ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – A celebration of the historic race car known as the Cheetah is scheduled for July 17-20 at Road America during the famed vintage racing event, The HAWK with Brian Redman.
This 50th Anniversary gathering will include the largest collection of Cheetahs in one location as several historic and modern Cheetahs are expected to be on display and in competition. Bill Thomas III, son of the original builder of the Cheetah, will serve as the Cheetah celebration host.
For those who are unfamiliar with the legendary race car, the Cheetah is the creation of California car builder Bill Thomas II and was introduced to the sports car race scene in 1964. The Cro-Sal Special Cheetah, named for mechanic Gene Crowe, and its original owner/driver, Ralph Salyer, won the 1964 June Sprints at Road America. The Cheetah became widely popular due to its unique shape and high power-to-weight ratio, which allowed it to be very competitive during the 1964 and 1965 race seasons.
There were less than 25 original Cheetah cars built and only a few of these cars are still in existence. Revered by vintage racers and collectors, the Cheetah name now lives on due to events such as the HAWK with Brian Redman. Drivers Bob Boyce and Brian Garcia have successfully campaigned their modern Cheetahs at Road America in recent years and a handful of others make appearances at tracks across the country.
The HAWK with Brian Redman is widely regarded within automotive circles as a can’t miss spectacle for any racing enthusiast. A mid-summer classic including everything from the popular Nationwide Insurance Concours d’Elegance on Friday and Saturday along the streets of Elkhart Lake, to a Historic CAN-AM race in celebration of CAN-AM’s 48th Anniversary. Add in the 50th Anniversary gathering of the Cheetah along with the Ford Mustang serving as the featured marque and you have the ultimate celebration of vintage racing in one weekend.