- Oct 7, 2009
Vintage Grudge Match: The Cheetah returns to take on those pesky Cobras
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah Continuation - Click above for high-res image gallery
Ford versus Chevy. To many red-blooded Americans, the battle lines are as clear as good versus evil or Rocky versus Ivan Drago. We're not taking sides here, but we will remark that its a tad bit surprising that so many remember the Shelby Cobra with such fervor without noting a few of the more interesting competitors powered by engines from the Bowtie brand... like Zora Arkus-Duntov's classic Corvette Grand Sports and the Cheetah. Right, the Cheetah.
As much as we love the aforementioned Cobra – which is to say a whole heck of a lot – allow us to go on record as saying that the Don Edmunds-designed, Bill Thomas-marketed 1964 Cheetah is one of the most beautiful shapes in the history of American automotive racing. See for yourself in the high-res photo gallery below. Unfortunately, a fire at the factory assembling the Cheetah in 1965 ended the car's production after just 23 cars were built.
All was not lost. A company called Cheetah Continuation Turnkey Collectibles in Arizona is building a series of continuation cars authorized by Bill Thomas himself. Prices start at $88,500, which nets the buyer a space frame chassis with fully independent suspension, a 350 cubic-inch Chevy V8 with dual quads mated up to a Muncie M-20 four-speed transmission and a hand-laid fiberglass body built to the same specifications as the original car. Now... to pick a color.
[Source: Bill Thomas Cheetah Continuation via Automotive Traveler]