When General Motors decided to withdraw from motor racing in 1963, this spurred Californian Bill Thomas into making his own cars. Bill was well-known in the United States for developing and tuning Corvette engines. With a little back-hand money from Chevrolet, he took on the dominance of the Mustangs and Cobras. He setup a factory in Anaheim, California for which the rent was paid by Detroit. The first Cheetah soon saw the light of day.