For the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans, the rules required entrants build 50 cars to establish themselves as a manufacturer. Coachbuilder Vignale was hired to construct these examples, and although short of the necessary 50 cars, 25 Vignale-bodied emerged from Cunningham, also powered by Chrysler Hemi V8s. Michael Hammer’s 1952 Cunningham C-3 Vignale Coupe was the only the third C-3 Vignale built, and the only example raced by the Cunningham team, where it was driven by Phil Stiles at the 6-Hour Collier Memorial Handicap.
The Simeone Automotive Foundation brought the 1952 C-4R Competition Roadster to the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours. This C4-R was the tool of choice on what is credited as one of the most successful attempts at a Le Mans 24 Hour overall win for Cunningham. Chassis 5217 raced at La Sarthe not once, but twice, eventually earning a class win in 1954 and a third place overall finish with Briggs behind the wheel. Interestingly, of the two C-4Rs in existence, the other in the Collier Collection, each car has the other one’s original engine – something that likely happened during routine engine rebuilds.
The 1953 Cunningham C-3 Vignale Convertible of Dennis Nicotra is the very last example of the 25 C-3s constructed by Vignale. The 2015 event marked the second occasion chassis 5441 has visited the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Only a short time after taking delivery of this C-3 Vignale Convertible, the car’s first owner, Irving Robbins, would display the car on the on the lawn. A particularly striking example, this C-3 would eventually be featured in Road & Track magazine, and later owned Brigg’s daughter, Lucie Cunningham McKinney, until her recent passing.