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Cheetah Racing Cars

A Cheetah Mk 4
Cheetah Racing Cars was a prolific Australian manufacturer of race cars. The cars were almost solely designed, engineered and constructed by Brian Sheadin a small factory at the rear of his home in Mordialloc, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

History

A Cheetah Mk 6
The first Cheetah was built for Shead's personal use in 1960. It was a 'Cooper Copy' built to race in Formula Junior. A second Cheetah was built in 1962 and third in 1963. A completely new design was commenced in 1970, after which a friend (Don Biggar )persuaded Shead to construct an additional car, Mk4H Hill-climb car v8 oldsmobile. By 1973 Shead gave up his usual job to design and build race cars full-time. The final car was produced in 1989, being a Mk9 for use in Formula Holden. Cars were constructed for Formula Junior, Formula Libre, Hillclimbing, Australian Formula 3 (AF3), Australian Formula 2 (AF2), Australian Formula 1 (AF1 or Formula Atlantic or Formula Pacific) and Formula Holden. Cheetah Race Cars dominanted Formula Three during the 1970s and in Australian Formula 2 they were the dominant manufacturer during the late 1970s and most of the 1980s. In Formula Holden, the sole Cheetah built for the category in 1989 was still competitive in the mid-1990s against far newer carbon fibre cars built by Ralt and Reynard.
A Cheetah Mk 8
Brian Shead also built one car that was not an open wheeler, being a Cheetah Clubman built for the Sports 1300 racing category. It was raced by Peter Jones, winning 132 races, including seven New South Wales titles and three Victorian titles.
Cheetah race cars are common sights at Australian historic race meetings, hill climbs, sprints and in Australian Formula 2 and Formula-R. In both Australian Formula 2 and Formula-R, Cheetah Mk7 and Mk8s which were built in the late 1970s and early 1980s are still winning races and championships against far newer carbon fibre tubbed Dallara and Reynard Motorsport cars.
Although Cheetahs are no longer manufactured, Shead is still actively involved with Cheetah race cars, supplying parts and advice to Cheetah owners.
A Cheetah Mk 8

Models

Name
Class
Comments
Mk 1
Formula Junior
Cooper Copy
Mk 2
Formula Junior
Major revision of Mk 1
Mk 4H
Formula Libre
Hillclimb
Mk 4A
Australian Formula 3
Mk 4B
Australian Formula 3
Mk 4
Australian Formula 3
First production chassis
Mk 4E
Australian Formula 2
Mk 5
Australian Formula 3
Clubman
Sports 1300
Clubman
Mk 6
Australian Formula 2
Australian Formula 3
First monocoque chassis.
Mk 6E & Mk6GE
Australian Formula 2
Mk 6 cars with ground effects revision
Mk 7
Australian Formula 2
First ground effects car, inboard front springs
Mk 8
Australian Formula 2
Formula Mondial
Full ground effects, clean sheet design
Mk 9
Formula Holden
Last Cheetah made, clean sheet design

Championships

Season
Driver
Car
Series / Championship
1970s
Brian Shead
Cheetah-Corolla
Multiple Formula 3 State Titles
1970s
Brian Shead
Cheetah-Corolla
Four Formula 3 Stillwell Series
1977
Ian Judd
Cheetah-Oldsmobile
Australian Hillclimb Championship
1979
Brian Shead
Cheetah Mk6-Toyota Celica
Australian Formula 2
1979
Brian Shead
Cheetah Mk6-Toyota Celica
Formula 2SM (AF2 Series at Amaroo Park Raceway)
1980
Peter Macrow
Cheetah Mk7-Holden Gemini
Victorian Formula 2
1981
Bob Prendergast
Cheetah Mk7-Volkswagen Golf
Victorian Hillclimb Championship
1983
Peter Beehag
Cheetah Mk7-Volkswagen Golf
Victorian Formula 2
1984
Peter Glover
Cheetah Mk7-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2
1985
Peter Glover
Cheetah Mk8-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2
1985
 ?
Cheetah Mk7-Volkswagen Golf
Victorian Formula 2
1985
Robert Rumble
Cheetah mk6 Renault
NSW Hillclimb Championship
1986
Jon Crooke
Cheetah Mk8-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2 Championship
1986
Derek Pingel
Cheetah Mk8-Volkswagen Golf
Queensland Racing Car Championships
1986
Robert Rumble
Cheetah mk6 Renault
NSW Hillclimb Championship
1987
Arthur Abrahams
Cheetah Mk8-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2
1988
Rohan Onslow
Cheetah Mk8-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2
1988
Rohan Onslow
Cheetah Mk8-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Drivers' Championship - CAMS Gold Star
1993
Graham Blee
Cheetah Mk6GE
Champion of Winton
1994
Craig Lowndes
Cheetah Mk9-Holden
Australian Silver Star
1997
Hugh Gartley
Cheetah Mk4 Toyota Corolla
Champion of Winton, Formula Libre
1998
Bruce Combe
Cheetah Mk7 Toyota Celica
Australian Hillclmb, Under 2 litre
2002
Brendon Cook
Cheetah Mk7-Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2 Rookie of the Year
2004
Kevin Lewis
Ransberg Cheetah Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2
2006
Kevin Lewis
Ransberg Cheetah Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2
2006
Edward Gavin
Cheetah Mk8 Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2 Rookie of the Year
2007
Edward Gavin
Cheetah Mk8 Volkswagen Golf
Australian Formula 2

Lap Records

Track
Distance
Class
Driver
Car
Year
Time
Symmons Plains
2.4 km
AF2
Jon Crooke
Cheetah Mk8 - Judd Golf VW
9/3/1986
54.73s
Baskerville
2.01 km
AF2
Jon Crooke
Cheetah Mk8 - Judd Golf VW
16/3/1986
50.24s
Surfers Paradise
3.2 km
AF2
Jon Crooke
Cheetah Mk8 - Judd Golf VW
18/5/1986
1m07.3s
Oran Park
2.62 km
AF2
Jon Crooke
Cheetah Mk8 - Judd Golf VW
8/6/1986
1m05.8s
Lakeside
2.4 km
AF2
Jon Crooke / Arthur Abrahams
Cheetah Mk8 - Judd Golf VW
15/6/1986
50.6s
Sandown
3.9 km
AF2
Arthur Abrahams
Cheetah Mk8 - Golf VW
14/9/1986
1m40.2s
Amaroo Park
1.946 km
AF2
Arthur Abrahams
Cheetah Mk8 - Golf VW
21/6/1987
46.52s
Winton Motor Raceway - Short Circuit
2.03 km
AF2
Arthur Abrahams
Ransberg Cheetah Mk8 - Golf VW
-/12/1988
56.9600s
Eastern Creek Raceway
3.93 km
AF2
Arthur Abrahams
Ransberg Cheetah - Golf VW
25/08/1991
1m29.3500s
Wakefield Park
2.2 km
AF2
Craig Smith
Cheetah Mk8 - Golf VW
16/09/2001
59.0361s
Adelaide International Raceway
2.41 km
AF2
Peter Glover
Cheetah - Golf VW
 ??
52.5



Last updated on 8 August 2014 at 10:30.

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