Cunningham: The Best Of Europe and America In One Sportscar

The Ford GT40 may have been the only American car to truly dominate at Le Mans, but American teams had presented at the French track for years. One such example is Briggs Cunningham. His creations brought the best of American engineering and Italian styling to racing, and are being celebrated at this year’s Lime Rock Park Vintage celebration.

Briggs Cunningham was a racer and a businessman. He raced sportscars and America’s Cup boats, and even invented a rigging system that could change the shape of a sail. But it was his automotive exploits that caught our attention.

Cunningham had been racing since the 1930s, but it was in the 1950s that he set his sights on building a successful racer for Le Mans. In 1950, he fielded a pair of Cadillacs. One looked near-stock, and the other had body work previously unseen in racing, leading the locals to dub it “Le Monstre.”

PHOTOS: See more of the 1953 Cunningham C3 Cabriolet

In 1951, he announced that he would build an American car of his own design to race at Le Mans. At this point, Cunningham had built specialty performance road cars in limited numbers for customers like Nelson Rockefeller, but now needed to produce a track-worthy roadster. The Cunningham C4-R would finish 3rd overall at the 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans, and generally dominated the SCCA racing world throughout the 1950s.

Cunningham 2

This year, Lime Rock park is honoring the marque, by bringing together the largest meeting of Cunninghams ever assembled. The body of the C3 was built by Italian coachbuilder Vignale. Additionally, Cunningham racecars were the first to ever sport racing stripes. Though Cunningham might not be a household name, his legacy is one that is forever entwined with 20th century motorsport.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Meryl Streep funds initiative to help women screenwriters
    Meryl Streep funds initiative to help women screenwriters

    By Maria Caspani NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - U.S. actress Meryl Streep is among the funders of a new initiative to support women screenwriters in a film industry dominated by men. The Writers Lab, run by New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) and announced at the Tribeca Film Festival, will provide mentorship to eight women screenwriters over the age of 40 at a location in upstate New York in September. Screenwriters Kirsten Smith (Legally Blond, Ten Things I Hate About …

  • Prognosis unclear for daughter of late singer Whitney Houston - lawyer
    Prognosis unclear for daughter of late singer Whitney Houston - lawyer

    Bobbi Kristina Brown is expected to live a long life, but her prognosis remains unclear, an attorney for her father Bobby Brown said on Monday, clarifying the singer’s remarks at a weekend concert that she was awake months after being found unresponsive in her bathtub. She's watching me," Brown told concert-goers at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas, according to a video posted on the website TMZ. "However, Bobbi Kristina is presently embarking on a rehabilitation process and the …

  • AC/DC's Rudd pleads guilty to threatening to kill, drug possession

    Phil Rudd, the Australian-born drummer from world-famous rock band AC/DC, pleaded guilty in a New Zealand court on Tuesday to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs, his lawyer said. Rudd, 60, who has been on bail since his arrest last November, reversed an earlier not guilty plea and admitted to one charge of threatening to kill, as well as possession of cannabis and methamphetamine. The district court in the seaside city of Tauranga, about 200 km (125 miles) southeast of …

  • Cirque du Soleil sells majority stake to U.S., Chinese investors
    Cirque du Soleil sells majority stake to U.S., Chinese investors

    By Allison Lampert MONTREAL (Reuters) - Cirque du Soleil, the ragtag group of street performers in Canada that grew into a global circus and entertainment colossus, is selling a majority stake to a U.S. private equity fund and its Chinese partner, Cirque du Soleil said on Monday. The deal to sell control to a group led by Texas-based TPG Capital LP values Montreal-based Cirque at about $1.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.. TPG will own 60 percent, while a unit of …

  • Bobby Brown says daughter with late singer Whitney Houston 'is awake'
    Bobby Brown says daughter with late singer Whitney Houston 'is awake'

    (Reuters) - Singer Bobby Brown said at a weekend concert that his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, who has been hospitalized since being found unresponsive in her bathtub nearly three months ago, was awake but did not elaborate on her medical condition. She's watching me," Brown told concert-goers at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas, according to a video posted on the website TMZ. It was not clear whether Brown's statement reflected a change in the health of his 22-year-old daughter …

  • Rock band The Slants cannot trademark disparaging name - U.S. appeals court

    By Andrew Chung NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian-American rock band the Slants, which says it chose its name as a way to reclaim a term usually considered a racial slur, cannot trademark the name because it is disparaging, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the band's argument that the government's refusal to grant a trademark violated its free speech rights. The ruling could have implications for the high-profile fight …

  • U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal over Arizona 'fish pedicures'

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by the owner a Phoenix-area spa that ran afoul of Arizona state regulations that barred her from providing pedicures in which clients have their feet nibbled by small fish to remove dead skin. The procedure involves customers placing their feet in a water tank filled with toothless Garra rufa fish, also known as doctor fish, which suck the dead tissue off their feet to leave them feeling softer. Cindy Vong, who has operated a nail salon in …

  • Coming-out musical 'Fun Home' gets rousing welcome on Broadway

    By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadway welcomed its first lesbian lead character in the musical "Fun Home" with open arms and glowing reviews, praising the groundbreaking show for its originality and sensitivity. It is based on the best-selling graphic memoir, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic," by lesbian writer/cartoonist Alison Bechdel about her dysfunctional family and childhood in rural Pennsylvania in a funeral home run by her father, a closeted gay man who also taught English. …

Loading...