Few cars have the interesting history that the Bill Thomas Cheetah does. Designed to be Chevrolets answer to the Shelby Cobra, it was an odd looking car that while fast, never had the success on any level that the Cobras did. Hot, cramped, and apparently tough to handle at speed, the Cheetah’s lifespan was cut drastically short when GM cancelled funding for the program and Bill Thomas, who was acting as the “Shelby” in this situation turned out the last few cars he was working on and that was that. Later a fire at Thomas’s shop took out whatever other spare stuff was left.
None of the above means that the cars are any less cool or awesome than you would expect. The screaming small block, the door that hinges on the roof, and that pregnant roller skate shape are all neat in their own way. This is a video about a Cheetah that by all rights should have never seen the light of day again. It had been over in England for some time and was delivered to a restoration shop as a chassis and a pile of body parts.
After a two year process they had the car assembled with the type of period perfect accuracy demanded of vintage road racing organizations. This video shows the first time it was taken to a track and pounded on. That track is England’s Brands Hatch, a famous road course.
You’ll hear the story of the car and more importantly ride in it for a few minutes to get some experience about what they oddly shaped cockpit was like.
Watch the story of a cool Bill Thomas Cheetah brought back from the dead –
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