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The mysterious 1970 Dodge Challenger 'Black Ghost' is up for auction and worth a fortune
Street racer is a historic muscle car.
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Dodge Charger Daytona SRT coming in 2024
A once-mythical muscle car will be crossing the auction block soon.
The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE was owned by Detroit police officer and decorated U.S. Army veteran Godfrey "Dennis" Qualls, who used it for illegal street racing on the famed Woodward and Telegraph Avenues.
Qualls kept a low profile because of his profession and didn't mingle much with the other racers.
He'd just show up every once in a while, usually win, and then drive off into the night in the 426 Hemi V8-powered coupe with its gator skin-patterned vinyl top and pistol grip shifter.
HERE'S WHEN THE LAST V8 DODGE MUSCLE CAR WILL BE REVEALED
The Black Ghost will be sold at the Mecum Auctions Indianapolis event. (Mecum Auctions)
It became known as the "Black Ghost," but after a few years Qualls disappeared from the scene and faded into Motown lore, keeping his exploits close to the vest, and the car hidden away.
The Black Ghost was hidden in a garage for decades. (Mecum Auctions)
That was until 2014, when he let his son Gregory in on the story about the car in the garage that he used to ride in as a little boy. A year later, Dennis died from prostate cancer, leaving the Black Ghost to Gregory, who got it fixed up with a few friends and revealed it to the world again. It was considered so significant that when the news got out, it was added to the National Historic Vehicle Registry kept at the Library of Congress in 2020 and displayed on the National Mall.
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This year, Dodge is even building 300 special-edition versions of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye that pay tribute to the Black Ghost, all powered by the brand's 807 hp supercharged V8 and priced around $100,000. But if you don't mind spending a little bit more, you can buy the real one instead.
Dodge is selling a Black Ghost special edition of the 2023 Dodge Challenger. (Hagerty Drivers Foundation/Dodge)
This May, Gregory is sending the Black Ghost across the auction block at the Mecum Auctions event in Indianapolis on Friday, May 19, where it is expected to sell for an astonishing amount.
The Black Ghost is likely worth over $1 million. (Mecum Auctions)
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the value is well into seven figures," Mecum Auctions vice president of consignments Frank Mecum told Fox News Digital .
Geoffrey Qualls (shown with his family) only learned about the car's history in recent years. (Mecum Auctions)
Even without its history, the car that Qualls paid $5,272 for is one of just 23 Challenger R/T SEs built that year with the Hemi and 4-speed manual transmission, with high-quality survivors worth hundreds of thousands today.
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But those are just cars. The Black Ghost is a legend.
Gary Gastelu is Fox News Digital's automotive editor.
Still car-crazy after all these years
Gray Ghost GTO Funny Car: Extreme Altered Wheelbase
There is always someone who believes if something is good, then more of the same thing has to be better. That applies to Larry Swiatek and the Gray Ghost GTO; you won't find many cars with a more extreme altered wheelbase.
Pictured in front of the old Detroit Dragway tower, you’ll notice the wheelbase doesn’t exactly conform to that of a stock “66 GTO.
When Dick Branstner and Roger Lindamood kicked off the A/FX altered wheelbase trend, their calculations indicated that moving the rear wheels forward fifteen inches and the front wheels ten inches would achieve sufficient weight transfer to handle any stock wheelbase competitor.
While those in the know could spot an altered wheelbase Cornet or Fury at first glance, the modifications were subtle enough that many people were confused when they saw the cars. They knew there was something “funny” about the Chrysler A/FX cars, but they weren’t exactly sure what. There is so subtlety with the Gray Ghost. I’m not sure how far they moved the rear axle forward, but the back tires are almost in the middle of the car. Look at that rear overhang. You could comfortably house a family of four behind the rear differential. The trunk looks long enough to haul 4×8 sheets of plywood in.
It wouldn’t take much to lift the wheels on this car. I guess they had to be careful moving the car around in the shop; push on the rear bumper and the front wheels head for the sky. A fly landing on the car would probably be enough to change the car’s center of balance.
The Gray Ghost was another UDRA circuit car out of the Chicago area. I believe the powerplant was a Pontiac 421 V-8. It was most likely an injected car, although something this radical cries out for nitro and a blower.
Interestingly, I have found a number of online references to Larry Swiatek and the “Grey Ghost.” I can’t say anything about Swiatek’s other Pontiac Funny Cars, but the ’66 GTO was spelled GRAY Ghost.
Despite the extreme chassis modifications, the car apparently went straight. Swiatek ran the car for a season or so, then moved to a flopper version of the Gray Ghost. The AWB match-basher was sold to another racer. The car was eventually demoted from funny car to bracket racer, and reportedly ended up in the north-eastern United States. If the car was squirrely, it probably would have ended up in the guard rail in short order.
According to stories I’ve heard, the extreme Pontiac still exists, although it is in need of a full restoration. Reportedly, that restoration may happen, returning the car to 1967 specs.
So now you understand why they call ’em funny cars!
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4 thoughts on “ Gray Ghost GTO Funny Car: Extreme Altered Wheelbase ”
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Henry Brown ran this car in ’68 on the UDRA circuit, car was called The Assassin. And yes, car still exists !
Yes sir it was the Assasin after Gray. I owned this car for a short while and it is now in the hands of someone who may restore it.
What happened to original grey ghost 63 Pontiac hardtop. Used to run at us30
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"Au revoir to the rest... The Gray Ghost is the best!" - The Gray Ghost
The Grey Ghost or Gray Ghost is a racing driver of French nationality that appears in the movie . Driving for the "Écran Etablissement" team, a French sponsor that according to events on the movie is not in partnership with any other team, running as an independent, the Gray Ghost believes in fair winning and honesty although most of the times he does not show it when racing. His nickname has its origins in his famous racing maneuver which consisted in slipping in and out in a sideways manner from an enemy´s rear position, this making the driver become unsure if he was in the left or right sides and wreaking confusion. His method of racing comprises his classical maneuver and also makes use of the awesome maneuvers that the T-180 vehicles have, combining it with him shouting challenging phrases and wise sayings while he battles his enemies. Although he is not seen in the classic anime series, Gray Ghost appears in the film.
