A one of a kind 1965 2nd Generation #1 alloy Bill Thomas Cheetah has been discovered, acquired by BTM, and removed from a BARN after being stored there for 40 years! A Memphis Tennessee resident purchased it in August, 1971 from Don Edmunds. This is the RAREST CHEETAH ON THE PLANET! It was picked up at Don Edmunds California shop and towed to Memphis TN where it was stored and never touched.
This 1 of 1 Cheetah proto-type was to be the new 1965 improved street Cheetah with rumors of going to Le Mans (FIA event). Work started on the new 1965 Cheetah early in 1964. New improved 1 off 4130 c/m space frame was produced with changes needed after Chevrolet evaluations June, 1963 through June 1964, testing at riverside with Bob Bondurant, Jerry Titus, etc. Also results from a number of road race events. The 1st change was a wider interior dimension for driver comfort and 2 inches more foot pedal room side to side. Steering rack-and-pinion moved to rear steer. The front frame section had 7 degree's built into it. Front shock tower area had new diagonal tubing installed to limit chassis flex. Front upper and lower a-arms now have ball joints. Rear chassis area is larger for more fuel capacity, etc.
The 1965 alloy body is in amazing condition, work was started early 1964 with wooden body buck made to produce new wider-longer style Cheetah. Well here is what will drive all the cheetahs collectors and enthusiast a little crazy. Chevrolet terminated the Cheetah project may, xx, of 1964. By this time Bill Thomas Race Cars had built 2 1963 alloy body 1st generation Cheetahs #001 and #002, Chevrolet evaluation list testing was completed on #001, when Chevrolet was done with #001 Bill Thomas bought it back. The #002 cheetahs body was wrecked at riverside and re-bodied in fiberglass, the only aluminum body parts that exist from that wreck are the left and right alloy doors with a little riverside red paint on the underside. BTM of Europe owns them also.
By this time Bill Thomas race cars had to go forward on his 1965 Cheetah dream alone. Chevrolet pulled all funding on anything to do with the Cheetah project. So to save money producing the new 1965 Cheetah body they removed the #001 1st generation alloy body off #001 to create the new 2nd generation body. Yes there is still riverside red paint on the underside of the front on the 1965 Cheetah. So the great news is the only aluminum Cheetah body to exist has been found, and going to be completed exactly like Bill Thomas had planed in 1964.