Cunningham C-3: Continental Coupe Prototype (1952)

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Front Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype

Cunningham C-3: Continental Coupe Prototype (1952)The concept of Exotic Cars has indeed existed since the beginning of the developing industrial revolution. So do not be surprised if since around 1900 there have been many concepts of exotic car concepts that came out and are still a dream and target of many people today. Among them is Cunningham C-3: Continental Coupe Prototype (1952).

As a design made in 1952, Cunningham C-3 has a very modern and classic shape. This can be seen in the design of the front. Seen on the engine hood as if it has a turbine that usually creates the impression that this car is perfect for driving with incredible speed. Look at some of the images below:

Front Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Left Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Left Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype

The design of the back is no less cool, the luggage is quite extensive to make this car look precise. Coupled with the design of the inside of the trunk that looks pretty good with the skin layer on the base.

Rear Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Rear Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Right Rear Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Right Rear Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Luggage Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Luggage Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype

When viewed from the side, Cunningham C-3: Continental Coupe Prototype has a characteristic arch on the rooftop that is very perfect. The small alloy door glass also makes it look more elegant and expensive!

Left Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Left Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Left Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Left Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Right Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Right Side Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype

The inside of the car is also interesting. The steering wheel is made with an old and classy design, making it look very classic. The steering wheel is also juxtaposed with a unique and unique speedometer. Just look at the picture below.

The Revs Institute has reviewed this car, and we include the results in the next paragraph:

“Spine-jolting acceleration that stems from phenomenal low-speed torque; ridiculous ease of motion; paralyzing brake power; positive steering…in the best Bugatti tradition; and with all the sort of lounging comfort one has no right to expect, even from the modern sports machine.” John Bentley was describing the Cunningham C-3 for readers of The Autocar in 1952. He was not alone in his enthusiasm.

In Road & Track, John Bond said taking the car through his favorite S-bend was a “revelation…no sway, no squat, no squawl.” Said another road tester: “It’s pretty hard to believe. You’ve never driven anything like it in your life.” Yet another was more explicit: “Driving this car is not unlike harnessing Niagara Falls… a suddenly opened throttle parallels the kick of a JATO assist rocket.”

Modifications to Chrysler’s massive hemi had provided the C-3 with about forty more horses thanstock. The Cunningham production car’s easy cruising speed was 107mph. Top speed was about 135. Depending upon transmission, zero to 60 could be accomplished in 6.9 seconds (Cadillac three-speed) or 8.5 seconds (Chrysler Fluid-Torque).

To qualify his cars for Le Mans, Briggs Cunningham had no choice but to become an automobile manufacturer. Initially, he planned to build 25 cars in 1952 (the Le Mans minimum), followed by 50 in 1953. Total actual production turned out to be only 18 coupes and 9 convertibles. Consequently, though priced in the $10,000 range, very expensive for the times, the cars cost Briggs yet more to build.

Unquestionably, the Cunningham was the most exciting American sports car of its era and one of the most handsome sports cars anywhere. Giovanni Michelotti styled the body; Vignale built it in Turin, Italy. In 1953 the Cunningham Continental Coupe was one of just two American cars (the Studebaker Starliner from Raymond Loewy’s studio the other) selected by Arthur Drexler of New York’s Museum of Modern Art for landmark status among the world’s 10 best contemporary automobile designs.

Nose Super Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Nose Super Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Nose Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Nose Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Logo Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Logo Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Engine Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Engine Detail Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Engine Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Engine Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Nose Detail Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Nose Detail Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Left Side Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Front Left Side Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Right Side Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Right Side Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Left Side Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype
Left Side Square Cunningham C-3 Continental Coupe Prototype

Source: OldConceptsCar

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