- 1 Fuji Helexicon Race
- 2 Cosmopolis Grand Prix
- 4 Speed Racer: The Videogame
- 5 Quotes (Videogame)
- 7 References:
Fuji Helexicon Race [ ]
"Show me what you´ve got kid! SHOW me what you´ve got!"
-The Gray Ghost , while battling Speed Racer
The Gray Ghost is seen racing in this famous tropical course with skilled driving and holding the first place until Speed Racer engages him in a struggle full of twists and shunts in a segment of the raceway only to leave Speed Racer behind and exposed to the Three Roses Team illegal maneuver, ending in a fiery crash. Apparently Gray Ghost wins the race, but there is no proof of this, as the story continues without leaving a concrete ending to the race.
Grey Ghost at Fuji
Cosmopolis Grand Prix [ ]
"Here we go again"
- The Gray Ghost on the final lap of the WRL Grand Prix
The last appearance of him is at the Grand Prix celebrated at the Colosseum of Cosmopolis City. Here, although the race was fixed and the finishing positions were already established, he again shows his skilled driving and can be seen in a few shots in the race. at the final part of the movie where in the last lap Speed fights him and Musha Motors at the same time. After having an easy path to the first places, the Ghost finally faces Speed Racer in the last run for the finish line in the Grand Prix. While spinning and shunting, Speed gets to defeat him by jamming his jump jacks in the Gray Ghost´s front part of his chassis, spinning with the inertia of his own speed and sending him in an fiery barrel roll ending in the car´s explosion. After this incident, he survives thanks to the kwik-save device.
Gray Ghost, moments before getting into his car
The Car [ ]
The Gray Ghost drives a car with unique characteristics, the Fumeé . The car´s racing number is 23 but the three is substituted by a reversed E representing Écran Établissement (E2 for short), the team he is driving for. The stressed-skin brushed metal paintjob and deco of the car is a black background with gray and blue colored smoke trails that covers the entire chassis and sporting in the car´s sides and rear wing the French sponsor over a titanium alloy body. Some sources (this is actually in debate) indicate that the unique illegal mod that his T-180 has is a cloaking device that renders the car completely invisible, but judging by the respectful and honest attitude of the driver and his ideal of winning fair and square, this may be impossible, and still has to be proven. Added to that, the paintjob was also described in the Supercharged featurette as keeping vehicle camouflaged until its driver passes his opponents by. The vehicle's powerplant is a pulse detonation engine (PDE) powering a 26-cylinder Karasugoi hotblock, complimented by the world's first negative displacement undercharger, which turns oxygen into "liquid fire". For the joint system in its wheelbase, the Fumeé also boasts Ellief twice-folded Amber Axles with fibertronic cyberg bearings.
The car shares the chassis model with the Masurai and the Autobacs racing teams.
Fumeé at the Fuji
Car views compared to human scale
Speed Racer: The Videogame [ ]
Among the whole group of racers, the Gray Ghost car has average attributes regarding Power and Speed, but overall is the car with the highest acceleration and handling in the game. The character is known among the other ones by his wise phrases and elegant tone of voice. When a championship is played, Ghost´s main ally by default is Racer X and his rival is Snake Oiler .
Quotes (Videogame) [ ]
Here are some of the character´s quotes:
- " I´m here, I´m there... I´m Savoir-Faire "
- " Looks like we have a real race here! "
- " Ha ha! Oui Oui! "("Yes yes!" translated to English)
- " Oh snap! "
- " Here I come kid! Watch out! "
- " Show me what you´ve got! Woohooo! "
- " Time to go back to the front "
- " Perhaps an alliance could help us both. " (When accepted his alliance proposal)
- " A ghost works alone " (Refusing an alliance)
- " Ha ha!! That Spooked you! "
- " Oui!! I won!! "
- " Ha ha!! Very good choice. "
- " I´m quick, I´m hard... I´m Avant-Garde! "
- " This is a mistake you'll have nightmares about. " (When alliance is broken up)
- The Grey Ghost was portrayed by German actor Moritz Bleibtreu
- His character was intended to play a more important role in the film, but his parts were eliminated.
- He is shown wearing two different types of racing suits; one completely black (video game and LEGO set) and one with a metallic appearance (film).
- His voice changes pretty much in the video game, sounding like a more experienced, veteran driver.
- His car was featured in the Hot Wheels 2008 Speed Racer Car Collection, curiously the overall length of the original vehicle in the film is reduced becoming a funnier compact car.
- His helmet in the film bares a strong resemblance to a military style helmet, but in the game and LEGO set his helmet has more a race car driver look.
- The film shows a rather young Ghost with a little moustache, while in the game and LEGO set his face is without facial hair and seems more aged.
- His actions during the movie make him look like a furious and aggressive racer, but behind that personality is a man that seeks to win with honor and honesty.
- The Fumée's name is a French word meaning "smoke".
- The Karasugoi is a species of koi fish distinguished by a solid black coloration.
References: [ ]
- "Speed Racer" (2008 Film by the Wachowski Brothers) Warner Brothers Pictures
- "Speed Racer: The Videogame" (2008)
- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001953/ Moritz Bleibtreu Profile at IMDb
- 2 Speed Racer (1967 character)
Gray Ghost Car: The legend of the ‘Gray Ghost’ US muscle car
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The Gray Ghost Car is a mythical car that has sparked considerable interest and speculation throughout the years. The Gray Ghost Car, with its sleek and discreet form, has been employed for a number of reasons spanning from law enforcement to pop culture.
Despite its recent relative obscurity, the Gray Ghost car is a significant piece of automotive history that continues to attract the imagination of car aficionados and casual viewers alike. In this essay, we will look at the Gray Ghost Car’s history, significance, and cultural effect, throwing light on this legendary car and its ongoing legacy.
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Table of Contents
Origin of the Gray Ghost Car
In the 1980s, the Gray Ghost Car was created as a high-performance chase vehicle for police enforcement forces. It was meant to be both swift and stealthy, blending in with traffic while yet catching up to and apprehending fleeing fenders. The Gray Ghost car was designed by car makers and adapted by police enforcement organizations, with each adding their own distinct features and alterations.
