- Make: Other Makes
- Model: Cheetah
- Year: 1963
- VIN: BILLOFSALEONLY
- Color: Green
- Number of cylinders: 2
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Black
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1963 Other Makes Cheetah
~~New at 51 years: ’63 LeGrand CheetahCalifornia based Aldin 'Red' LeGrand was a senior mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry who later built a series of cars that bore his name. His first creation was a Renault-based racing special which was completed in the very early 1960s. His second car was called the Cheetah which was designed to compete in Formula 4. Formula 4 was created by the Formula Racing Association as an alternative to their Formula 3 (which used 400-cc motorcycle engines) class. The regulations for F4 stated a 500-cc unrestricted engine or a 750cc engine with (at most) one overhead cam. Two-cycle engines were allowed; superchargers were not permitted. The race cars had to comply with a 440 pound minimum weight requirement.
The Formula 4 series never really caught on and only a few builders fielded cars to compete in the series. One of those builders was LeGrand who used an air-cooled BMW 700 engine and transaxle for his car. It was mounted in a tubular steel chassis and rode on cast-aluminum wheels with Airheart disc brakes on all four corners. The first car - the prototype - was clothed in aluminum while subsequent models were given fiberglass. Aluminum was lighter but the fiberglass bodies were cheaper which seemed to appeal to a wider audience of buyers at the time. The prototype car weighed a mere 445 pounds.
The base BMW 700 engine produced 35 horsepower. LeGrand's car produced 70 bhp with the help of dual Amal carburetors and modified headers.
Bruce Eglinton the works driver won the 1964 FRA season finale race beating two Lotus Formula Libres and several Formula Junior cars. His car used a 76-bhp alcohol-burning version of the BMW engine. Impressive victories and top finishes were scored by the Cheetahs and made often ran faster than Formula Junior cars.
The Formula 4 Series never became popular so LeGrand switched to the popular H-Modified class. The cars he built for this series were also dubbed the Cheetah (MKII). The cars were given the same suspension and transaxle as the MKI along with the tried-and-true BMW engine. Performance was reduced due to the increase in weight for the two-seater now tipping the scales at around 560 pounds.
Production of the MKII lasted from 1964 through 1965. The car was sold in completed form kits or as a rolling chassis.
LeGrand would continue building sports-racers and Formula Cars including a single F3 entry for many years. Red passed away in 1988 and a few years later in 1991 the company went out of business.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2009
This Cheetah was purchased as been completed a kit back in ’63. The owner never got around to building it so it sat as a kit for 49 years. It was recently built and the seller began the process of getting it road-worthy. That work has not yet been completed. It is being sold complete and “as is” for $35995There is extensive documentation with this LeGrand lots of receipts some dating back to 1964/65. It was built in stages and its almost there but not quite yet. We have got it running I have even driven it but still needs tinkering and we are getting into busy season....................long story short it will have to go or wait for my retirement to continue the work. What’s left to be done will take some time and little bit of money.We have had custom build the crate to transport this Cheetah and it will be available if buyer wants it.Will ship crated or any other way to any point on planet at buyers expense.If you Google this car there is few articles on internet covering this car and other Cheetah’s. There was one featured on Bring-a-trailer back in 08 asking $35k hovever it didn’t have original engine.Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone if you have any questions.
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