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						Alan Green Cheetah
Up For Discussion: Alan Green Cheetah No. 003

Is this the third Alan Green Cheetah?

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

These were once just tired old race cars, not priceless objects of automotive obsession, and I think that’s the key to understanding how the history of an iconic Bill Thomas Cheetah racer can be forgotten. Maybe forgotten is the wrong term, but in the case of this Alan Green Cheetah race car on eBay, it’s plain to see the car’s provenance is contested between two interested parties — those being BTMLLC of Arizona and Bill Thomas Motors.

I’ll assume at this point that we all have a little background on Bill Thomas’ would-be Cobra killer, but the status of the Cheetah namesake in more recent years is less often talked about. It seems pretty clear that some relationship existed between Bill Thomas and Robert Auxier while Auxier was building and restoring Cheetahs under the BTM name between 2001 and 2013. Auxier has had his hands on more significant original Cheetahs than anyone, and he definitely knows his stuff. But after Bill Thomas’ death in 2009, a dispute over the Thomas and Cheetah names broke out between Auxier and members of the Thomas family, which resulted in a California District Court ruling in favor of William Thomas III, Frank Thomas and Carolyn Thomas Walters. The court essentially ruled that whatever intellectual property rights were granted to Auxier terminated with Thomas’ death.

But for our purposes today, I want to touch on the well-known Cheetahs of Seattle-based Chevrolet dealer Alan Green. The consensus seems to be that Green purchased three Cheetahs from Thomas pretty early on, two of which have become quite famous in recent years. One of these cars is easily recognized for the wide fender flares Green’s racing team added to it, and Green’s telltale shade of light green. That car alone has some interesting history, but it’s been issued an FIA Historic Technical Passport, and is a seven-figure collector today. Green also purchased one of the other Cheetahs as a street car for his wife to use, and it too is finished in the signature green shade, and wears much smaller Torq-Thrust wheels. But what about the third Alan Green Cheetah?

By the most basic accounts, the other Alan Green Cheetah was purchased for Jerry Grant to drive in the American Challenge Cup, but he crashed in practice at Daytona and didn’t make the start. After that, things get a bit messy though. The Thomas family and some other sources indicate that the other Cheetah (likely the first one Alan Green took delivery of) was destroyed at Daytona with Grant behind the wheel. Auxier however, claims that the car wasn’t destroyed, and it in fact, is the car we’re looking at today here on eBay. According to Auxier, the front of the Cheetah was damaged quite badly, including the front clamshell, front suspension and the front chassis section. Seeing as nearly 60 years have passed since the Cheetah was crashed, the truth might be hard to find, if not for a pair of “recently discovered” photos, Auxier alleges, and I believe I found the exact photos he’s speaking of here and here on eBay.

I hate to go too far out on a limb, but the car shown in the photos definitely looks right, and doesn’t appear to be totaled. It also matches up with another photo of Jerry Grant in the Cheetah, and exhibits enough differences from the other No. 17 (the other Alan Green racer) to eliminate confusion there.

At the end of the day, I’m not a Cheetah authority and can only say so much from my editorial outpost here in Northern Wisconsin. Who knows, maybe most of you knew the truth of this car all along, but given the convoluted history of Cheetah racers, and the fact that no one is talking about this car, I had to dive in. And there’s no doubt that this is one of the most intriguing vintage race cars for sale today.

Check out the Cheetah here on eBay, where the asking price is $750,000

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