The Gray Ghost Car was difficult to notice from a distance due to its sleek, all-black appearance with faint gray highlights and sparse badging. The vehicle was often outfitted with a strong engine as well as a number of performance-enhancing equipment such as heavy-duty brakes and suspension, high-performance tires, and enhanced cooling and electrical systems.
The Gray Ghost Car was created in response to a growing need for high-performance pursuit vehicles capable of keeping up with criminals’ more powerful and fast cars. Law enforcement organizations were able to boost their odds of successfully apprehending dangerous criminals and keeping communities safe by inventing a vehicle that could blend in with traffic while yet catching up to fleeing suspects.
Overall, the Gray Ghost Car was a novel and successful answer to the challenge of high-speed chases, and it has since become an iconic emblem of police enforcement ingenuity and creativity.
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Gray Ghost Car in Law Enforcement
The Gray Ghost Car has been extensively employed by law enforcement agencies around the United States and the world. Its ability to blend in with traffic and catch up to fleeing suspects has made it an essential weapon for law enforcement agents, who can use the vehicle to pursue criminals securely and effectively.
One of the key advantages of the Gray Ghost Car is its quiet look. Unlike standard police cruisers, which are usually brightly colored and emblazoned with emblems, the Gray Ghost Car is intended to blend in with traffic and not bring notice to itself. This enables police to approach criminals more quietly, increasing their chances of catching them off guard.
The Gray Ghost Car’s speed and performance are also advantages. The vehicle is usually outfitted with a strong engine and a variety of performance-enhancing gadgets, making it ideal for high-speed pursuits. This allows authorities to rapidly track down and detain fleeing offenders while also reducing the danger of accidents or injuries.
In law enforcement, there have been several success stories involving the Gray Ghost Car. In 1995, for example, the California Highway Patrol employed a Gray Ghost Car to catch a suspect involved in a high-speed chase. Despite going at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, the vehicle was able to keep up with the suspect’s automobile.
Overall, the Gray Ghost Car has shown to be a useful and important tool for law enforcement organizations, assisting in the protection of communities and the capture of dangerous offenders. Its sleek and quiet look, along with its speed and performance, has made it a standard in police enforcement fleets worldwide.
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Gray Ghost Car in Pop Culture
The Gray Ghost Car has also had a huge effect on pop culture, having appeared in a number of films, television series, and other kinds of media. Because of its sleek and discreet form, as well as its connection with law enforcement and high-speed pursuits, it has become a popular emblem of power and authority.
In the film “The French Connection” (1971), the Gray Ghost Car was deployed by the New York City Police Department to chase a drug kingpin. The car’s high-speed pursuit sequence has since become one of film history’s most memorable, helping to cement the Gray Ghost Car’s place in popular culture.
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The Gray Ghost Car has also appeared in a variety of television series, including “Knight Rider,” “Miami Vice,” and “The X-Files.” The Gray Ghost Car is shown as a strong and authoritative vehicle capable of apprehending even the most elusive criminals in each of these series.
In addition to its appearances in films and television shows, the Gray Ghost Car has become a prominent emblem of power and authority in its own right. It’s frequently seen on souvenirs and memorabilia including t-shirts, posters, and die-cast models. Gray Ghost Cars are also commonly sought for and restored by car enthusiasts, adding to their mystery and cultural relevance.
Overall, the Gray Ghost Car has had a considerable cultural influence, serving as both a symbol of law enforcement authority and a stylish and powerful vehicle in its own right. Its link with fast cars and the pursuit of justice has served to solidify its place in popular culture and automotive history.
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What is the gray ghost car.
The Gray Ghost Car is a type of law enforcement vehicle that is designed to blend in with traffic and catch up to fleeing suspects.
Why is it called the Gray Ghost Car?
The Gray Ghost Car gets its name from its gray hue and ability to blend in with traffic and remain unnoticed.
How is the Gray Ghost Car used in law enforcement?
Law enforcement organizations employ the Gray Ghost Car to chase fleeing suspects and catch dangerous offenders.
Has the Gray Ghost Car appeared in movies or TV shows?
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The Gray Ghost Car is a famous car that has influenced both law enforcement and popular culture. Its sleek and quiet appearance, along with its strong engine and performance-enhancing capabilities, has made it a crucial tool for law enforcement officials, helping in the capture of dangerous offenders and the safety of communities.
At the same time the Gray Ghost Car has become an iconic emblem of power and authority in popular culture, appearing in a number of films, television series, and other forms of media. Its link with high-speed pursuits and the pursuit of justice has contributed to its position in automotive history, captivating both vehicle fanatics and casual viewers.
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Overall, the Gray Ghost Car is a timeless and famous car that continues to captivate people all around the world. Its legacy as a symbol of power and authority, as well as its usefulness as a law enforcement instrument, making it a significant piece of automotive history that will be remembered and revered for future years.
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Ghost presents a world of boundless potential. Its purity liberates the imagination, inviting you to craft a motor car that is a complete original. There are no limits to what Ghost can become — all one has to do is imagine.
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Experience infinite bespoke expression with ghost..
Each Ghost is as unique as its owner — yours and yours alone. Infuse its pure canvas with dynamism and express your personality in every detail.
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The gray ghost rides again, next chapter >.
As Dino mentioned in his event intro post , the Speedhunters were out in force at Monterey Car Week this year. But while he and Louis embarked on a blistering tour of the Car Week festivities, I spent most of my time at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca drooling over vintage race cars and soaking up the atmosphere at the 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion.
I’ve got plenty of stories on the way from this year’s Reunion, but I want to start out with a look at one of my favorite cars of the event. It’s not a Ferrari or a Porsche, but a Pontiac – a 1964 Tempest to be exact.
If you are familiar with the history of the SCCA Trans-Am series, or the history of the muscle car itself, you may have heard of Herb Adams’ legendary Gray Ghost .
Herb was a well known engineer who worked for Pontiac during the glory days of the ’60s and ’70s, and is especially renowned for his work on the Firebird Trans Am. In 1970 he decided to turn his wife’s Tempest daily driver into an A-Sedan racer, and it found a lot of success. Things got even more serious in 1971 when they repainted the car silver and decided to campaign it against factory teams in the highly competitive SCCA Trans-Am series.
