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Cunningham History

1953 Cunningham C3

Chassis number : 5441

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Sold for $1,215,000 at 2022 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island.
Briggs S. Cunningham, 'The Great American Sportsman,' won races on land and sea. A key goal was to win Le Mans with a car with his name on it. To qualify, he had to build 25 running chassis for road cars at his facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. Each chassis carried an enhanced version of the most powerful American production engine, the Chrysler Hemi V8. Completed chassis were shipped to Italy for custom alloy bodies and interiors by noted Ferrari supplier Vignale of Turin. Of the 25 cars, most were fast-back coupes and the rest were four cabriolets which were expensive at more than $14,000, which was double the price of the next most costly American car and about the same as an exclusive Ferrari or three times the cost of a sporty Jaguar. One of the four cabriolet buyers was nelson Rockefeller, former New York Governor and Vice President of the United States. He loaned his cabriolet to the New York Museum of Modern Art, which labeled it one of the world's most beautiful automobiles.

This Cabriolet was the last to be built and was shipped to Vignale on February 3rd, 1953. The original owner of this car was Irving Robbins of Palo Alto, CA. He showed it at Pebble Beach. It was later featured in Road & Track magazine and the Encyclopedia of American Cars. The next owner was Stu Barnett of Clearwater, Florida, followed by Charles Cawly of Maine. It was also owned for a short time by Briggs's daughter, Lucie Cunningham McKinney until her passing in 2014.

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2022 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $900,000-USD $1,200,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,215,000

1953 Cunningham C3 Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Cunningham C3

(Data based on Model Year 1953 sales)
1953 Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet by Vignale
Chassis#: 5441
Sold for USD$1,215,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  
1953 Cunningham C-3 Coupe by Vignale
Chassis#: 5223
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  
1953 Cunningham C3 Coupe by Vignale
Chassis#: 5206
Sold for USD$869,000
  2015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  
1953 Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe
Chassis#: 5211
Sold for USD$341,000
  2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  
1953 Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe
Chassis#: 5226
Sold for USD$539,000
  2011 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  
1953 Cunningham C3
Sold for USD$255,000
  2009 Automobiles of Amelia Island
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  
1953 Cunningham C3 Competition Continental Coupe
Sold for USD$374,000
  2006 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction
1953 Cunningham C3 image  1953 Cunningham C3 image  

Cunningham C3s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1953 Cunningham C3's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High

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1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle thumbnail image  1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle thumbnail image  

1953 Cunningham C3 Profiles

1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Michelotti
Designer: Alfredo Vignale
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Michelotti
Designer: Alfredo Vignale
Chassis #: 5211
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Michelotti
Designer: Alfredo Vignale
Chassis #: 5206
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vignale
Chassis #: C52843235
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vignale
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vignale
Chassis #: 5441
Engine #: C52-8-43235
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Continental Coupe
Coachwork: Vignale
Chassis #: 5226
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Michelotti
Designer: Alfredo Vignale
Chassis #: 5223
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Michelotti
Designer: Alfredo Vignale