When it comes to historic race car preparation and restoration this is one of the more exciting projects we have ever taken on. In 1963 Bill Thomas set out to build a sports car to take on the the might of the Shelby Cobras. With support from Chevrolet Thomas designed a tubular chassis two seat racing car utilizing much of the running gear from the brand new Corvette Stingray including the independent rear suspension and 327ci V8. Due to a fire that destroyed much of the factory Chevrolet pulled the funding on the project after 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 for many years with good success. Our client Ian Burford brought across a chassis from the states earlier this year 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.
The Nash is getting assembled piece by piece. Ian sprayed all of the various components in black 2k or Berkshire green ready to go onto the car. We thought we’d lost the speedo until a final box of parts showed up in storage. Grahams installed the hydraulics and the master cylinders as well as the dashboard, tail lights and various other bits and bobs. I’ve been working on the trim, replacing the warped door card backing with plywood and modifying the rear trim panels to fit around the roll cage. We also received our replica 1956 California number plates. Superb.
I’ve dug through the archive and found the photos of the “Jagermeister” CSL build. I’ve added these to the “Cars at CCK” page. Or click here.
In the works for next years TC63 race series we have a Mini. It’s going to run a 998cc motor as this new series will exclude homologation specials. That means no Cooper ‘S’. The shell is in the usual state and will require some welding.