Corvette is a registered trademark of General Motors Corporation.
Actual production model may vary.
Engine by Lingenfelter
Flow Carbon Fiber Performance Design Intake Manifold tuned by Lingenfelter
Flow Corsa Headers,
Exhaust and Airbox tuned by Lingenfelter
HRE Forged Aluminum Wheels Front 20 x 9 Rear 21 x 12
Pilot Sport 4S Tires Front 245/30ZR20 Rear 325/25ZR21
Alcon / RB Performance Brakes
Peter Stevens Design
ACME Trading Company
Briggs Swift Cunningham was an American racing legend, sportsman, race team owner and Le Mans Mega-Star. Credited with creating America’s first modern sports cars after World War II and was responsible for manufacturing some of racings most storied racecars – especially, the stunning 1952 Cunningham C4R & C4RK Le Mans racers and the Cunningham C3 grand touring sports car. In 1958, Briggs won both the American Driving Championship, as well as, piloting the “Columbia” to win the prestigious America’s Cup sailing race that same year!
He dominated the American auto racing scene from 1950 to 1963 during which time, he also built one of the most competitive American auto racing teams in Le Mans History. The American auto racing community has much to thank Briggs for. One of his most lasting legacies was the creation of the “Racing Stripe” which he introduced; two blue stripes painted down the center of his white Le Mans racecars. [to reflect the American Racing Colors of a White Body with Blue Frame Rails] The rest is history!
In 1960 Briggs was asked by Zora Arkus-Duntov if he thought the Corvette could be competitive at Le Mans, and so an amazing journey began with Corvette’s first appearance on the World racing stage. Now known as the Cunningham Corvette’s – the three-car effort proved to the world that the Corvette was a true sports car. Car #3 finished 8th overall – winning its Class that year and enshrining it in Corvette Lore!
It is that marvelous effort that we celebrate today with the introduction of the first new Cunningham Corvette in 60 years! The new Cunningham C8 Corvette is a modern Supercar. It is powered by a specially tuned Lingenfelter 600+ (naturally aspirated) horsepower LT2 motor, with a Lingenfelter tuned Performance Design Carbon Fiber Intake Manifold, Lingenfelter tuned Corsa Performance Headers, Exhaust and High Flow Airbox, a 8 speed DCT transaxle, Cunningham/MOV’IT Disc Brakes, Lingenfelter tuned Suspension, Motorsport derived Aero Kit, 20 & 21 inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Tires mounted on bespoke forged aluminum HRE wheels that are modeled on the racing Halibrand Kidney Bean wheels used on the original 1960 Le Mans winning Cunningham Corvette’s.
Only 60 of these special Anniversary Corvette’s will be produced, each will be numbered to Commemorate the 1960 Le Mans Winning Corvette #3, and each VIN will be entered into the Cunningham Registry.
A CLOSER LOOK
THE STATE-OF-THE-ART FEATURES & COMPONENTS
3LT TRIM PACKAGE
- Z51 performance Brembo® antilock brakes
- Performance exhaust (Upgraded by Lingenfelter to Corsa Sport Tuned Exhaust)
- Performance ratio rear axle
- Electronic Limited-Slip Differential (eLSD)
- Z51 rear spoiler (Upgraded to Cunningham Bespoke Aero Kit)
- Michelin® Pilot® Sport 4S 245/35ZR19 front and 305/30ZR20 rear, high performance, run-flat summer-only tires (Upgraded to Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 245/30ZR20 front and 325/25ZR21 Rear, high performance run-flat summer-only tires)
- Heavy-duty cooling system
- Performance Traction Management
- Body-Color Dual Roof Package
- Z51 performance suspension with Magnetic Selective Ride Control (Upgraded by Lingenfelter to Performance Street/Track settings)
- 6.2L V8 DI engine Standard (Upgraded by Lingenfelter to Performance Design Carbon Fiber Intake Manifold, Corsa Sport Tuned Headers and Airbox)
- 8-speed dual clutch transmission Standard
- 19″ front/20″ rear 5-open-spoke Bright Silver-painted aluminum wheels Standard (Upgraded to HRE 20”x9” Front and 21”x12” Rear Bespoke Forged Aluminum Wheels)
- Tension Blue seat belt color
- Competition Sport bucket seats
- Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Premium System with Navigation and 8″ diagonal HD color touchscreen Standard
Source: General Motors Chevrolet division website
Inspired by timeless design of the original Cunningham Corvette.
