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Evolution of the World’s Fastest Cat: The 1963 Cheetah

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By David Ashton

This is the fascinating story of the Bill Thomas Cheetah, which was developed to compete against the Shelby Cobra.
Futuristic in looks and design, the car only lasted from 1963 to 1966, but is still one of the unique and standout vehicles of the 60s.

This video tells the story of the Cheetah, its unique concepts and goes through to a reproduction model, the easiest way to get your hands on one these days.

The engine was mounted in the front with only a U joint connecting it to the transmission. Great weight distribution, but it brought many problems for the driver. Initial overheating problems and stability were one of a bunch of issues, but this doesn’t stop enthusiasts still loving this original concept.


The video shows a 1963 model Cheetah which was driven by Budd Clusserath at 215mph at Daytona in 1964, making it the fastest sports car at the time. Faster than the Shelby Cobra at the time.

Problems hindered the Cheetah from the start, but with additional rulings of 1,000 cr made, Chevrolet, pulling their support, made the last one being ordered in the fall of 1965.

Check out this great video on the Cheetah and its potential groundbreaking concepts.

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