The predecessor of the 1953-1955 Cunningham C-3 was conceived by Briggs S. Cunningham in 1951. Cunningham built his original C-1 sports car with racing in mind, and his later models were definite contenders. The C-4R finished fourth at Le Mans '52; the following year a C-5R was third, outclassed (and outbraked) by a pair of Jaguars.

The C-3, elegantly styled by Giovanni Michelotti of Carrozzeria Vignale in Turin, was Cunningham's "production" model, high-priced and blindingly fast with its Chrysler Hemi V-8 engine. It was one of two American cars (the other was the '53 Studebaker Starliner) named among the world's ten best designs by Arthur Drexler of the New York Museum of Modern Art. Cunningham lost money on every car he built, however, and halted C-3 production after two years.

Pluses of the 1953-1955 Cunningham C-3:
  • One of the great American sporting cars, a thoroughbred by any yardstick
  • Tremendous Hemi power
  • Fine handling
Minuses of the 1953-1955 Cunningham C-3:
  • Cost
  • Body parts now very scarce
Production of the 1953-1955 Cunningham C-3:
  • Coupe: 19
  • Convertible: 9
Specifications of the 1953-1955 Cunningham C-3:
Wheelbase, inches: 107.0 (105.0 on first coupe built)
Length, inches: 168.0
Weight, pounds: 3500 (approx.)

Price, new: $10,000; $11,000 (U.S.) in 195

Engines for the 1953-1955 Cunningham C-3:

Type Size
Horsepower Years
ohv V-8
331.1 cc
220-235 1953-1955

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