Running a Pontiac V8 that was de-stroked to 303 cubic inches to meet the series rules, the Tempest made its debut at Lime Rock with Bob Tullius behind the wheel. The team missed qualifying and started at the back of the field, but Tullius quickly made up ground, eventually winding up in second place behind Mark Donahue’s Penske Javelin. Late in the race the Pontiac blew a head gasket and was forced to retire, but the legend of the Gray Ghost was born.
Not only was this a much older and larger platform than the pony car competition, the Gray Ghost was built in a home garage and campaigned by a group of moonlighting Pontiac engineers in their spare time. It instantly became one of the more unique Trans-Am entries out there.
With its extra wide front tires, negative camber and softer springs, the Pontiac was especially competitive in the rain. Unfortunately, the experimental nature of the car led to several mechanical DNFs, but in the races it did complete, the Gray Ghost typically finished near the front of the pack, right there with the factory-backed teams.
After the ’71 season the car was sold, but it continued to be driven in A-Sedan competition and was last seen at a vintage race in 2000. In 2015 it was purchased by John Hildebrand and given a full restoration by Peterson Motorsports in Sonoma before making its debut at the Rolex Reunion.
Not only is the Gray Ghost a Pontiac legend and a true underdog, it was one of the most distinct race cars on track at Laguna Seca over the weekend.
It’s an important and welcome addition to the field of historic Trans-Am racers, and I’m very much looking forward to watching it race many more times to come.
Mike Garrett Instagram: japanifornia [email protected]
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Thanks for spotlighting this beast, the Trans Am race started shortly after I arrived on Saturday and it immediately grabbed my eyes and ears. Definitely one of the best sounding cars on that grid! It was a riot to watch something this big snake through Turn 4 in a 4 wheel drift, just amazing.
oooohhhhh I can't wait to see all of your coverage Mike super jealous! That first rolling shot is awesome---long, low and wide at its finest. What a superb time in racing! TA alley at 'Seca should be enjoyed by all
Now this , is an American car that I appreciate .
Take note: this is how fender flares are done!
Yup, and this reminds me how bad the bolt-on flares look. You can't say these fenders don't look great.
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Oh my god how brutal does it look *.* love it!
cool car, cool history, i like the look of it although it has some strange proportions seems like it needs about 3 feet taken out the boot.
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Very nice. Anyone else think it looks kind of like an XXL Hakosuka?
tommyzoom99 the boot is kinda cool. Very mafia kill car.
Great article! Herb Adams is one of my personal heroes. His biography makes me think of modern tech moguls. An innovator with zero regard for rules or corporate hierarchy. He did amazing and outrageous things in the 60's and 70's but would have flourished in today's economy that rewards disruptors. A rogue engineer who loved to upend the status quo... constantly. (Is that him in picture GTO-09?) On the other end of the spectrum was Bob Tullius. A brilliant driver/owner/gentleman. Somehow he turned racing into a business (instead of a cash bonfire) AND did it without coming off as a giant egomaniac. One of the great American drivers. The world needs more of both of these types of guys!
I'd take this over a Ferrari or Porsche or any of their ilk any day.
These trans am car spotlights are always gold! *scrolling craigslist for a tempest*
milkplus Gonna pick up that book right now!
tenpennyjimmy It does have that boxy look to it, and the silver paint also brings the Hakosuka to mind.
I remember seeing this car compete at the Trans Am race at Road America in 1971. Amazing car then and now. Thanks for the great article.
It did really well at the Reunion too. I was surprised to it see it hanging out near the front with the Boss 302s and such. Reminds me a lot of the green Dodge Challenger regarding its story. Very cool!
What a beauty
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I love this car!
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@Therese Lombardi Nice shot!
JoeKendall Thanks! Wish I could have been around to see it back then too!
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This car is my favorite Race Car! A little known rumor of a fact is that the car was first painted chartreuse. When Mr. Tullius saw it for the first time - he refused to drive the car. Can you imagine an obnoxious color like that on a car that large?! That and Chartreuse Ghost just doesn't sound right! History was made. Thanks for the feature.
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Herb Adams had wanted to paint the car chartreuse, because he thought it would stand out, and he happened to have a gallon of the color. He was overruled by the other team members. The colors chosen were in memory of the 1963 lightweight Pontiac Catalinas built for NHRA Super Stock drag racing, nicknamed the "Swiss Cheese" Catalinas because of the lightening holes. Less then 20 were made, and they were silver with blue interior.
Herb Adams had wanted to paint the car chartreuse because he had a gallon of the color and he thought it would stand out, but the team overruled him. The original color combination chosen was in memory of the 1963 lightweight Pontiacs, less than 20 of which were built on the production assembly line for NHRA Super Stock drag racing. They were known as the "Swiss Cheese" Catalinas because of the lightening holes, and all were silver with blue interior. A lot of attention was given to matching the original silver when the car was restored.
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So wonderful that this amazing platform is still representing Pontiac at these events.I regret shipping my silver '64 Le Mans off to Midland, Mich. In1978.That car had a 1970 RAIV balanced and blueprinted by King Speed Shop,Lansing IL.Factory internals were all forged pieces.In 1973 the only header manufacturer for this engine combo was JR headers also in Mich.Only reason there was a template for them was that Delorean and his chief engineer had them make a set for their '64 GTO.Being only the second set produced they were outrageous- $385.Never got to track the thing,but it was so well balanced that I used to power slide,(drift nowadays),the sharp cloverleafs at 75 MPH feeling in complete control.So its not surprising to me that Gray Ghost is such an awesome machine.Love your work Herb.Thanks Speed hunters for this wonderful performance site.
Wow, I didn't know you could earn $4593.69 spamming on this site...I did just that and not only did I earn the money but I also got a free 1962 Pontiac Tempest formerly owned by Sandi Adams. And this white haired old gent came in the trunk...said he'd pissed off his wife in 1963 and he'd been hiding there ever since.
I loved working on this car while it was being campaigned in SCCA GT-1 at Summit Point, WV. The owner was a local Pontiac Dealer named Louie Spoerl from Cumberland, MD. The highlight of my time with the car was taking a victory lap after it won for the final time.
