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 Post subject: Cheetah inspired build
PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 8:51 pm 
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Joined: January 1, 2015, 1:55 pm
Posts: 190
I'm still going to finish my Lakester inspired build. But, when I was able to pick up a Cheetah inspired body I jumped on it. I was going to try and fit it to the Hot Rod frame but that frame has limited foot box space. I wanted to run a manual transmission in the Cheetah. In the end I decided to build a new frame.

The body 80 inches wide as it was designed to run C4 suspension with 14 inch rims and 33 inch tires. Here's what I've done so far.
- 93 inch wheel base
- I moved the seat as far rearward as possible. The frame is 46 inches wide. I was able to fit 16 inch wide seats. I have a 34inch inseam and I'm able to have my legs straight out. I have plenty of room for pedals.
- In the original Cheetah the transmission was bolted to the diff. I moved the engine farther forward to create space. The driveshaft will be about 12 inches long. With the T10 the Shifter for a z28 camaro put the handle at the perfect location
- The rear deck on the one Cheetah Roadster was basically a flat panel that was fit low, between the rear wheel arches. The transitions were blended into the arches and rear. I'm not thrilled with that look as it makes the occupants look like they are sitting up pretty high. I mocked up a different idea for the rear deck. I would blend the sides of the cockpit into the rear bulk head. This design would allow for some storage and make it look like the occupants are sitting low.
- Because I'm running C4 suspension with normal size Corvette wheels and tires I narrowed the body by 8 inches. I also needed to close up the rear wheel gap. I had some flares that I made for a different car. I through them on to see what they look like.
- On the Cheetah a Carbed engine results in needing a hole in the hood or a hood scoop for clearance. If I run and LS engine I don't have to to that. I think that I like the look of the hood as it is. I may decide to run an LS engine in the Cheetah. I could then run the SBC and Auto trans that I have in the Lakester.

I'm having fun. I'm through surgeries, helping my family, and the busy selling season for my business. My plan is to spend the winter getting this car done.

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PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 9:24 pm 
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Location: Summerville, SC
That's going to be a sexy beast when you're done.

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PostPosted: December 18, 2016, 10:37 pm 
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Joined: November 21, 2016, 4:33 am
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In a rush here, but....I love it! Similar to what I am working to create. Am looking forward to seeing more photos


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PostPosted: December 19, 2016, 12:04 pm 
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Joined: October 10, 2010, 10:26 am
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
100% concur.. this is a sexy build :wink:

A small detail, but I like how you've raised the rear deck.. even without people in it, you can see where it has improved the aesthetics... Looks like you may have a few hours in that frame, huh?! Also, if you hadn't mentioned narrowing the body I don't think I'd have noticed.. the slinky proportions on this car look good :cheers:

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PostPosted: December 19, 2016, 4:02 pm 
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Joined: June 8, 2010, 8:02 pm
Posts: 534
Location: White Rock, BC, Canada
Always loved the Cheetah. I was planning to build one but started the Seven instead.
If you haven't seen it, this is a nice video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxG0t128m-M

Good luck with your build.

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PostPosted: December 27, 2016, 10:18 pm 
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Joined: January 1, 2015, 1:55 pm
Posts: 190
Thank you for your comments.

- I've decided to eliminate opening doors. The only gave me 3-4 inches of access.
- I test fit a radiator that I had with the nose on. The pic is just a mock up. The air flows through the radiator than hits a V in the frame. The frame is skinned with aluminum so all of the air is ducted out vents that I'll add to the nose. I've used this small radiator with success on other builds. But, if needed a 16 by 28, 3 core radiator designed for V8 conversions in S10 pickups is $160 and includes dual fans.
- I'm adding foam to fill in gaps and to create the rear bulkhead. The foam will be shaped then glassed in. The body will be 1 piece and will easily lift on and off the frame.
- I will be lowering the dash and windshield base to the body height.
- The fuel tank will mount to the bottom of the frame. It can be removed out the bottom with out removing the body.
- I added steel support to the rear deck. There will be a small trunk that will be accessed through a hole between the seats in the rear bulkhead.

Having fun.

