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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2018, 03:46 PM
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Default Cheetah inspired build is now the Wildcat

Hello Everyone, My car is not a replica of the Cheetah and I don't want to infringe on the Bill Thomas history or intellectual property. I've filed for the Trademark "Chesnut Wildcat". It keeps the name in the "Big Cat" family.

I've spent 2 years modifying a Cheetah body by Mr Bruce and building a space frame that accepts C4 Corvette suspension and Chevy drive train. I had molds made and I built a jig for the frame. Today I finished putting a second frame together. I added some bracing to this one so I wanted to make sure everything fit right. I set the frame on jacks stands and test fit the suspension, drive train, and body. The body fit's like a glove. It literally takes 30 minutes to mount it. I've built a number of cars. This is the first one that I'm completely happy with the size and shape. (Except for my Cobra

I'll finish welding the fame and paint it. I hope to start the assembly next week. I'm anxious to get it done. I will post updates on this thread.

The frame as is weighs 233lbs. The body 95lbs. This will be a pretty light car.

Having fun



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Old 12-18-2018, 04:46 PM
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Good luck John! Nice way to start the new year.

Jim
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Old 12-18-2018, 05:35 PM
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Very nice!

Looking forward to the progress.
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:06 PM
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John,

Best wishes with this. I respect you not using the "Cheetah" name and hanging your hopes on the value of the kit rather than riding someone's else's IP.

Looks really good and would be a kick-ass ride!
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:15 AM
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That is really looking good and you are doing nice work. I am looking forward to more pictures and the first drive.

Ron
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:26 AM
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You'll probably be getting a call from a GM attorney about their Buick "Wildcat" brand name... lol
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:16 AM
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The frame weighs 233lbs? Wow!!
Larry
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Old 12-20-2018, 01:41 PM
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man that frame looks STIFF- triangulated in every direction!
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:23 AM
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Thank you for your comments.

Over that last couple of years I've dealt with a company that's 1.5 hours from me that makes CNC routers. i use routers in the manufacture of children's coin banks that I invented. In the same building of that company is a chassis fab/welding/machine/paint shop. I took my frame and body to them on Thursday to discuss having them do the final welding and painting of my frame. I'm bringing my jig, frame, and body to them on Jan 2nd. They will do the final welding, make front and rear bumpers, (needed for NY registration), and work up a price to build complete frames for me.

With the car back in my shop I've started to work on it. I made some new brackets to mount the windshield to the frame. I set the brackets so that the windshield is mounted 1/64 of an inch above the fiberglass. I did this so that there isn't any stress on the glass.

I made a pair of 1/4 inch wide wood pieces that I tabbed to the body with body filler. Then glassed them in. The glassed in pieces create the duct for the radiator. (not mounted yet). The hinges for the full tilt hood slide into tubing on the frame and secure with 2 bolts. Remove the bolts and the hood slides forward and can easily be removed. The hinges bolt to the body with metal plates that bolt to each side of the duct. The hood is very stiff. One finger from one side is all that is needed to flip it up.

Having fun



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Old 12-24-2018, 05:37 AM
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“...make front and rear bumpers, (needed for NY registration)...”

This is a fun build to watch. Any hints on bumper construction? I was thinking maybe a thin chrome strip like an early C3 Corvette, or small corner bumpers like an Pre-L Pantera? What will NY accept?

Keep up the good work!
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACademic View Post
...make front and rear bumpers, (needed for NY registration)...

This is a fun build to watch. Any hints on bumper construction? I was thinking maybe a thin chrome strip like an early C3 Corvette, or small corner bumpers like an Pre-L Pantera? What will NY accept?

Keep up the good work!
Thank you for all of the comments.

I'm going to try and make simple bumpers out of 1 inch tubing that will follow the body contour. They will be small and removable. I'm hoping NY will pass them. I wonder how they deal with the FF 818, Coupe, and GTM.

I happily ended up with a lot of family visiting over the holidays. I'm just getting back to the car. I missed getting it to the chassis shop this week. Hopefully next week.

I'm trying to use inexpensive, readily available parts for this build. I'm using headers from Patriot. I also purchased their 48 inch side pipes. They will hook up with an off the shelf 90 degree tube. Tomorrow I'll put the body back on and mount the side pipes.

I've used internal clutch slaves in the past. I hate it when they fail and I have to pull the transmission. For this build I'm using an external "pull" slave. It looks like it's in the way. But, it's not.









I put the frame at ride height to check the shock mounts. (60 percent available for compression.)
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:41 PM
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I put the body on today so that I could see how the side pipes look. Ends up the mounting is straight forward and pretty simple. I just have to weld a couple of brackets to the frame. I'll do that tomorrow. Then I will make final adjustments to the hood and nail the hinge assembly.

I have the "Cobra" style gas filler set on the rear deck to see how it looks. I'm trying to decide to use it or go with a smaller, flush mounted cap. What do you think?



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Old 01-05-2019, 05:08 PM
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A member here sent me an email with a link for a gas cap he thought would be great. I like it! I think its the one that I will use.

I wish that I had a big budget to build this car. I would like a killer motor with cross flow ITB fuel injection, Larger rear wheels and tires, custom headers/side pipes, and a killer interior and paint.

My goal is to get the car on the road this spring. Then I'll upgrade as I'm able.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:43 PM
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Looks good in red!

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Old 01-05-2019, 08:39 PM
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WOW!!!!! That is an amazing photo shop job. I love it. I love the color! Can I use it?

Thank you Buzz.

I have the exact license plate light and tail lights in my shop.

Last edited by john chesnut; 01-05-2019 at 08:41 PM..
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:12 PM
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By all means John. I've been following the build and I'm really looking forward to seeing the first one finished and on the road.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:31 PM
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Thank you Buzz. I can't wait to get the car done. It's been a long process.

Feel free to show the car in any color you want.
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:32 AM
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That has came out great and really looks good. and I like the red color but you may not.It is going to be a real head turner when you get out on the road with it. Congratulations on a job well done.

Ron
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:10 PM
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Thanks Ron.

I've decided to make provisions for half doors. I've started the mock up for that. I'll make shape the final part, than make molds, then final parts. It will be one piece that mounts and conforms to the frame then bonds to the inside of the body skin. This provides for more shoulder and arm room. If the half door is wanted the outer skin can be cut, reinforced and used for the door. With the door the step over height is 20 inches.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john chesnut View Post
I put the body on today so that I could see how the side pipes look. Ends up the mounting is straight forward and pretty simple. I just have to weld a couple of brackets to the frame. I'll do that tomorrow. Then I will make final adjustments to the hood and nail the hinge assembly.

I have the "Cobra" style gas filler set on the rear deck to see how it looks. I'm trying to decide to use it or go with a smaller, flush mounted cap. What do you think?



Given how sleek the car looks I think a flush mount cap would be the way to go.
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