Class Sponsor

Year: 1964

Manufacturer: Bill Thomas Race Cars

Model: Cheetah

Country: UK

Ian Burford

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1964 Bill Thomas Race Cars Cheetah

This is the period spare chassis for Bill Thomas Cheetah number 004, now known as the Cro-Sal Special Cheetah

Chassis number 004 was originally built in 1964 as a full competition car with a fibreglass body. It was painted dark blue with roundels, and numbered 17. It ran a 327ci Corvette Chevrolet engine (375bhp) with Bill Thomas-built Rochester dual-air-meter fuel injection.

The finished car was sold to Ralph Salyer from Ohio, and then went on to race at Daytona in Feb 1964 to finish 14th. This most successful of all race Cheetahs was turned into a roadster in ’64 by Salyer and his mechanics, and continued to be raced successfully thereafter. The car, now in roadster configuration and known as the Cro-Sal Special, was then sold to Cadillac dealer Mike Pung, who was based in Michigan.

During his period of ownership in the 1960s, Mike used chassis number 004 to make an identical spare. In the early 1990s, a Cheetah specialist in the US bought this chassis and many original parts directly from Mike.

The Cheetah was stored in the US for many years while the new owner worked on other auto projects. Eventually he decided to sell it. The car was imported to the UK in 2014, along with its many original parts and bodywork. A full photographic record was made of its restoration by CCK Historic in East Sussex.

The car was restored to full 1964 FIA specification, running quad-Webers, and it was awarded FIA recognition in 2017.


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