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 5:40 pm 
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- I've decided to make the rear deck the height of the rear wheel arches. There is a slight arc front to back and side to side.
- I ended up using cardboard to fill in between the frame and the body to create the interior sides of the cockpit. This and the rear cockpit bulkhead were glassed in. The glass has full flanges that rest on the top frame rail.
- I shaped and fit foam to where the windshield will fit to. I glassed that in. This will support the top of the dash and make it easy to finish off the dash to the edge of the glass.
- I will have 2 windshield frames. One with short glass for the Roadster. One for full height glass. The frames with glass will simply slide through the body and bolt to the frame. I will be able to switch them quickly.
- I plan to have a Coupe top that will bolt to the rear deck. The idea is to be able to switch from Roadster to Coupe easily.
- I eliminated the doors and glassed them in. They only gave me about 3.5 inches of additional clearance.
- I glassed in some fiberglass flares that I had. This filled up the space between the body and the 26 inch tires. The body was made to fit 33 inch tires. I didn't want to run that tall of a tire.
- I'm finished with the mods to the body. Now comes body work.
- I sat in the car to see how I look in it. On other Cheetah roadster pictures it looks like the driver is sitting pretty high. I'm happy that my head isn't to high above the rear deck. I have great cockpit and leg room. So far, so good.

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 6:31 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
That stuff makes me itchy just looking at it!

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 8:05 pm 
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Interesting project, that is going to be a scary quick car!

KB58 wrote:
That stuff makes me itchy just looking at it!


Just wait till he starts grinding it!

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 8:12 pm 
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Joined: February 8, 2014, 10:47 pm
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Location: Cornholio OR "Where the magic happens"
It's not too late to lower and narrow the top tunnel tubes?

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PostPosted: January 5, 2017, 8:42 pm 
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Bent Wrench wrote:
It's not too late to lower and narrow the top tunnel tubes?


I experimented with different heights and widths. The current height its the perfect height for my arm to rest on and work the shifter. I have a lot of cockpit room all of the way from the seats to the foot boxes. The ledge of the perimeter frame is wide enough and at the correct height for my left arm to rest too. I'm 6'2"" with a 34 inch inseam and weigh 230lbs. The seats are 16 inches wide. The width of the tunnel and angle creates a smooth transition from the side of the tunnel to the foot box. This lets my legs fit and rest comfortably. My legs are almost straight out in the car. I've had 6 knee surgeries on my right knee, including a full replacement this year. Having my leg position so that I'm comfortable is important.

The tunnel is a stressed part of the frame. I'm not an engineer but I think that as I have it contributes to a strong frame.

Thanks for asking. I build for fun. It's my hobby. I'm always open to ideas and suggestions.

I don't like doing glass or body work. But, I can't afford to have that work done for me.


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PostPosted: January 16, 2017, 12:32 am 
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Joined: January 1, 2015, 1:55 pm
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It's been over a week since I posted last. I took a few days to visit family and friends then came home and cleaned the shop. Then I started building a new frame.
- I realized that I could sit lower in the car than I originally thought. When I sat as low as I could the 18 inch tall side rails and trans tunnel were not at the correct height.
- A friend of mine is a retired chassis and suspension engineer. He built a car using C4 suspension and changed some of the pick up points to improve the stock geometry.
- C4s were built from 1987 thru 1996. In 1988 they changed the front spindles and upper Aframe mounting points.
- The frame that I built had been cut and modified a number of times as I worked to fit everything.

For those reasons I decided to build a new frame with a frame height of 16 inches, that would accept all years of C4 suspension and incorporate my friends suspension mounting points. The lower frame height would also make doors more practical if I decided to incorporate them. I also thought that I could build a simpler and cleaner frame.

Here are some pics of my progress. I hope to have the frame done this week and finally be finished with it.

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PostPosted: January 24, 2017, 7:07 pm 
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Well, I'm not going to get the frame done in a week. :) I'm finding that I don't have much stamina. I'm only getting a few hours in on the days that I do work on the car.

Here are some pictures of progress. There's more bracing and brackets to add, welding, and cleaning.

I test fit the hood to the frame while it was on the jig so that I could make sure the radiator would clear. Because the Cheetah has a very short and steep front overhang I've turned the radiator around. I'll run a pusher fan. There is room to route the hoses.

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PostPosted: January 29, 2017, 9:39 pm 
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I finally finished the frame to the point that it will come off the jig tomorrow. There are a number of changes that I've made during the build. Once off the jig I'll clean up brackets, hang the diff and some bracing for it, and weld it up. Then I get to refit the body. :)

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PostPosted: February 5, 2017, 11:08 pm 
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I was contacted by a gentleman that has on old, one off fiberglass sports car body. He has purchased my frame. Before it leaves I'm building a detailed jig so that it's easier to reproduce. I like the frame and think that I will use it for future builds.

I want the front suspension and steering mounts to be as accurate as possible. So I built a new jig directly from a factory cradle. It bolts together and will bolt to the jig base. I know that there are improvements to be made to the c4 front suspension be mounting the upper control arms a little differently. My frame will also accept all years of c4 suspension.

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