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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E18 "Beware the Gray Ghost"
The episode begins with an episode of The Gray Ghost , a television series Bruce watched as a boy. In this particular episode ("The Mad Bomber ") a series of bombings rock the city, with a ransom of a million dollars demanded to prevent future attacks.
Cut to present day Gotham, where a series of bombings rock the city, with a ransom of a million dollars demanded to prevent future attacks. Batman realizes that the bombings are the same as the ones in The Gray Ghost , but since he cannot remember exactly how they happened (as he fell asleep before the episode was over), he begins to investigate what the connection is.
His attempts to locate the old episode fails, as he learns the studio behind it burned down in a fire that also destroyed the entire Gray Ghost archive. He instead tracks down the show's main actor, Simon Trent, who is now a broke recluse who cannot find work since the role typecast him for life. In fact, he's just had to sell off almost all his remaining Gray Ghost memorabilia to toy collector Ted Dymer just to pay the rent.
Batman buys the merchandise and returns it to Trent's apartment as a goodwill gesture, along with a note to meet. When Trent realizes it's the Dark Knight looking for him, he's understandably nervous, but agrees. No sooner do they meet than another bombing strikes Gotham, with Trent taking the opportunity to flee. Batman is not deterred, however, and waits for Trent at his apartment. Angry at being stalked, Trent threatens to call the police, but Batman believes Trent knows something about the bombings and convinces him to help. Trent reveals he has film reels of all of the old show episodes and reluctantly gives "The Mad Bomber" to Batman, before telling him to leave him alone.
Bruce watches the film Trent gave him, with fond memories of watching The Gray Ghost with his father. Watching the "Mad Bomber" episode, he discovers toy RC cars delivered the bombs, something Bruce finds unbelievable. Nonetheless, Batman calls Commissioner Gordon with the information, who positions police and SWAT outside Gotham Library, the next bomb target.
Sure enough, the toy cars appear. The first one is sniped. Batman takes out the second with a flamethrower, but the third escapes. Batman chases it down but finds it was only a decoy. More bomb-cars are sent after Batman, but someone drops a rope for him to escape: it's Simon Trent, dressed as the Gray Ghost. Batman shows him the toy car and asks for his help in investigating. Intrigued, Trent agrees.
Trent is taken to the Batcave, which leaves him in awe, as it is modeled after the Gray Ghost's lair. Batman had in fact used him as an influence, and shows Trent the memorabilia he has collected in a shrine. The computer picks up fingerprints on the toy car belonging to Simon Trent, but he denies being involved. Under interrogation he realizes that Ted Dymer, to whom he'd sold some of his toy cars earlier, must be the Mad Bomber.
Batman confronts the collector. He reveals he turned to crime to fund his toy collecting, and sets more bombs after Batman. Trent smashes through a window and knocks Dymer into a bookshelf, which causes the toy shop to catch fire and explode. Batman saves him, before he breaks down in front of Batman and Trent over losing his precious toys.
When the incident hits the papers, the Gray Ghost is hailed as a hero for assisting Batman in capturing the Mad Bomber. Trent is filled with new purpose at his revitalized image; he also hands over his film reels of The Gray Ghost to be published to video, restoring his income and career. At a later signing event, Bruce asks Trent for his autograph and hints that he is really Batman.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Supposedly, when he was done with the episode, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm handed Adam (instead of scale wage) a $25,000 check and the original Batman costume — which Paul bought for an "undisclosed sum" at an auction.
- Ascended Fanboy : As a kid Batman was a big Gray Ghost fan. He was strongly influenced by the show and the character when he created his Dark Knight persona, right down to modeling the Batcave after the Gray Ghost lair.
- Author Avatar : Ted Dymer is visually based on and voiced by series producer Bruce Timm . The video store clerk resembles Paul Dini , who was quite heavy at the time (it is said he was inspired to lose weight after seeing himself caricatured as such on Tiny Toon Adventures ).
- Badass Longcoat : The Gray Ghost costume includes a trench coat, along with goggles and a fedora .
- Becoming the Mask : Trent becomes the Gray Ghost for real near the end of the episode. Batman is thrilled.
- Beneath Suspicion : The Hidden Villain Mad Bomber is the young toy collector that bought Simon Trent's Gray Ghost memorabilia earlier in the episode. When Simon Trent had his "Eureka!" Moment , he cannot believe it: Simon Trent: But I'm not the Mad Bomber, Batman. I'm not! I sold my Gray Ghost cars months ago to pay for my... No, it can't be him.
- Rebuilt Pedestal : ...only to swing into action once Batmans words inspires him, donning the Gray Ghost costume for real, something he hadn't done even in his glory days. Ironically, he can almost keep up with Batman himself, despite the age difference. It almost re-breaks when all evidence seems to point towards Simon being the Mad Bomber until Simon's "Eureka!" Moment as to who the real Bomber is..
- �But I Play One on TV : An in-universe example: Simon Trent played a Batman-like superhero named the Gray Ghost in an immensely popular TV show which little Bruce was a big fan of. Decades later, Trent is now facing poverty partly because he cannot get any roles, because everyone still thinks of him as the Gray Ghost . Then Batman comes along on a case and ropes him in to assist him. Much to his own surprise, Trent makes a passable superhero (and more importantly, learns that the Big Badass Batman was primarily inspired by his portrayal of one). A fairly meta example, when you consider the actor voicing Trent is none other than Adam West .
- The Gray Ghost is inspired by The Shadow , who himself also inspired Batman.
- The Gray Ghost is also a Captain Ersatz of early DC pulp-hero the Crimson Avenger, who wore a Shadow-like costume. Unfortunately, Batman supplanted him a year or so after his debut. (The CA would later make a few appearances in Justice League Unlimited .)
- Cassandra Truth : Simon's agent Frankie tells him to hang in there as some work will turn up eventually. Turns out he's right, although not in a way either of them anticipated.
- Casting Gag : Simon Trent's character the Gray Ghost is based on Adam West 's role as the campy Batman from the '60s TV series .
- Cool Old Guy : Simon Trent, who in turn is voiced by real life Cool Old Guy Adam West .
