Time magazine cover hero and Americas Cup yachtsman Briggs Cunningham cut a swathe through the post-war sports-racing scene with his magnificent Cunningham sports cars. He burst into view in 1951 with his Chrysler-powered C-2 sports-racers and in 1952 launched the production C-3, a Vignale-bodied car built as both a coupe and cabriolet. Some two dozen were made. The C-4R was his 1952 racer, still Chrysler-powered, which performed well at Le Mans and with Phil Walters and John Fitch was all but unbeatable in American racing.
Radical with its solid-axle front end and colossal drum brakes, the C-5R of 1953 was a challenger to the Jaguars at Le Mans. In 1954 Cunningham raced a much-modified Ferrari with water-cooled brakes and in 1955 introduced his C-6R, beautifully engineered by Briggs Weaver and Offenhauser powered.
Fabulous unpublished pictures from the Ludvigsen Library show these great cars on the track and at rest. They carried the American flag at home and abroad with style and panache.
Karl Ludvigsen is widely known and respected in the automotive world for his research and reporting on all aspects of motoring and motor sports. This has come about through his studies of engineering and industrial design as well as his positions with GM, Fiat and Ford and his leadership of a motor-industry management-consulting company. He has been active for over 60 years as an author and historian. As author, co-author or editor he has some five dozen books to his credit, all concerning cars and the motor industry, his life-long passion. Ludvigsen has received 60 awards for his works’ high standard of writing and research. He lives in Suffolk, England.