This list is the most simple, yet eloquent example of why i felt a drag racing archive was so necessary. Originally, the car was designed with dave macdonald in mind as the driver. He was born in las vegas, nevada but was raised and lived in tappahannock, virginia. If you enjoy the videos and would like to sponsor me on patreon, my creator link is on my car. Racing aces like michael schumacher, lewis hamilton and dale earnhardt jr. Chevrolet terminated the cheetah project may, xx, of 1964. Hit the track with these 9 great race cars up for grabs in. Period race seats in yellow vinyl are unlikely to offer much in the way of comfort but look cool, as does the diamondpleat shifter bootother photos of the car show a rollbar mounted headrest for the driver in the same.
Edmunds also pushed the fuelinjected v8and the driveras far. Classifieds historic racing cars for sale sell your car. Allen grant remembers his time racing the bill thomas cheetah for alan green chevrolet. With master fabricator don edmunds, thomas set up bill thomas race cars, which created the chevypowered cheetah to go up against the. Bill thomas cheetah cheetah continuation collectible. Top 50 race car drivers celebrity net worth richest. While many sources cite ralph salyer as the driver responsible for the. Bill corum jim cosman sonny costa frankie cox rick cox paul coyan j. Friends, family remember former nascar driver jabe thomas. Car owners pappy and bob allen jim anderson sonny aurther smiley burnett. After successfully prepping gm products for road circuits, drag racing, and even nascar, thomas in 1962 went about the business of preparing. Thoughts on the bill thomas cheetah raced by alan green.
Thomas wanted to build 100 to homologate the cars for production racing, where it could take on carroll shelbys fordpowered cobras. One such car builder was bill thomas of southern california. Read the story and see the photos at car and driver. Get breaking news on cheetah happenings and the status of the continued production of bill thomas cheetah race. Ckc racing chevy ii fastback funny car super chevy magazine. Stock car racers charged in drug smuggling ring upi archives. Bill thomas iii told car and driver that while he believes the aforementioned automobile quarterly article is the best piece ever done on the cheetah, it too has many inaccuracies regarding the timeline and production numbers. By the time 1970 came along, bill thomas let his bill thomas race cars facility close down. Pete lenhoff, bill flurer and driver ted thomas were the moving forces behind this beautiful car and they proved that you can combine a machinist, a plumber and an architect and have the right ingredients for a top notch drag racing team. Billy arnold was born in chicago, illinois december 16, 1905. Seattle, phoenix, and santa barbara through out the remainder of 1964 with jerry titus as the driver. Only 10 or 11 of the beastly race cars were completed. Car builder and owner of sprintcars, he kept links with the sport. Ronnie thomas is a former nascar driver who drove in the cup series from 1977 to 1989 and the busch series in 1982 and 1985.
Canepa is always interested in purchasing the highest quality original and perfectly restored cars of. Shock your cobradriving buddies with a bill thomas cheetah. Why the cheetah is more badass than the shelby cobra. Driver profiles of the old bastards racing league members of the 4 premier iracing leagues,enascar monster cup, xfinity, gander outdoor trucks and arca. Jerry titus october 24, 1928 august 5, 1970 was an american race car driver, mechanic, and journalist. Jarretts race car was demolished in a violent storm on the way to nashville, and he borrowed the no. They were involved in everything from the mobil gas economy runs to scca road racing to preparing engines for stock and super stock drag racers like 62 nhra u. Its been an honor to have been friends with the great bill thomas. Our family also has the rights of publicity for all of dads automotive and racing history.
After more than 50 years, 215mph cheetahs owner ready to sell. Bill thomass cheetah and super cheetah shelby cobra. The last documented bill thomas produced cheetah was ordered in the fall of 1965 and delivered in april 1966 we can document that 11 cars were completed. The only other driver close to his ability was, tim richmond. The car was later returned to bill thomas race cars. Driving a bill thomas cheetah will make your palms sweat hagerty. Number one nascar driver ricky bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, cal naughton, jr. Did you race for any other teams other than shelby american. Although bill thomas race cars had undertaken various skunkworks projects for chevrolet since the automobile manufacturers association racing ban took effect in 1957, hed never built a. Back in the 1960s, bill thomas race cars was a highperformance chevrolet race shop located in anaheim, california. Don edmunds designed the cheetah while working at bill thomas motors in anaheim, california. Truly eyecatching pieces of machinery, they still capture the imagination of drivers, mechanics, and fans alike. Thomas jaeger, were part of the team that gave support to 41yearold race car driver lee saunders.
Bill thomas race cars was a prime source of chevy factory heavyduty and racing parts through 1971, when bill closed the shop and turned to nonautomotive pursuits. As a side note, the aluminumbodied car sentor sold. The iconic bill thomas race cars are vintage examples of racing at its best. There is more work to be done finishing with the uspto and proceeding to registered trademarks for bill thomas race cars and btm shield. Real 1964 cheetah bill thomas race car in green paint on my. But i still hold the track record at the old laguna seca layout for a frontengined car. Herman beam was a nascar grand national driver and team owner from who was active as a driver from 1957 until 1963. Bill went on and built special chevy iis for dick harrell that were storming the drag strips. Get the best deals on nascar bobbleheads when you shop the largest online selection at. The bill thomas cheetah has become an unlikely success story, the car was first designed as a concept car of sorts for chevrolet who were seeking something a little more hardedged than the corvette to take on and beat the new shelby cobras. See all 27 photos the cheetah was conceived by race driver and corvette specialist bill thomas as a corvettepowered rival to carroll shelbys cobra. Each of those and the many others weve lost made a unique and worthy contribution to all that is drag racing today. Sam has been such a good care taker and must be a very good driver to preserve this cheetah. Thomas and macdonald had established a longstanding racing relationship in corvettes.
