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Monday, April 22, 2024

Former GM President John F. Gordon’s 1964 Cheetah #002 prototype surfaces on the market


A 1964 Cheetah prototype as soon as owned by a Basic Motors president is listed on the market on Hemmings.

The Cheetah was created by Invoice Thomas, who, after success tuning and racing Corvettes, sought to construct a Chevrolet-powered rival to the Shelby Cobra. However as an alternative of utilizing an current chassis, as Shelby did with the AC Ace, Thomas designed the Cheetah from scratch with clandestine assist from Chevy, which was not formally taking part in racing on the time.

The engine and transmission are mounted up to now again within the tube-frame chassis (for higher weight distribution) that the Cheetah would not have a standard driveshaft. The driving force virtually sits over the rear wheels in a cramped enclosed cockpit. The automobile additionally sports activities a really brief 90.0-inch wheelbase, and a low curb weight of simply 1,750 kilos.

1964 Cheetah prototype (photo via Hemmings.com)

1964 Cheetah prototype (photograph through Hemmings.com)

Thomas hoped to construct 100 Cheetahs to fulfill racing homologation necessities, however the bar for homologation was later raised to 1,000 manufacturing automobiles—far out of attain for Thomas’ small operation. Simply 16 Cheetahs have been finally constructed, and 11 are stated to outlive at the moment, in line with Hemmings.

Amongst them is the automobile at the moment up on the market. Sporting serial quantity 126364002, it is the second prototype Cheetah, and was ordered by GM for growth work, in line with Hemmings. It was examined by Chevy between December 1963 and April 1964, with John F. Gordon, president of GM on the time, listed because the proprietor at one level.

1964 Cheetah prototype (photo via Hemmings.com)

1964 Cheetah prototype (photograph through Hemmings.com)

This prototype differs from manufacturing Cheetahs in having aluminum bodywork as an alternative of fiberglass. It is powered by a 327-cubic-inch V-8 sourced from a 1963 Corvette with uncommon Rochester mechanical gas injection. It is good for 360 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, which is distributed to the rear wheels through a 4-speed guide transmission.

The Cheetah and its creator aren’t as well-known at the moment because the Cobra and its creator Carroll Shelby, however a $2 million asking value places this Cheetah prototype in the identical territory as present Cobra transaction costs.


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