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Thread: Cheetah inspired build

  1. #1

    Cheetah inspired build

    Hello, I know that most of the builds and interest on this forum is for high end Super Car builds. But, I thought that some of you might be interested in my build.

    I've built a number of cars all of which used Chevy power and Corvette suspension. I like roadsters so every car that I've built has been one. I even built a Cobra replica using C5 Vette suspension and LS power. I took the car to a small gathering of Cobra replica owners. When they saw that I had used Chevy parts there was a noticeable negative reaction. I sold my Cobra and looked for an alternative.

    I grew up liking the Cheetah. But, the Cheetah was pure race car. Too much for my intended use. The Cheetah had the engine mounted so far rearward that the transmission was bolted to the diff. At 6'2" tall I couldn't fit in one that was original size. I came across a guy in PA that had built a Cheetah Coupe body that had been enlarged to use C4 Corvette suspension. He designed the body to use giant 33 inch tall and 15 inch wide tires. To use his body would require a lot of modifications.

    I started by building a space frame to which the C4 suspension bolts to. The wheelbase is 93 inches. I'm using a 12 inch long driveshaft. Here are some of the body mods.
    - I narrowed it by 8 inches.
    - I cut the body just in front of the rear tires and shortened it by 3 inches and tilted the rear end down.
    - I molded in the rear deck. It's a gentle arch from sided to side.
    - I made flares and molded them on both front and rear wheel openings. I also made the wheel openings smaller.
    - I formed the engine bulge. It's 2 5/8 inches tall. This allows the hood to clear an LS engine and a SBC with a carb
    - I formed and molded in the hood vents.
    - I molded in the doors.
    - I made the firewall part of the body tub.
    - I molded in a windshield base to allow the use of an MGB windshield.
    - I made the dash part of the body tub.
    - I made the cockpit sides and rear bulkhead part of the body tub.
    - I molded in a rear bulkhead for the full tilt hood. This keeps the body shape.

    I've created the body as 2 pieces. The body sits and mounts to the frame. The hood fully tilts. It's on a sliding hinge fixture that allows the removal of the hood by removing 2 bolts.

    Last week I did a rattle can paint job so that I could evaluate my progress. I set the car outside at ride height and mocked it up. The Side Pipes are 4 inch PVC. My son is in the car. He's 6'2". The seat can be lowered by 2 more inches.

    There's still lots to do but I'm liking how the car is coming. I'm having fun.

    I need to figure out how to post pictures so that they show with out having to click on them. Sorry about that.

  2. #2
    Senior Member C5GTO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Livermore, CA USA
    Looks like a cool project! I like what you've done so far.

    Do you plan on including doors of some sort? If I were doing this car, I'd figure out a way to get in and out without climbing over the top of the body. I've tried to get in and out of my Cobra without opening the door and it's not easy at all.
    Joel Heinke
    Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

  3. #3
    Thank you for your comments Joel. I remember reading about your C5GTO build. How's that coming along?

    The height to step over for this car is lower than a Cobra. It's 28 inches from the ground to the top of the side of the body. It's 42 inches to the top of the windshield. The side exhaust tucks completely under the body and there isn't as much width to step over as a Cobra. In addition the seat bottom is hinged. It folds up and down. This way I have a large area to step into. I'm able to get in and out easily.

    This body is going to be a plug. It's full of reinforcement, extra fiber glass and LOTS of body filler. It's too heavy for what I want. Down the road I'm planning to make a fastback coupe roof for it. I will have the option of adding doors as well.

    Having fun
    Last edited by jm14; 12-06-2017 at 08:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member C5GTO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Livermore, CA USA
    I continue to make progress on the C5GTO but it's mostly just a lot of little stuff. The next big thing is the paint job. I've found a good paint shop/painter but so far the dates he's given me haven't stuck. Yesterday the date slipped from early Dec to late Jan. Oh well, there's still a bunch more little stuff to do. I'll get more pics posted up one of these days.

    On the doors, maybe it's just me (I'm tall) and/or that I'm getting older, but getting out of the drivers seat on a low car takes much more effort than it used to. Getting in is easier as gravity helps. It's the getting up from a low sitting position to standing while maneuvering around a steering wheel, seat bolsters, and door sill that's much trickier. That's my experience anyway.
    Joel Heinke
    Be original; don't be afraid of being bold!

  5. #5
    I'm with you about getting out of the low position. I'm 6'2" and 61. I've had 6 knee surgeries, the last a full replacement. And, I've had 2 heart attacks. The last one with a 5 percent survival rate.

    To make it easier, the steering wheel is on a quick release, the seat base folds up, and I have a raised 1 by 1 cross piece on the floor to give my feet a place to push from. If over time I can't get in and out, I'm going to put a seat on a vertical sliding track with mechanical or hydraulic assist.

    Good luck with the paint job!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    You can also get awesome makeover and transformation for your car from professional mechanics at Fairfax

  7. #7

    I finally figured out how to post pictures.

    Late Nov I mocked up the car outside to get an idea of how it was looking. I used spray can paint to put in color. Then I moved it inside and continued to smooth out and refine it. Now it is in the final body work process. From here it will be block sanded, sprayed with 2 part primer, wet sanded and buffed out. This body is just a plug. Molds are going to be made. It's a simple 2 piece body. (the spoiler was a set on to see how it might look. I'll make that a separate piece)

  8. #8
    My friend and I have finally finished the body work. It's now ready to pull molds from.

    The gap between the tub and hood was left extra wide for doing the body work. It will be closed up for the build.

    Side pipes fill in the space between the body and the frame.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RCR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Shelby Twp Mi
    looks great.

    Bob custom '84 Fiero SE --->>> custom F408

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Land O' Lakes, Fl
    I am loving the creativity of this build. Can't wait to see the finished product.
    It's a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself. - Dale Earnhardt Sr

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