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Cunningham History

1953 Cunningham C3

Chassis number : 5206

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Sold for $869,000 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection.
Briggs Swift Cunningham was a racing enthusiast from his early years and, in fact, imported the first racing Ferrari to America. He was most famous for mounting an American assault to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in many cars including Cadillac, Corvette, Jaguar, and with his own car bearing the Cunningham name. The Cunningham C-3 was purpose-built to be raced at LeMans, however, rules indicated that the constructors of cars also had to offer road cars to the general public.

This C3 coupe, number 5206, is the first of 20 Cunningham coupes bodied in Italy by Vignale. As such, it is often referred to as 'the prototype.' One unique feature of 5206 is a wheelbase of 105 inches, two inches shorter than the remainder of the C3 coupes. Another feature that distinguishes this car from the remaining 19 Vignale coupes is the use of curved rather than flat glass in the side windows. In addition to the 20 coupes, there were also five (other sources sasy six) convertibles produced, with the last five having been bodied by Vignale. The original owner of this car was Karl Kiekhaefer, who was the owner of Mercury Marine and a person friend of Briggs Cunningham. In 1952, Mr. Kiekhaefer paid $9,000 plus an excise tax of $900 for the car.

The C-3 Models were built between 1952 and 1956 and had a price of more than $10,000 each. Vignale Coachworks of Turin, Italy, built the bodies using a design by Giovanni Michelotti. As the prototype, this example was the only car entirely built in West Palm Beach, Florida. Power is from a 350 horsepower Chrysler V8 engine.

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2015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection

Sale Price :
USD $869,000

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 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
1953 Cunningham C3 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Michelotti
Designer: Alfredo Vignale
Chassis #: 5230