
Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, July 14-16.
This is an absolute must do event with a huge car show, car
corral and swap meet, along with great food and a whole lot more. The
Carlisle team do a truly outstanding job and they are gearing up to host
several thousand Mopars of all generations. We are also excited about the
Mopar Collectors Guide Hall of Fame celebration
Saturday night. And as if that isn’t
enough, this year the Carlisle team is adding the Hurst Nationals
event. This is basically an additional show going on all weekend, and an
actual stand alone event for all Hurst vehicles, including AMC’s,
Oldsmobiles and anything else that has the Hurst touch. Expect to see more
Hurst cars, new and old, than you have seen in a long time! For full
information on these events,
Hope to see you this weekend
and remember to say THANKS to the Carlisle crew, as they are an
Official Sponsor for the MCACN show!
The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is the world’s largest all indoor
specialty show devoted to Muscle Cars, Dealer-built Supercars and the finest
and rarest Corvettes. We will again fill nearly 400,000 square feet of the
beautiful Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, (suburban
Chicago), Illinois. The show will feature over 500 of the coolest examples
of Detroit Muscle, many from private collections rarely if ever shown to the
public along with a variety of the best automotive (only) related vendors
and restorers. We are “The Center of the Muscle Car Universe” according to
Muscle Car Review magazine! Please plan on joining us Saturday, November 18,
from 9 am – 9 pm, and Sunday, November 19, from 9 am – 5 pm. Great rates are
available now at our
FIVE Official Host Hotels, all conveniently
located and offering special rates and extra perks for our spectators and
Bill Stasek Chevrolet.
Looking forward to seeing you!