1964 Bill Thomas Cheetah Restoration/Race Car Preparation

When it comes to historic race car preparation and restoration the Bill Thomas Cheetah is one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever taken on. In 1963 Bill Thomas set out to build a sports car to take on the mighty Shelby Cobra. They designed a tubular chassis, two seater racing car and utilised much of the running gear from the brand new Corvette Stingray. This included the independent rear suspension and the 327ci V8 engine. Sadly a fire destroyed much of the Bill Thomas factory and Chevrolet pulled the funding. Approximately only 16 chassis’ and maybe 10 or 11 complete cars were made. A handful of these original Cheetahs went on the be raced across the USA with good success.

Earlier this year our client, Ian Burford, brought over a Bill Thomas Cheetah chassis from the USA. The chassis came with a handful of suspension components and the fibreglass bodywork. After assessing the chassis we decided to have it media blasted and, due to the quality of the joints, re-weld all of the tubes. We then had to source some original Corvette Stingray running gear in order to begin the dry build process. It is a bit like building a puzzle without the picture and without any of the pieces.

Bill Thomas Cheetah Riverside 1964 Bill Thomas Cheetah Bill Thomas Cheetah Bill Thomas Cheetah. Times GP at Riverside

3 Replies to “1964 Bill Thomas Cheetah Restoration/Race Car Preparation”

  1. If you have questions about dimensions on the frame, send me an email at the above email and I can probably help you out; I have drawn full size frame diagrams based on my measurements. I have researched the Cheetah extensively over the years and had access to several of the original cars.

  2. I have not seen the black & white pictures of the #8 or the #33 Cheetah before. Where did you find them? Do you have any more pictures of the original Cheetahs?

  3. Worked on a BTM car for nine years. One warning is to replace bottom spindle bolt with new grade 8 .Had one fail at Road America ,it will take out shock and brake line when it goes.Also take it easy with the HP in the motor .That rear end will come apart and the rear corner will fold under when the clip comes off the output shaft.

Comments are closed.