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Cunningham C4r - 1952-1954
Briggs cunningham was a well-heeled sportsman who pursued speed at the helm of a yacht and the controls of a plane, but especially behind the wheel of a sports car. He raced his own mercedes-engined buick and the first ferrari imported to the United States. In the early 1950s he entered his own cars in europes most prestigious sports auto race, the le mans 24-hour endurance event.
Top speed of about 160 mph
engine typedrivetrain: Overhead-valve, v8
displacement 331.1 cu. In. (5.4 l)
power rating 300 hp
transmission 5-speed, all-synchromesh
chassis: Coil-spring suspension, indepen¬dent in front; 2,410 lbs
Boosting the engine
after running two highly modified cadillacs in the 1950 le mans race, cunningham built the c2 or c2r, which resembled the ferrari 166mm but was powered by a chrysler firepower v8 hemispheric-cylinder-head engine. This car finished 18th. For 1952, he prepared three c4r racing cars. These were equipped with the same engine as the c2, but reworked to raise hp from 180 to 300.
lighter and faster
the biggest improvement, however, was in the cunninghams weakest point its chassis. Once again there was a tubular spaceframe, but this time the wheelbase was five in. Shorter, the track four in. Narrower and the car more than 1,000
lbs. Lighter. Two of these open two-seat racers had to drop out of the event, but the third one-driven by cunningham finished in fourth place, averaging 88 mph. A cunningham c4r came in third in the 1954 race.
In the early 1950s briggs cunningham made americas presence felt at le mans by fielding his own sports cars, the c4r.
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