- Composite Character : The Gray Ghost's entire concept is based on two heroes. The first is the 1966 version of Batman from being played by a washed up actor that is best known for one role, and from The Shadow that inspired the concept of Batman.
- Crack is Cheaper : An in-universe example—Ted Dymer turned to crime to finance his toy-collecting habit.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check : If the Mad Bomber developed the remote control technology used to direct the toy cars himself, he probably could have made a legal fortune selling it to a company like Wayne Enterprises or LexCorp and financed his toy collection that way.
- Darker and Edgier : In-Universe : Simon Trent/the Gray Ghost, who is not only less concerned with criminals' welfare than Batman, but is darker than Adam West 's portrayal of Batman.
- Deadly Remote Control Toy : A terrorist called 'The Mad Bomber' uses remote control cars to deliver explosive charges powerful enough to demolish buildings.
- Despair Event Horizon : Trent selling the actual Gray Ghost costume for a pittance, knowing it's the last time he'll be able to pay his rent at all. Of course, then Bruce Wayne steps in...
- The Dog Was the Mastermind : The Hidden Villain Mad Bomber is the young toy collector that bought Simon Trent's Gray Ghost memorabilia earlier in the episode. Simon Trent: What did you find? Batman: Fingerprints on the toy car. And they belong to you, Simon Trent! Simon Trent: That's not possible. Batman: Your prints are on this car. You had the only copy of the show. The Mad Bomber followed the show step by step. Simon Trent: But I'm not the Mad Bomber, Batman. I'm not. I sold my Gray Ghost cars months ago to pay for my... No, it can't be him.
- Early-Bird Cameo : The below Freeze-Frame Bonus takes place two episodes before Hagen makes his official debut in the series.
- Earn Your Happy Ending : For helping to stop the Mad Bomber, Trent is hailed as a hero and public interest in the Gray Ghost resurges. This results in the entire series being released on video, revitalizing his income and career. He's also content knowing that his role was an inspiration to Batman.
- When Batman originally asks him to try and remember which Gray Ghost episode the bombings are based on, Simon can't because he made hundreds of shows that all blurred together. When he hears the screeching of the toy cars used to carry the bombs, it helps him remember the specific episode.
- He later realizes the toy collector is the Mad Bomber, before Batman no less.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap! : After Batman accuses Simon of being the Mad Bomber since his fingerprints were on a toy car used in the recent bombings and he had the only copy of the episode which inspired the attacks, Simon defensively explains to Batman that he sold his toy cars to pay his rent, then realises who's actually the Mad Bomber.
- Evil Counterpart : The Mad Bomber is this to Batman. Like Batman, he's a Gray Ghost fanboy who took inspiration from the TV show. Unfortunately, while Batman was driven to follow the Ghost's example and protect people, the Bomber was inspired to commit crimes.
- For Want of a Nail : Batman would have figured out the cause of the explosions much earlier and never would have reached out to Simon Trent if young Bruce didn't fall asleep before he could see the ending of the episode of The Gray Ghost the villain's plot was based on.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus : At the end of the episode, look at the top of the blown-up People magazine cover when they pan up to show it clearly, and you'll see "Matt Hagen: Man of a Thousand Faces" across the top above the People logo. Counts as Foreshadowing as Hagen would be introduced two episodes later in the "Feat of Clay" two-parter.
- Hell Is That Noise : The episode opens with a grating buzzing sound right before a building explodes. The buzzing is disturbing on its own, and doesn't get any better when it's revealed to be coming from a series of radio-controlled cars loaded with munitions-grade explosives.
- Homage : The plot device of remote-controlled toy car bombs comes from The Dead Pool .
- Ink-Suit Actor : The toy collector-cum-Mad Bomber is one for Bruce Timm himself , who also voices the character!
- Jaded Washout : Simon Trent, the typecast actor who played the Gray Ghost, years after the show was cancelled.
- Karmic Jackpot : Although Simon starts as a forgotten has-been, he's hailed as a hero for helping Batman stop the Mad Bomber. The Gray Ghost TV series becomes popular again, and he receives royalties from new merchandise and video releases. It's also implied that his career picks up again.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes : In-Universe and Exaggerated , as every single known copy of the Gray Ghost series was destroyed when the studio that filmed the show burned down. It becomes Downplayed when it turns out Simon secretly has the truly remaining copies of the show as part of his collection. It then becomes Subverted when he has his copies published for video release.
- Kill It with Fire : Batman bursts out of the Gotham Library with a flamethrower to destroy one of the car bombs.
- Subdued, as is most of Batman's emotion usually, but Batman and Gray Ghost aren't this trope's image for nothing.
- Ted Dymer is thrilled when Trent brings him the last of his Gray Ghost merchandise, including his original costume. Like Batman, he's a huge Gray Ghost fan.
- Laser-Guided Karma : The Mad Bomber is undone not only by the hands of the Gray Ghost, the very man who he bought the merchandise from and whose show was the inspiration for his scheme, but his entire toy store is blown up by his own bombs.
- Loony Fan : Oddly enough, subverted; although Ted Dymer is something of a self-deprecating joke on behalf of Bruce Timm and the rest of the creative team, and still enthusiastically buys Trent's old props despite low customer demand, he's willing to destroy the remaining cars in his scheme and sells the memorabilia he'd just bought to Batman when he wants to return it to Trent (presumably for a significant mark-up). Even despite being inspired by the old show and the toys themselves to re-enact the fictional Mad Bomber's scheme, his goal was never to bring the Gray Ghost out of "retirement" for a fight—he just needed money for his true love of toy collecting. In other words, he's much more loon than fan.
- Mad Bomber : Played straight. It is even the name of the villain.
- Meaningful Echo : Invoked. When Trent visits the Batcave, Batman shows him his old Gray Ghost memorabilia and tells him "As a kid, I used to watch you with my father. The Gray Ghost was my hero". Later on, when Bruce meets Trent at the signing event, he says the same exact phrase, cluing Trent to his identity.
- Mythology Gag : Batman says the Gray Ghost is the hero he aspired to be as a child. Sure enough, without The Shadow , Batman might not have existed, and without Adam West he might never have become as popular as he is today.
