The Cunningham C-4R Wins the Gran Turismo Trophy
The 65th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was hosted on August 16th (local time) at Pebble Beach in the US, and “Gran Turismo” series producer Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1952 Cunning C-4R Competition Roadster to receive the Gran Turismo Trophy.
Cunningham was a brand and racing constructor established by Briggs Swift Cunningham, a wealthy American entrepreneur who was also a gentleman driver. Aiming to win the Le Mans 24 hour race with an American car, Cunningham developed original cars from 1950 to 1955, and competed at Le Mans.
The C-4R was a machine developed by Cunningham for the 1952 Le Mans. The Le Mans this year had three C-4R entries, but out of these two were roadsters, and the last one was a coupe with a coda tronca design (*truncated tail) invented by Dr. Wunibald Kamm, a pioneer of automotive aerodynamics theories.
The C-4R that received the “Gran Turismo Trophy” is one of the two roadster models entered in the Le Mans that year. Its V shaped front facia with openings for its tires is very characteristic to this car, and under the large bulge on the hood is a 5.43 liter Chrysler V8 engine producing 300HP.
In the 1952 Le Mans 24 hour race, Briggs Cunningham himself drove one of the two roadsters, driving 20 hours out of the full 24 hours of the race, and placing 4th. His dream of an American car winning the Le Mans was achieved later by the Ford GT40 Mk.II in 1966.
The “Best of Show” at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance went to the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F, “Ramseier & Cie Worblaufen Cabriolet”. You can see each of these fabulous cars in the “Related Images” section.