The Cunningham C-3 street car was then introduced in November 1951. Production cost estimates created by B.S. Cunningham Company quickly established, however, that the West Palm Beach-built C-3 would have to sell at a projected price of $15,000 or more. Only two C-3s were completed in Cunningham’s West Palm Beach factory before body production was shifted to Vignale in Turin where a further 25 Cunningham Vignale C-3 Continentals were completed to an entirely different design, with a new emphasis on grand touring luxury.
The coupe was originally constructed with the same independent front suspension and De Dion rear end as the competition cars. The 331-cubic inch Chrysler hemi engine received competition modifications including four Zenith carburetors on the Cunningham log manifold that increased output to 220 hp, mated to a Cadillac three-speed manual transmission and two-speed rear axle, also the same as the competition C-2Rs.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
220 hp, 331 cu. in. Chrysler ‘Hemi’ V-8, four Zenith carburetors on a Cunningham log manifold, independent front suspension, live rear axle, Cadillac three-speed manual transmission.
Source: RM Auctions Photo Credit: Copyright Ned Jackson