- Never Trust a Title : The title "Beware The Gray Ghost" makes it sound like the Ghost is the villain of the episode instead of a fictional TV character.
- Old Superhero : Sort of. Trent is merely an old actor who played a superhero. Until he takes up the mantle of said hero for real.
- He asks Simon if he's sure he wants to sell the original Gray Ghost costume for what Ted can pay for it.
- More generally, Ted's buying Simon's Gray Ghost merchandise despite it not selling seems to be the only thing keeping a roof over Simon's head.
- Police Are Useless : Inverted when Batman alerts Commissioner Gordon about the Mad Bomber's plan. Gordon sets up a police cordon and SWAT team at the Bomber's next target, and one of his snipers manages to destroy one of the bomb-equipped cars.
- Product Placement : At the end of the episode, we see a blowup of a cover of People magazine advertising the return of the Gray Ghost. People was co-owned with WB at the time by TimeWarner (before they sold off their print stuff in the early 2010s).
- Psychopathic Manchild : When Batman ruins his attempts at blowing up the Gotham Library, Ted Dymer throws a tantrum more suited to a four-year old than a grown man. He whacks his control panel with a Batman action figure. Ted also cries like a child when Batman and Trent destroy his toy collection. His obsession with collecting toys is childish and would be harmless, except for the fact that he's willing to commit mass property damage and potential murder to finance it.
- Red Herring : The show makes it look like Simon Trent, his agent or the video store manager are potential suspects.
- Secret-Keeper : Simon Trent is implied to be one for Batman after Batman tells the Gray Ghost that he was his hero as a kid and then Bruce Wayne tells him the exact same thing at a book signing.
- While the Gray Ghost is similar to Batman, his appearance and style is closer to The Shadow , one of Batman's chief influences at the time of his creation.
- The Mad Bomber's remote control toy car explosives are very similar to what was used in a scene in The Dead Pool . Like this episode, the film featured a mysterious villain who monitored the cars' movements when attacking the hero.
- Stopped Reading Too Soon : As a kid, Bruce had seen the episode "The Mad Bomber", so he was able to recognize the pattern of the Bomber's attacks almost immediately. Unfortunately, since he had fallen asleep before the ending, he didn't know how the Bomber was pulling it off. This required him to seek out Simon when he couldn't find any other copies of the episode.
- Tempting Fate : The video store owner says he has the episodes of every TV show ever filmed, telling Bruce and Alfred to just name it. But when they say they want the Gray Ghost... Video Store Clerk: Name something else.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else! : The Mad Bomber has the appearance of a harmless toy collector.
- Typecasting : In-Universe: Simon Trent was unable to get any parts since a lot of people (the ones who even remember) still see him as the Gray Ghost, to which he angrily lampshades to his agent after yet another failure to land a role that he's an actor who can do other parts. At the end of the episode, things are looking up for him when the missing series is now on video. (Later, a Gray Ghost movie marquee appears in the Justice League episode "Epilogue" .)
- Unbuilt Trope : This episode is one of the first cases of Adam West engaging in... well, Adam Westing . But unlike many later examples of him and other actors doing this, his character Simon Trent isn't just self-parody. He's a washed-up actor who's not happy that people only know him as the Gray Ghost, but who goes through a character arc where he comes to terms with his most iconic role and embraces it.
- The Unmasking : When Batman shows Trent the Gray Ghost shrine he says, "As a kid, I used to watch you with my father. The Gray Ghost was my hero." He says the same thing as Bruce at an autograph signing, making Trent realize who he is.
- Writing Around Trademarks : Completely inverted as the show depicts Simon Trent making the cover of People Magazine. There's no copyright violation because when the episode was produced, People was owned by Time-Warner, the company that also produced Batman: The Animated Series .
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me! : Bruce's reaction to the toy cars. He even says these exact words.
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May 4 in nascar: a ghost that could not be caught at talladega.
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It is among NASCAR’s most famous cars and added to its legacy on this day in 1980.
As Buddy Baker and Dale Earnhardt ran at the front at Talladega Superspeedway, they pitted together. Earnhardt’s team took two tires. Baker’s team took four tires. The difference left Baker nearly 20 seconds behind Earnhardt.
But Baker, the 1980 Daytona 500 winner, was driving the “Gray Ghost” at Talladega.
The car was nicknamed the “Gray Ghost’’ because its colors allowed it to blend in with the track, as the story goes. Driver complaints led NASCAR to have Baker’s team put reflective decals on the car so it was easier to see after that Daytona 500 win
“Silver and black. Chrome numbers. It doesn’t get any cooler than that,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in 2016 on his Dale Jr. Download.
Baker’s charge at Talladega 40 years ago also was memorable for catching and then passing Earnhardt for the lead with three laps to go. Baker withstood Eanhardt’s final charge at the line to win by 3 feet.
Baker told Motor Racing Network in Victory Lane: “We had to earn this one.”
Also on this date:
1957: Fireball Roberts won at Shelby, North Carolina, for his fifth win in his first 13 starts of the season. Roberts went on to score eight victories that season.
1969: Bobby Isaac started from the pole and led 283 of 300 laps to win at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway. No other car finished on the lead lap. The victory was one of a career-high 17 wins he had that season.
1997: Mark Martin won at Sonoma Raceway, holding off Jeff Gordon on the final lap. Martin snapped a 42-race winless streak.
2002: Tony Stewart came from the rear after an engine change to win at Richmond Raceway.
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CONCORD, N.C. – This week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed his throwback paint scheme for the Labor Day weekend race at Darlington Raceway.
Earnhardt and his partners at Nationwide channeled a racing legend for the scheme, 60s, 70s and 80s icon Buddy Baker and his No. 28 bullet of a race car.
“It was called the Gray Ghost and it had this mystique and this identity,” Earnhardt said. “Usually cars rarely become a thing and this car certainly drew a lot of attention because of its speed and dominance.”
Take a look at the fun facts below about both Baker’s and Earnhardt’s Gray Ghosts.
1) Baker drove the record-setting No. 28 Gray Ghost from 1979 to 1980. Bobby Allison was behind the wheel of the legendary car in 1981.
