Monterey Car Week is just around the corner, which means that if you desire an outstanding car and possess the bank account to back up such desires, it's time to get your shopping cart ready.
Briggs Cunningham hardly needs introduction. The wealthy sportsman became a constructor and a team owner in his quests to win Le Mans with an all-American crew in the fifties, and built a significant car collection on the side that included the first Ferrari race car imported to America. And while that 1948 Ferrari Tipo 166 Spyder Corsa isn't for sale, three of Cunningham's equally unique cars will go under the hammer at Monterey.
1953 Cunningham C-3 Coupe by Vignale
Eleven of the 25 existing Cunningham C3s will do a parade before somebody can take home , which has been retained by him and his family for 61 years. With 10,097 miles on the clock, this Vignale-bodied Chryler Hemi-powered homologation special is probably the most significant of all C3s, even if we know Jay Leno's will always be faster.
1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight
After the time passed for Cunningham's company to remain tax-exempt without earning a profit as a low-volume manufacturer, the team was racing exclusively with foreign machinery. Cunningham has particularly fond of Jaguars, fielding D-Types and XKs before switching to Lightweight E-Types in the sixties.
Following the Low Drag Coupés, Jaguar only built twelve of these (despite planning eighteen), with aluminum alloy bodies, an aluminum hardtop and a 3.8 straight-six upgraded with Lucas fuel injection and dry-sump lubrication. The suspension was unique too, and the results soon started pouring in. Cunningham bought three, and now, the 7th off the line, his second car is .
1964 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Michelotti
Briggs Cunningham’s personal 5000 GT is sub-zero cool, and hasn't been shown publicly for two decades.
After the Shah of Iran requested Maserati to create a 3500 GT fitted with their 450 S racing engines, the Italians were more than happy to salvage their crashed race cars to do a limited run of 34 for their most special customers. But Cunningham went further.
He commissioned to look like the 450 S race car as much as possible. Couch-builder Michelotti delivered, reportedly creating the most aerodynamic body developed in the wind tunnel at Università degli Studi di Torino. Cunningham didn't take chances and went to Monza to test it himself prior to delivery.
RM's estimate on such a cool one-off? An equally cool $1,100,000 – 1,400,000.
For a little less (presumably), one can get an equally tempting . Then again, throwing away all remaining reason can get you the biggest oddball of them all, the .
Yet in case you're one of us, looking for something a bit more modestly priced, this has to be the best way to go at Monterey.
Hat tip to !