REAL ART REPLICAS
In collaboration with ACME Trading Company, Cunningham Automotive will be including three highly detailed 1/18 scale models of the historic Cunningham Le Mans Corvettes. Each set will be serialized to match their corresponding new Cunningham C8 they are delivered with.
$5,000 TO RESERVE
Dealer | Matick Chevrolet / 14001 Telegraph Rd
Redford MI 48239. (313) 531- 7100
AN ICONIC HISTORY
THE BEGINNING OF CUNNINGHAM CARS
1950 CUNNINGHAM CADILLAC SERIES 61 COUPE
The “Petit Pataud” or “Little Clumsy” pretty much tells you what the French thought of this American land yacht competing at Le Mans.
This 160HP V8 powered Cadillac Coupe was the first time that this brand had been campaigned at Le Mans and the first time an American car had entered the race since 1935. The Petit Pataud didn’t win the race that year but it and its sister car “Le Monstre” won the respect of the European spectators and competition alike by placing 10th and 11th overall which was respectable result for any inaugural effort at Le Mans and a real testament to Briggs Swift Cunningham and his team of talented drivers – Phil Walters, Miles and Sam Collier.
1950 CUNNINGHAM CADILLAC “LE MONSTRE”
“Le Monstre” as it was called by the French Press was Briggs Cunningham’s effort to build a more aerodynamic open cockpit Cadillac V8 power race car for the long Mulsanne Straight. In fact it was 13mph faster than “Petit Pataud” but misfortune during the race relegated it to an 11th overall finish behind its sister car in 10th. This was a most amazing result for what must have been stunned spectators watching these massive American cars being competitive against Europe’s best. The Cadillac Coupe averaged just 8mph less than the race leader and “Le Monstre” finished 5 miles behind the “Petit Pataud”.
1951 CUNNINGHAM C-1
This was America’s First Modern Post World Monster War II Sports Car. The C-1 was a Cadillac 331 cu. in. V8 powered the Grand Tourer with 220 Hp and had ambitions of taking on the best of Europe. It had styling that was ten years ahead of its time and offered performance only available from the top spec Jaguars of the day. Sadly, only the one was ever built as General Motors wasn’t able to supply the V8 motors to Cunningham for the production run. The C-1’s chassis served as the basis for the C-2R and C-3 sports cars that followed it.
1951 CUNNINGHAM C-2R
Essentially, this was a reengineered C1 modified to support a new powertrain.
The C-2R was the first Cunningham to make use of Chrysler’s brand new Hemi V8 and was designed to race at Le Mans. After a short development window they were taken to France where they placed 18th overall. On the surface it looked like a less than stellar introduction but in fact the C-2R had held second place for 6 hours which was outstanding for a new car with an unproven race motor running using the poor quality race fuels that teams were required to use. Despite the poor fuel, the C-2R achieved an officially timed 152 mph on the Mulsanne straight.
Later the C-2Rs dominated the Watkins Glen Grand Prix taking 1st, 2nd and 4th place and 1st and 6th place at Elkhart Lake.
Most notably, this was also the first race car to have what we have come to know as “Racing Stripes”. The Blue Stripes represent the required blue frame rails of the American Racing Colors of a White Body with a Blue Frame. As the frame rails on cars in 1950 were no longer visible, Briggs brought the left and right frame color to the center of the car creating two Blue stripes down the center of the car.
1952 CUNNINGHAM C-4R
The C-4R was the product of rapid evolutionary development from the C-1 prototype to the C-2R culminating with the C-4R/C4RK race cars. It was a much lighter, smaller car designed to harness the full power of the Chrysler Hemi V8 now tuned to deliver 300 HP. Cunningham put up a formidable arsenal in 1952. This car, along with its sister Coupe the C-4RK, was ready to take on Le Mans and win. However, issues with their brakes hampered Briggs’ efforts leaving him to nurse his C-4R to finish in 4th place overall. This was an impressive race, and one in which Briggs Cunningham drove 20 of the 24 hours himself – which made him a Le Mans legend.
