Automodello AM-CUN-C3C-TE Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet by Vignale 1952-1954 (Tribute Edition endorsed and signed by the Cunningham family with hand-numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Ltd. Ed. 154 pcs.), 1/43rd scale resin model car.
Most manufacturers build a road car and then take it racing. American sports-racing pioneer Briggs Cunningham (manufacturer of America’s only sports car up until the Corvette) took a different road. He gained notoriety for cobbling together a motley array of parts into some unusual—sometimes downright monstrous—purpose-built racing machines in his attempt to win Le Mans. Not until later did he evolve his operation to include deliberately road-bound efforts. The 1952 Cunningham C-3 is of the latter category. Nominally an evolution of his C-1 and C-2 race cars, the C-3 was conceived as a dual-purpose street and track machine but was never actually raced. Designed as a coupe, a handful of beautiful cabriolets were added in 1953-54. The C-3, like its predecessors, relied on Chrysler’s mammoth—and powerful—331ci Hemi V-8. Tuned to produce 235hp and a mountain of Hemi torque in a cabriolet weighing around 2800 pounds, its performance had few rivals despite being backed by a column-shifted semi-automatic gearbox.
Although entirely American in provenance, C-3 had a somewhat more ‘Italian’ flavor than previous Cunninghams. Appropriate, given that the Giovanni Michelotti-designed aluminum coachwork was actually crafted and installed by Vignale in Turin, Italy on complete rolling chassis delivered from Cunningham’s West Palm Beach factory. It is unquestionably Cunningham’s most refined and elegant creation—the perfect choice for replication in scale by Automodello™. The model is patterned after the C-3 Cabriolet owned by Cunningham Family, a two-tone red with a tan interior. It is being released exclusively as a 154-piece Tribute Edition and 24-piece Homage Edition, with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity endorsed and signed by the Cunningham Family.