Weekend Reading: Three Cars Owned By Briggs Cunningham Are Coming Up For Sale Next Weekend
Unique 1964 Maserati 5000 GT By Michelotti, Commissioned By Briggs Cunningham
The Cunningham Maserati 5000 GT is as close to a race vehicle for the street as was worked in period.
The Maserati 5000 is considered among the most glitzy, powerful, and exclusive street going automobiles of the 1960s. The first concept, created at the request of Sha of Iran in 1958, was to take the enormous engines used by Maserati’s successful 450S race vehicles and drop it into the body of a 3500 GT, Maserati’s first street going vehicle. Just 34 of these mega-GTs would be made and were offered uniquely to the main clients on the planet: Fiat-magnate Gianni Agnelli, the Aga Khan, and yes, Briggs Cunningham.
Cunningham’s 5000 GT wasn’t like the others, however. Instead, he requested a special vehicle that resembled the 450S race vehicle however much as could be expected with improved aerodynamics to give him as close to a street going 450S as could be expected – most Maserati 5000 GTs seemed to take practically no aerodynamics into account with square, square shaped edges . Cunningham’s vehicle was styled by Michelotti and he set aside the effort to travel to Italy to test-drive the vehicle before delivery – at Monza.
This special vehicle commissioned by Cunningham is likely the fastest and most interesting street going Maserati of the era and Bonhams will sell it with an estimate of $1.1 million to $1.4 million this Friday, August eighteenth. More here .
1963 Le Mans-Running Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, Ex-Team Cunningham
A True “GTO Killer” with Le Mans and Cunningham provenance.
While Cunningham’s 1964 commission with Maserati was used to get around from one track to another during the European dashing season, this Jaguar was meant for genuine performance driving on the ring. Indeed, Cunningham had an obsession with winning the ultimate endurance rally of the 24 hour of Le Mans and since government restrictions on little group automobile manufacturers had limited his chances of winning utilizing his very own vehicle design, he had selected to interface up with Jaguar. With the full help of the manufacturer, Cunningham brought three of these souped-up and stripped down “GTO Killers” to Le Mans with great success, completing ninth over all.
Cunningham continued to run the lightweight E-Type at races in the United States, winning several of them. The vehicle was sold by Cunningham during the 1970s and went through a line of prestigious collections everywhere on the world. Right up ’til the present time, the light-weight E-Types are among the most desired period racers as more data on them becomes available. The vehicles were never promoted or advertised by Jaguar, and they share a comparable look to the well-known E-Type, very little of the creation vehicles made their way into these special race-bound machines.
The 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, ex-Team Cunningham, Le Mans, and Bridgehampton will be sold by Bonhams on Friday, August eighteenth. The estimate isn’t published by the department, which, well, means it’ll be a lot. More here .
1953 Cunningham C-3 Vignale Owned By The Cunningham Family
This Cunningham C-3 belonged to Briggs Cunningham himself and currently belongs to his daughter.
While the present Maserati and Jaguar are incredibly special vehicles and no uncertainty will sell well into the seven figure range, there isn’t anything more personal than a real Cunningham sports vehicle. This 1953 Cunningham C-3, like all vehicles made with the Cunningham name on the hood, were designed and produced in Palm Beach utilizing an American power plant, yet with body work coming from Italy. The C-3 uses a Chrysler Hemi V-8 engine inside lovely Vignale styling to the body – a true mixture of American muscle and Italian mentor building.
Only 25 C-3s were produced, and each sold for around $12,000 in 1953, an enormous price for the time. The vehicles went to families that ran in the same circles as Briggs: Rockefeller, du Pont, etc. Additionally? This vehicle was Briggs Cunningham’s personal C-3 Cunningham.
This rare vehicle is as yet owned by the Cunningham family – Briggs’ daughter to be exact – and however it has been repainted and the leather upholsty reapplied, the vehicle is very unique and has undeniable provenance. The vehicle at the time of listing had a little more than 10,000 miles on the odometer and this vehicle, while ostensibly the most closely associated of the three vehicles available next weekend to Mr. Cunningham himself has the lowest estimate: $750,000 to $950,000. Having said that, RM Sotheby’s will sell this incredible vehicle so closely associated with the great man himself without reserve, so the sky is the limit. Snap here for more .