Old cars sell best when there is an intriguing back story. The best car salesmen throughout history could wow a prospective buyer with a great story. In this case, not only is the story great, but the car is highly desirable. This is a rare opportunity to have an original Bill Thomas Cheetah come to market.
The Pick of the Day is a 1964 Cheetah offered by a dealer in St. Louis, Missouri, advertising the rare sports racing car on ClassicCars.com. Because there are only a dozen authenticated Bill Thomas Cheetahs in existence today, these cars are well-documented and each carries a story uniquely to its chassis number.
Bill Thomas had a very successful skunkworks for Chevy despite the racing ban that hindered factory development in the early 1960s. That did not keep Zora Duntov and his team of engineers pushing high performance parts out the back door to guys like Thomas, as Ford was absolutely dominating the GT classes in both the FIA and SCCA with their guy, Carroll Shelby.
The Cheetah was essentially built around bowtie performance parts, including independent suspension and gearbox from the Corvette hooked to a powerful small block V8. In the case of this little monster, an experimental 377 cid Chevy with dual quads making just under 500 horsepower.
In the very detailed description in this listing, the dealer tells how this particular car was purchased with two other Cheetahs (numbers 005 and 006) by Alan Green Chevrolet in Burien, Washington. It is said that legendary Shelby driver Allen Grant, who did a stint in the Cheetahs, drove this particular car from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.
While the other two chassis bought by Green went to work as road-racing cars, #007 was given to Green’s wife, Bookie, as a daily driver, show car and sometime drag car (yes, Bookie drag raced the car). The finish in the dealer’s signature color of metallic green over a green interior makes this particular car even more rare.
The Cheetah eventually was sold and titled in 1967. It became a regular drag car, with a different engine and fuel injection. It was crashed, but not destroyed, ending its life as a race car. In 2014, the car was painstakingly restored to original – including the matching numbers engine from the first owner.
“Torq Thrust wheels and period-correct Firestone Deluxe Champion whitewall tires,” says the dealer of the period restoration. “The paint and body are finished to concours quality standards, with excellent detailing down to the evocative hand-painted Alan Green Chevrolet lettering and recreated Washington State dealer plates. The minimalist cockpit features correct green trim, restored original instrumentation, and just enough room for an overnight bag. “Under the clamshell hood sits the original Bill Thomas engine, returned to 1964 specs with the dual-quad intake. It is fastidiously detailed, with beautiful paint finishes and a correct Harrison radiator with a modern electric fan for peace of mind.”
For $675,000, you can own the “anti-Cobra,” Bill Thomas and Chevrolet’s answer to Shelby.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.