The Cunningham C-4R Wins the Gran Turismo Trophy
The 65th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was hosted on the 16th of August (local time) at Pebble Beach, US, and “Gran Turismo” series Producer Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1952 Cunningham 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 Hours race with an American car, Cunningham developed original cars from 1950 to 1955, to challenge the competition.
The C-4R was a machine developed by Cunningham for the 1952 Le Mans. The Le Mans of that year had three C-4R entries, but 2 of these were roadsters and the last one was a coupé 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 fascia with openings for its tyres is very characteristic to this car, and under the large bulge on the bonnet is a 5.43 litre Chrysler V8 engine producing 300HP.
In the 1952 Le Mans 24 Hours race, Briggs Cunningham himself drove one of the two roadsters, driving 20 hours out of the full 24 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 these fabulous cars in the “Related Images” section below.