Cheetah Evolution

Cheetah Evolution

In 1964 Carroll Shelby was pretty much stomping everybody on the race track with his brutal Cobras. The Corvettes had not only fallen prey to the Ford powered roadsters, but even Zora Duntov’s Grand Sport program had been cancelled because of the racing ban that GM had. So in a desperate attempt to beat the Cobra’s, GM honcho Vince Piggins met with sports car racer and builder Bill Thomas and told him Chevy would supply engines and parts if Thomas would build a car that could beat the Cobras. Bill Thomas hooked up with his lead fabricator Don Edmonds and they drew up a wild, mid-engine gull-wing door coupe and called it the Cheetah.

Since only a handful of Cheetahs were built, you would think it would have disappeared into the fog of the past. But the Cheetah was so unique, so wild, and so stinkin’ fast, that the legend has just continued to grow over the years… and many have dreamed on what the car may have become, if development continued. That is exactly what the Cheetah Evolution car is! Instead of a replica of the 60’s race car with all the inherent problems that the original Cheetah had, this is a modern, street legal version of this wild sports car. Fortunately, kit cars are not what they once were with poor engineering and fitment. Now they are true component cars with fantastic engineering and it is possible for ANYBODY to build one of these wild machines in their own garage.

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Cheetah Evolution
  • Evolution of the World's Fastest Cat (Season 9 Episode 5)

    Stacey tells the story of the legendary Cheetah and how that car was designed to beat Shelby’s famed Cobra. The Gearz hunt for this iconic race car features the original ’63 Cheetah that Budd Clusserath drove 215 mph at Daytona in ‘64. But the story doesn’t end there because Stacey gets his hands...

  • Puttin' the Heart in the Cat (Season 9 Episode 6)

    Moving deeper into the build of the Cheetah, Stacey and the crew pull the skin off this cat and start putting in the guts. Overviews of suspension, steering and brakes get this project up and running. Moving into the heart of this beast, Stacey shows us that good things do come in small packages—...

  • Cheetah Paws (Season 9 Episode 7)

    The Gearz crew heads out on the prowl to visit a budding young mechanic with a passion for 4X4’s. Back in the garage, Stacey gets in tight with the Cheetah, installing seats and the dash. Selecting Gauges and placement are discussed, an AC unit will help keep this cat cool, tail lights are fitted...

  • The Cheetah Gets Her Growl (Season 9 Episode 10)

    Stacey digs back into the Cheetah project by finishing up the stance with custom wheels and tires, and then goes through the in’s and out’s of putting a classic Hilborn fuel injection on a modern LS engine... and the dyno numbers show that the engine likes it as much as you will! After that, Stac...

  • Cheetah Bodywork, Latches & Custom Exhaust (Season 10 Episode 5)

    The son of legendary car builder, Bill Thomas, talks shop about wrenching, racing and his father’s Cobra Killer… the Cheetah. Then Stacey heads over to Stainless Works to check out how the Cheetah’s custom side pipes, headers and mufflers came together. A Gauge Tech explains the pros and cons of ...

  • Cheetah Paint & Body (Season 12 Episode 8)

    The Gearz crew hits the road and travels to the Charlotte Speed Shop to see how paint prep is going on Stacey’s Cheetah Evolution Car. With the hood and side vents glassed in and smoothed out, the first coat of primer gets sprayed and this awesome cat takes one big step closer to coming home! Sta...