Bill thomas cheetah was one of the few cars that could give carroll shelbys. Cheetah again joins ranks of the deceased hemmings daily. Sam has been such a good care taker and must be a very good driver to preserve this cheetah in such amazing condition. Friends, family remember former nascar driver jabe thomas, 85 the christiansburg resident, known as a prankster on the premier stock car series from 196578, died at age 85. Bills son ricky dennis is the founder of arena racing usa and also a former stock car driver. So it happened that a small racing team became both a car constructor and an engine builder of note on the strength of one successful race. Bill thomas built cheetahs to gobble up cobras, briefly. My folks had a 63 corvair when i was a kid, but unfortunately bill thomas had not worked his magic on it. By the time tires caught up to speed, the cheetah was an out dated old race car. Cheetah bodies anaheim, ca the bill thomas cheetah. Jessi combs, race car driver and fastest woman on four. The bill thomas cheetah was designed as a corvettepowered. Up to the 2017 season, ken squier would address the crowd at thunder road at the first race and inform them of any racing figures we had lost since the preceding season.
He had a close relationship with the engineers at gms performance division and found particular success with chevrolet. Rarely seen vintage photos of southern california road. He began his career preparing corvettes for racing in the mid1950s, eventually opening bill thomas race cars in 1960. Racing people we have lost since the end of the 2016 season nothing fancy here. But when a french formula one driver, makes his way up the ladder, ricky bobbys talent and devotion are put to the test. He is famous for holding the longest streak of races without a dnf, with 84, from 1961 until 1963.
Nascar, in full national association for stock car auto racing, sanctioning body for stockcar racing in north america, founded in 1948 in daytona beach, fla. The loan exception was the alan green chevrolet race car. This is a tribute page to honor the racecar drivers that risked their lives and the racecars that paved the way in. Titan mk3 number 68306 was originally raced in england by charles sawyerhoare as a oneliter formula three car. Allen remembers how he started with an ac bristol and later became a factory driver for carroll shelbys. Kyle buschs victory at texas motor speedway was the 44th of his career in the monster energy nascar cup series, tying him with nascar hall of famer bill elliott for 16th place all time. The nascar cup series was formerly known as strictly stock 1949, grand national 19501970, winston cup grand national 19711985, winston cup 19862003, nextel cup 20042007, sprint cup 20082016 and the monster energy nascar cup series 20172019 click on the year to see detailed race results and standings for that year. However, macdonald died on may 30, 1964 driving at indianapolis.
Click on the number of races to see individual races for that year. Get breaking news on cheetah happenings and the status of the continued production of bill thomas cheetah race cars. While bill thomas race cars worked with racers to sort out the cars teething issues, homologation requirements went from 100 cars to 1,000. Thomas gordon ron goss jack goujon bruce gould bobby graves bill green gary green troy green.
Carroll shelby offered macdonald the opportunity to drive the cobra, which macdonald accepted. The story of the cheetah race car barnebys magazine. The bill thomas cheetah was designed as a corvettepowered cobra killer, and the cleanest example extant is going to auction. Its still a nice car to start with to restore to museum quality. It was an illhandling beast as it was new and undeveloped. Set in the golden era of grand prix racing 1 tells the story of a generation of charismatic drivers who raced on the edge, risking their lives during formula 1s deadliest period, and the men who stood up and changed the sport forever. Truly eyecatching pieces of machinery, they still capture the imagination of drivers, mechanics, and. Bill was all along testing new high performance parts for chevrolet. Click on the year to see the standings for that year. After more than 50 years, 215mph cheetahs owner re. The cheetah, created by corvette racer bill thomas, is an outrageous car.
While they showed incredible potential in the beginning, they, unfortunately, didnt get the initial praise and fame they should have. Race car driver jessi combs, who earned the title of fastest woman on four wheels after she set a record with a jetpowered car, died tuesday while trying to beat a land speed record, officials. In 1962, with close to 100 victories as a corvette race car driver, bill. In 1964, i raced the factory cheetah built by bill thomas in several local races in california, oregon, and washington with mixed results. The drivers were jack goodman, mike jones, ralf piccard, jim phillips and. All the bill thomas cheetahs were delivered with drum brakes and fuel injection. A tribute to the great bill thomas bill thomas cheetah. Nationals champion hayden proffitt and other wellknown drag racers. Sam i hope you find a new owner that will be as good as you were in caring for this very rare cheetah. Ckc racing chevy ii fastback funny car bill thomas race cars built it.1426 773 785 494 328 1018 181 1317 73 512 31 451 1170 1361 1083 785 958 1543 645 859 1155 652 1458 232 770 1124 1002 43 242 1410 29 184 909 158 1268 1300 181 1457 1345 199 148 509 1222 62 1105 694