1952 CUNNINGHAM C-4RK
The C-4RK was an early effort to improve aerodynamic performance by chopping the tail of the vehicle to what was referred to as a Kamm-back. It was named for German Aeronautical Engineer Dr. Wunibald Kamm who personally oversaw the modifications of the C-4RK at Briggs West Palm Beach Factory to maximize its aero performance. This effort proved worthwhile as the C-4RK was the early race leader and set the fastest lap during the race even topping Mercedes’ best time. This was a full 13 years before Shelby introduced his Daytona Coupe in 1964/65.
1953 CUNNINGHAM C-3
It is hard to describe a car like the Cunningham C-3 as it was a paradigm shift for American enthusiasts. It wasn’t just a great American car – it was the equal of any sports car available in Europe at the time. Capable of sub 7.0 second sprints to 60 mph and with a top speed of near 150 mph, its impact was seismic as was its price at USD$10,000. For comparison, in 1953 the median New Home Price in the United States was $18,080 and Chevrolet’s then newly introduced Corvette’s price started at a modest $3,513. The Cunningham C-3’s pricing limited it to only the wealthiest of buyers but its pedigree was solid. The Chrysler Hemi V8 power offered 220Hp. The Cunningham race proven chassis was styled by Giovanni Michelotti and the bodies were produced by Vignale in Turin, Italy.
1953 CUNNINGHAM C-5R
Arguably, it was one of Briggs Cunningham’s most successful cars at Le Mans with a 3rd place overall finish splitting Jaguar’s chance for a clean sweep in 1953. The Jaguars finished 1st, 2nd and 4th place that year and the Cunninghams placed 3rd, 7th and 10th overall. The Ferrari finished 5th and all of the Alfas failed to finish. This was an amazing finish for a vehicle that was viewed as less than a technical masterpiece for its solid axle front suspension. The combination proved successful as its clean shape and tremendously powerful Hemi V8 barreled the C-5R down the Mulsanne Straight at 154.81 mph, averaging 104.14 mph over the 24 hours. If not for Jaguar’s superior Dunlop disc brakes over the C-5R massive 17-inch drums, the C-5R would have dominated the race.
1955 CUNNINGHAM C-6R
The C-6R was designed to take advantage of the famed Indy 500 Offenhauser 3.0L Double OverHead Valve, 16 Valve, 4-cylinder engine. Having been designed to run on alcohol, the motor was overheating on pump gas and ultimately proved unreliable. Later, Briggs removed the 4- cylinder in favor of the Jaguar 3.8 inline 6 cylinder. At this point Briggs was winding down his efforts to build bespoke sports cars to compete at Le Mans and began to transition to campaigning with the Jaguar D-Types. The transition away from producing bespoke cars was also impacted by the IRS requirement that after 5 years of losses a company could no longer right off these expenditures. Shutting down the production company was as much a financial decision as an acknowledgement of the technical challenges of building competitive race cars.
1955 CUNNINGHAM D-TYPE
In 1955 Briggs campaigned a Jaguar D-Type alongside the C-6R at Le Mans. This marked his official departure from building his own cars to racing the best cars that were available. Briggs successfully drove Jaguars, Corvettes, Lister Jaguars, Porsches, Maseratis and OSCAs.
1958 CUNNINGHAM LISTER JAGUAR
In 1958 Briggs ordered two Lister “Knobbly” Jaguar’s to be campaigned during the SCCA C Modified Championship. The vehicles were delivered to Alfred Momo’s shop in Queens, New York to be prepared for the coming race season. The Cunningham Listers dominated the field that year winning 11 of 16 races securing the SCCA C Modified Championship for 1958.
1960 CUNNINGHAM JAGUAR E2A (E-TYPE PROTOTYPE)
The E2A was the original prototype for the E-Type. Briggs Cunningham was given permission by Jaguar to use the E2A for his 1960 Le Mans effort. This Jaguar joined the Three Cunningham Corvette’s that were also campaigned that year. Having set the fastest lap during practice at Le Mans, there were high hopes for the E2A achieving an overall win; but the car suffered mechanical issues that brought about its early retirement from the race.
