1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah

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1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah For Sale
     
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Vehicle Description
 
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah Race Car
For Sale By Owner
Call: 623.606.3155
Offered For $99,500.00
 
1965 Bill Thomas Cheetah Continuation #019 Completed in 2007. This Cheetah comes with letter of Authenticity signed by Bill Thomas. This Cheetah was driven by Bob Bondurant at the Nov 2007 BTM. Bill Thomas and Bob Bodurant Reunion in Chandler Arizona at the Bob Bondurant School of high performance driving.This is a street version powered by a Chevrolet 350 350HP Dual Quad Induction setup, 4 Speed muncie transmission 4.11 Corvette rear IRS axle.4 wheel coil over suspension, 4 wheel Corvette disc brakes. Correct 62 Corvette Radiator, All Original Style Interior, SW gauges, American racing Torq thrust wheels mounted on BFG Radial TA's, Original style Aluminum fuel tank, Original adjustable Pedal Assembly, All High Quality hand laid Fiberglass body panels and interior panels. This car has a 90" wheel base and just over 1600LB's turnkey ready to go. Retail $99,500This model features a 350 ci engine and 4-speed Muncie transmission. This vehicle was manufactured by the owner, BTM of Arizona, the One and Only Official Website for the Bill Thomas Cheetah. Each vehicle manufactured is signed by Bill Thomas, himself. Offered for $99,500.00.
"Cheetah Roars Back"
Chevy's 1960s' race car is reborn in Tempe
by: Bob Golfen, Arizona Republic
November 18, 2007
"The Cheetah is a rakish little race car with an abbreviated back end and a Chevy V-8 set so far back in the chassis that no driveshaft is needed between transmission and rear.
Only a handful of them were made in 1963 and '64 by race-car tuner Bill Thomas of Anaheim, who hoped the Cheetah would do for Chevrolet what the Shelby Cobra was doing for Ford. But the partnerships soured, and the much admired Cheetah passed into race-car legend.
Today, the Cheetah is back, being manufactured under Thomas' guidance by a Tempe company in versions for street or track. These are the real deal, said company owner, Robert Auxier, no replicas or kit cars, but actual continuations built to original specifications.
The rebirth of the Cheetah spawned a historic reunion recently when Auxier brought two of the new Cheetahs, a street car and a specially built full-bore racer to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler. The reunion was between Thomas, 87, and Bondurant, 74, who in 1963 was the first profession driver to take a Cheetah out on a racetrack.
In a singular piece of racing magic, Bondurant became the first to flog the new-generation Cheetah race car, driving the coupe to its roaring limits on the twisting road course of his driving school.
"He tested Bill's first car and now he's testing our first race car," Auxier said.
The years seemed to drop away as Bondurant wriggled into the tiny cockpit, donning a helmet painted to look like his old helmet from the '60's. He hurtled along the track more than a dozen times at incredible speed, tossing the Cheetah around the curves, then hunkering down on the long front stretch and rushing past the wide-eyed spectators.
And just as he had done with Thomas in 1963, Bondurant described his driving impressions to Auxier. Bondurant said the new car is more tractable than the original, especially with the addition of modern disc brakes.
"The last time I drove this was, good Lord, about 40 years ago," said Bondurant. I drove it the first time it went on the track, at Riverside (Raceway), when they had just finished it."
Watching the tough-looking little car hurtle along was Thomas, Auxier and his son, Charles, 24, who runs the manufacturing company along with his Dad, plus Thomas' son and grandson. Auxier's other son, Robert Auxier III, is serving with the Army in Iraq.
The Tempe company's name, BTM, and logo come from Thomas' original firm: Bill Thomas Motors.
Auxier said Cheetah was a "back-door" project among Chevrolet's staff in 1963. The plan was to stuff Chevy's racing engine into a lightweight car that would do battle with Shelby's Cobras, which had arrived at the same formula using an AC Ace body and chassis from England. But General Motors brass turned up their noses, pulling the plug in 1964.
Thomas soldiered on briefly with the Cheetah, but a fire at the Anaheim plant in 1965 ruined the forms and machinery needed to build the car. Thomas lost heart in the project and moved on. Thomas soldiered on briefly with the Cheetah, but a fire at the Anaheim plant in 1965 ruined the forms and machinery needed to build the car. Thomas lost heart in the project and moved on.
"I wanted to do much more with this car," Thomas said during the Bondurant reunion. "This could have been like Shelby, except with Chevrolet."
Thomas was a renowned race-car builder and tuner who prepared many of the winning road-race Corvettes of the day. Bondurant, who built he early career racing Corvettes, said he bought his first race car, a 1957 roadster, from Thomas.
"Bill helped me out a lot when I was racing." said Bondurant, who was sidelined after a crash in 1967, after which he started his renowned driving school.
"That's what's so great about racing, the people you meet, then get back together with and reminisce."
Originally, Bondurant was to race the Cheetahs, but he received an offer from Carroll Shelby that became a milestone in his career: drive the new Ford Shelby Daytonas in endurance road racing, including the famed 24 hours of LeMans. Bondurant and driving partner Dan Gurney helped Shelby beat Ferrari, a landmark accomplishment.
Auxier said he's known Thomas since 1994, getting to know his philosophy of race car building. Auxier, 46, a life long car guy whose father was a mechanic, said the Cheetah rebirth is the culmination of a long-held dream.
Thomas' involvement in the Cheetah revival legitimizes the continuation series, Auxier said. Several companies have produced Cheetah replicas over the years, but none has made the effort to accurately duplicate the originals. The disc brakes are the only significant change, but they are legitimate in vintage race-car competition.
"There's a letter of authenticity that goes with each car, which Bill signs," Auxier said. "What that does for the race car, it makes it legal to vintage race. It's a real Cheetah."
Thomas said he's impressed with Auxiers' efforts.
"I'm really proud of Bob and what he's doing, a nice job," Thomas said. "I'm proud to have him carry on."