2) The Gray Ghost was known for its speed, especially at the superspeedways. Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500 in it and set a new average speed record at the track.
3) Because of the gray paint scheme, the car would blend in with the surface of the racetrack, so competitors had difficulty seeing Baker coming from behind. That is, until he blew by them for position.
4) NASCAR officials finally ordered Baker to put Day-Glo decals on the front of the car to make it more visible on the track.
5) Earnhardt said they didn’t take too much creative leeway with the design of the scheme. “We just took what we saw from history and tried to represent that the best we could on the car today,” he said.
6) Earnhardt loves the orange highlighting on the car because orange is his favorite color.
7) “There’s a little bit of an old-school influence in every inch of the car from not only just the color and the scheme but to the decals and logos themselves,” Earnhardt said. “They lend themselves to the history of the sport.”
8) The Nationwide logo on the hood of Earnhardt’s Gray Ghost is circa 1980.
9) Earnhardt’s typical No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS for 2016 also took design elements from the Gray Ghost, which the driver said is his favorite paint scheme of all time.
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The Grey Ghost is Boss Hogg's Running Car
- 1.1 First Car
- 1.2 Second Car
- 2 Real Life
History [ ]
They Grey Ghost is Boss Hogg 's running car from his younger days in the moonshine buisness.
First Car [ ]
The Grey Ghost was a 1940's Hot Rod painted white. Boss Hogg used the car during his moonshine runs and gained a name for both himself and the vehicle. It is unknown what happened to the car as Boss Hogg no longer had it in 1979.
Second Car [ ]
After being challenged to a race, Boss gets a second car naming it the 'Grey Ghost Jr.' The second car is a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro painted grey.
It is unknown what happens to this car after the race.
Real Life [ ]
Grey Ghost 02 is a vehicle at Cooter's Place. During the first season Ben Jones had requested that Cooter have an old Studebaker called the Grey Ghost, but was turned down as Cooter already had a number of vehicles.
The idea was left until Ben Jones created 'Cooter's Place' in Luray, Virginia. He created a 'concept car' for the store and made a 1950's Studebaker into Cooter's Grey Ghost.
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Pictures by Roman Pilipey. Video by Andriy Kalchenko
Sergiy walked out of his grey-brick house carrying two plastic holdalls and closed the front door as his dog barked. Then the 71-year-old got into a car for evacuation.
His village of Boguslavka in eastern Ukraine looks idyllic, with geese in ponds and cows grazing, but Sergiy had finally decided to leave after heavy strikes.
This area close to the Russian border has become too dangerous for civilians as Russians attempt to retake the formerly occupied town of Kupiansk, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from the front line.
The small, historic town in the Kharkiv region has a strategic hilltop, which Russians are battling to recapture. While they have made some advances, Ukraine says the situation is under control.
Recapturing the village would be a coup for Moscow. The villagers however, who lived under Russian occupation for over half of last year, are still surrounded by ruins.
Responding to attacks from guided aerial bombs, the Ukraine's authorities ordered the mandatory evacuation of parts of Kupiansk and nearby villages.
Although labelled mandatory, the orders are not actually enforced. But for those ready to leave however, the Red Cross is evacuating locals to the nearby larger city of Kharkiv, which itself is being shelled regularly by Russia.
Sergiy, a heating-stove specialist, declined to give his last name but he made it clear he had long resisted leaving home.
He was worried about his animals and poultry, which a neighbour will feed.
Now, at least, he will get to stay with his wife in Kharkiv and see his 18-year-old grandson, who has just started university.
But he became tearful as he talked about his smallholding.
"I want to go home so much," he said. "I don't want to live any more."
In Kupiansk, two women from the town were waiting for Sergiy in the Red Cross evacuation bus.
Tatiana, 72, a chatty woman with platinum-blond hair and bright pink lipstick, said she could not stand the artillery or the fear any longer.
"I get so scared. I'm shaking all over," she said, denouncing the Russians.
The second woman, Lyudmila, 60, smiled brightly, saying she was heading off to stay with a friend outside Kyiv.
She first fled Kupiansk during Russian occupation, staying in several cities before returning.
Now it is "pretty scary", she said, counting herself lucky that most of her flat's windows were intact.
"I always say people should leave," said Klim, commander of the Ukrainian Red Cross's rapid response unit for the Kharkiv region, who is leading the voluntary evacuation.
Russia's Grad rockets "do not differentiate. Don't just sit there, because tomorrow may be too late," said the commander, who uses a military-style call sign.
He and his partner donned bullet-proof vests to drive to Kupiansk, crossing a pontoon bridge guarded by soldiers.
In the town centre, the missiles had destroyed shops and blown out the windows in the blocks of flats.
On the open door of one ruined shop, someone had left a handwritten note.
"It's empty: everything's already been stolen."
The silence was broken by regular thuds of artillery from the other side of the river, where the Russians were positioned.
Earlier that day, the bridge had been struck and soldiers had put up a barrier to stop vehicles.
From high points in Kupiansk, smoke could clearly be seen rising from lower-lying ground on the opposite bank.
Soldiers were among the few customers in the surviving shops and a small market, where traders were packing well before the town's 6 o'clock evening curfew.
"The town is empty, a ghost town," said Marina, 54, leaning on the counter of her daughter's grocery store, where she helps out.
She got "goosebumps" even talking about the Russian occupation, she said, and was dead-set against its return.
"Here we feel free, but there we walked around like we were under some kind of whip."
But not everyone felt the same way.
Sitting watching the scene in a jumper and leggings, retired doctor Lidiya smiled as she recalled Russian occupation.
"When our Russians were here, life was wonderful," she said.
"There wasn't this looting and there was some order."
Such open expressions of support for Russia are rare, however.
Chatting with friends outside a shop, 55-year-old Volodymyr said he could not leave as his job was to keep the town's water running.
This involves pumping water from outside the town and mending holes in pipes from shelling -– a job that never quite got done, he said.
"Those left are the most steadfast," he said of Kupiansk's remaining residents.
"The ones they cannot overcome."
Ukrainians Flee 'Ghost Town' As Russians Seek Recapture
<em>Pictures by Roman Pilipey.
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