1960 MASERATI BIRDCAGE
Feather light and powerful come to mind when thinking about the legend that is the Maserati Birdcage. Briggs and co-driver Jim Kimberly campaigned a Birdcage to an 8th place finish at Le Mans in 1961. The car was reliable and fast. It finished 3rd in class to two Porsches.
1960 CHEVROLET CORVETTE
It is the stuff of Legend when people speak of Zora Duntov asking Briggs Cunningham to take three Corvette’s to Le Mans in 1960. This was the first time that Corvettes were campaigned at Le Mans and it was that marque’s first class win at Le Mans. The three cars battled throughout the 24 hours. One succumbed to an accident, one retired due to mechanical issues and the remaining #3 car struggled to keep from overheating by famously having its engine covered with ice to keep it cool. The drama and excitement around the Corvette pits and the Cunningham Crew’s “never say quit” attitude earned much admiration from the spectators and competitors alike. In the end, the Number 3 car crossed the finish line 8th overall and 1st in class. This was a feat Corvette would not repeat until 2001 when it again was 8th overall at Le Mans and 1st in class.
1962 CUNNINGHAM E-TYPE
“The most beautiful car in the world” remarked Enzo Ferrari when asked about the Jaguar E-Type. High praise indeed but it was never the all-out race car that its forebears were – the legendary D-Type and C-Types.
Jaguar with the help of Cunningham had campaigned the prototype E-Type at Le Mans in 1960 but after a good showing setting fastest lap in practice, it had to be retired early. In 1962 Briggs Cunningham and co-driver Roy Salvadori campaigned an E-Type at Le Mans but couldn’t match the power of the Ferraris and finished a respectable 4th overall.
1963 CUNNINGHAM JAGUAR LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE
In 1963, Briggs Cunningham brought three Lightweight Jaguar E-Types to Le Mans with hopes for a successful overall win. The cars were numbers #14, #15 and #16 and they ran well during the race, with Briggs and co-driver Bob Grossman in #15 finishing 9th overall. Unfortunately, #14 and #16 did not finish the race, retiring early. In a reflection of the historic importance of these Cunningham Lightweight E-Types, #14 sold in 2017 for a record USD$8,000,000, setting the high-water mark for all 12 existing Jaguar Lightweight E-Types.
1964 PORSCHE 904
After retiring from the Le Mans competition in 1963, Briggs Swift Cunningham went on to focus primarily on domestic motorsports racing in the U.S. until he formally retired from racing in 1966. One of his weapons of choice during these years was a small mid-engine sports car from Porsche – the legendary 904. Porsche’s featherlight 485kg (1,069 lbs.) 904 came equipped with a four cam 2.0L flat four-cylinder engine that offered a reliable 180 horsepower. This equates to 336.76hp/ton. For reference, a modern 2018 Porsche mid-engine 918 Cayman GTS weighs 1,355kg (2,988lbs) and is equipped with a 2.5L 4cyl Turbo engine producing 365hp, offering 244.31hp/ton – nearly 1/3 less power per pound than its 904 forebearer. This vehicle was simple designed to dominate its class.
2001 CUNNINGHAM C-7
The $250,000 C-7 was brought to the world through the collaboration of Briggs Swift Cunningham’s son Briggs Swift Cunningham III and Bob Lutz. They envisioned a Grand Turismo that harkened back to the legendary Cunningham C-3 of the 1950’s; yet was capable of thoroughly outperforming even the best modern European GT. The vehicle was to have been built around a bespoke American made DOHC V12 with 600 horsepower, rear bias “All Wheel Drive” system, with interior space for 4 full size adults over the height of 6.3”. A requirement that Bob Lutz put on the designer, Stewart Reed, was that he (Bob Lutz) had to be able to sit comfortably in the back seat. What is most remarkable about this vehicle is that it is actually only 6 inches longer than a 2001 Corvette, but seated 4 adults, with its V12 engine set behind the front axle line making it a front mid-engine coupe. Sadly, only the concept car was ever produced and plans to manufacture the C-7 were put on hold.
Cunningham Automotive would like to extend special thanks to the following companies, organizations and individuals that made this effort possible.
$5,000 TO RESERVE
Dealer | Matick Chevrolet / 14001 Telegraph Rd
Redford MI 48239 (313) 531- 7100