Valves From the Unknown: Cheetah Coupé (1961)
The Cheetah had a tubular spaceframe chassis and powered by a Corvette V8 small-block engine bored out to over 6 liters. Thomas [the creator], was restricted to only Corvette parts, so all components were stock or modified Corvette materials.
The Cheetah had a tuned-version of the Rochester fuel-injection system which helped produce over 475 horsepower. The positioning of the engine was done to improve performance; it sat very far back in the engine bay resulting in the driver compartment moving rearward. The engine was mated to a Borg Warner T-10 four-speed gearbox and sent the power to the rear wheels. The rear wheels were a mere inches behind the driver.
Corvette drum brakes were placed on all four corners which would prove to be unworthy to handle the massive amounts of power produced from the engine. The entire package was clothed in a lightweight aluminum hand-formed coupe body featuring exotic gullwing doors.
Theory never guarantees success. After much planning, building, tuning, and modifying, the Cheetah was brought to the track. Its performance was less than adequate and disappointing. Teething problems are to be expected from any new race car, but some are just too difficult to overcome.
The doors blew off the vehicle while at speed, its brakes were inadequate, and the cockpit had poor ventilation making it unbearably hot for the driver. The heat problem was solved for at least on car whose top was cut off. The first year proved to be a valuable learning experience.
Valves from the Unknown — Aston Martin DBR3 (1958)
“An Aston Martin, unknown, you say?”
Yes, I say. You probably know about the DBR1 and the DBR4, have you ever wondered about what happened in the middle of these?
The DBR3 was not meant to be the successor of the DBR1. In fact, the DBR3 was a DBR1 underneath, only with a different engine and front end setup. It had a detuned version of the road DB4 car, a 3 liter engine, to be able to compete in the same 3L category as the DBR1.
It had very little success, as the engine proved to be a bit on the unreliable side. And so the only DBR3 ever built was converted back into a DBR1.
Valves from the Unknown
Bosley MKi (1955)
“Low, sleek, and stunning, the bright red coupe with the egg-crate grille might appear at first to be the work of an established coachbuilder adorning, most likely, a Ferrari chassis. Dramatic and somewhat brutish, it is at the same time delicate, projecting a look of graceful motion even when at rest.
Few would argue if it were passed off as the work of Vignale’s stylists, or perhaps the artisans of Carrozzeria Touring. Few designers outside the exclusive design houses of Italy could have managed the purity of form and exquisite detailing displayed here.”— source.
— Valves from the Unknown
The Trident Clipper.
Built in 1968 as a TVR prototype, it was later on picked up by a company named Trident, which wanted to give this Clipper a go in the British market. It featured an all-american V8 under the bonnet and was astonishingly quick, with 270bhp to put on the rear wheels. Sadly, no one seemed to notice it. Even though it remained until 1977 on the market, only 140 units were built and sold.