It takes a lot of support to keep a community strong.
Here's to those who keep the torch lit for our Cheetah.
In the early 1950s, sports car races were being run on the streets in and around Elkhart Lake. When the state legislature banned racing on public roads, a man named Clif Tufte organized a group of influential local citizens and leaders of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This group developed plans and sold stock to build a permanent racecourse. The overall vision of Road America grew out of the dreams of Tufte, a highway engineer, who chose 525 acres of Wisconsin farmland outside the Village of Elkhart Lake for the track.
The first professional race weekend was the August 1956 NASCAR Grand National race. At the time, NASCAR was just a regional southern series and not widely popular. Well under 10,000 spectators attended the two-day event. On Saturday, Paul Goldsmith won in a Jaguar Mk., VII sedan with a winning speed of 59.2 mph. The Sunday race was run in the rain and was a display of spin outs and hay bale bashing. The day’s winner was Tim Flock in a Mercury at a speed of 71.4 mph.
Ruth Engineering has developed a new version of the classic 1964 Cheetah made famous by Bill Thomas. The "Cheetah Evolution" utilizes modern engineering and fabrication techniques to give you a look and feel of this famous muscle car!
The chassis is designed from scratch to accept the modern suspension and drive train components. Owners can choose the suspension and drive train that best fits their needs. The body is modeled after the original design but updated to accept a DOT glass windshield, provide a little more headroom for "mature adults", and allow for larger, modern tires.
Ruth Engineering and the Cheetah Evolution Team sponsored and hosted the First Annual Cheetah Reunion in 2013, and now is sponsoring the Second Annual Cheetah Reunion. We appreciate all the support they give and their creative ideas for the Bill Thomas Cheetah!
Carrera has stood for ‘Motorsports at home‘ since 1963, thrilling generations of motor racing enthusiasts worldwide. Supreme quality, innovative technologies, and a breathtaking racing atmosphere attract fans of all ages to Carrera circuits and promise an unbeatable level of racing fun in homes everywhere.
In 2014 the Carrera product portfolio offered plenty of brand new sets and cars for dedicated slot car freaks, hobby racers, and beginners alike. Exclusive worldwide reproduction license agreements with Ferrari and Red Bull in the slot car segment guarantee authentic Formula 1 racing excitement at home.
Carrera is the only company to produce a licensed Cheetah slot car. The designers at Carrera have worked with Bill Thomas Motors to bring an accurate Cheetah slot car back to a new generation.
The Cheetah's place in slot car history is a unique one. In the 60s, the car was a current sports car run against some of the true legends of racing; most notable among them was the Shelby Cobra, Daytona Cobra, and a fleet of crimson Ferrari sportscars. At the time, it wasn't the most successful design, but it was immortalized by slot companies of the time. That exposure was the key to the Cheetah staying in the minds of young slot racers of the time who now have fond memories of the car.
Cheetah Continuation Collectibles was the exclusive distributor for the authorized Bill Thomas Continuation Cheetah with VIN numbered letters of authenticity signed by Bill Thomas himself, until his passing and the closing of the manufacturing facility in Tempe, Arizona. Contact Cheetah Continuation Collectible to own one of the few remaining for sale.
The dream that went up in smoke and flames - literally, when Bill Thomas' factory was consumed by fire in late 1965 - has emerged from the ashes. To hear once again that unforgettable, throaty growl . . . to be reminded of the sheer power and speed of the storied Cheetah . . . Yes, the dream lives again. Not as a replica, but as a true continuation of the original, authorized by the Cat's father himself, the legendary Bill Thomas.
Bill Thomas' enthusiastic authorization of the continuation shouldn't surprise anyone - it's his chance to help so many fans of the Cheetah relive the glory days. From its hand-laid fiberglass body, Muncie 4-speed M-20 transmission to its Stewart Warner full gauges, the Cheetah has been rebuilt entirely around the original concept, specs, and drawings. The only changes from the original are updated safety modifications.
Fred Yeakel is not only a fan but an owner of an original Bill Thomas Cheetah. For many years, cheetahcars.com has been a gathering place for lovers of true Cheetah race cars, a forum for discussing, enjoying, archiving, and learning about the Bill Thomas Cheetah. For the pure enjoyment of it, they collect and share pictures of Cheetahs in all shapes and sizes.
In addition to being an owner and fan, Fred has also hosted a discussion board allowing the Cheetah community to talk about Cheetah Sightings, Building your own replica, Model Car Info, and General topics.
The Bill Thomas Family appreciates Fred Yeakel's friendship and love for this great car.