Rivalries will forever run deep in motorsports. When Shelby and his Daytona Coupe garnered more than a few satisfying wins, Bill Thomas took notice. Thomas previously worked mostly on Corvettes, and gained attention from General Motors. He went on to work with Chevrolet, pushing the Corvair and Chevy II past their factory limits with his own company. His most ambitious project turned out to be the Cheetah, a rival to the Shelby Daytona Coupe.
Now, a replica of the historic racer, which took a backseat to the glory of the Daytona, has surfaced on eBay. The original Cheetah was powered by a Thomas built 377-cubic inch fuel-injected Chevrolet Small Block V8, with reports of it reaching higher top speeds than its rival Daytona. The replica we have here still gets its grunt from a small block, but instead uses a 427 L88 Small Block V8. The replica is priced to move at a crispy $125,000.
The replica Cheetah receives Corvette disc brakes up front, and drum brakes in the back. The replica also benefits from an independent rear suspension, something not found on the original GT racer, but an appreciated modern touch. The best part of the story is the company building the replicas has the best example to base their creations from. That’s right, the original 1964 Bill Thomas Cheetah is sitting in the company’s shop as a blueprint. Talk about quality assurance.
Ultimately, cars like the Cheetah and the Daytona were shelved in favor of mid-engined grand tourers, but they still hold a special place in the hearts of many. It may not be an original, but it’s still a very boss machine. For serious inquiries, visit the eBay listing.