Cunningham Sports Cars
1952 C-4R/C-4RK
Text by Kane Rogers


The 1952 roadster-bodied C-4R and C-4RK coupe were smaller and
lighter than the earlier cars and, thanks to more engine development,
were now putting out 325 horsepower. Once again, a three-car,
six-driver team took up the challenge at Le Mans, and once
again, two cars retired, but Briggs drove the race of his
life, staying in the cockpit for almost twenty hours before
handing the car over to Bill Spears. They finished an incredible fourth

Team Cunningham scored more victories back home in the U.S., and
in 1953 more developed versions of the C-4R and C-4RK finished
seventh and tenth respectively at Le Mans, while the new C-5R,
long considered the best of the racing Cunninghams, finished
third overall, a mere forty-two miles behind the second of
two disc-brake-equipped Jaguar C-Types. Reflecting on the
event years later, Briggs commented, “Three cars, third,
seventh and tenth, in the top ten at Le Mans. I guess that’s
not too bad.”

Serving yet another tour of duty in 1954, the two C-4Rs finished at
Le Mans in third (Spears /Johnston) and fifth (Cunningham/Benett),
while a newly-acquired Ferrari 375MM (Fitch/Walters) retired
with broken valve train.

Engine   Chassis
Cylinders   Chrysler V8   Brakes   Hydraulic Drum
Bore   3.81 inches   Brake Dia. Front   13″
Stroke   3.62 inches   Rear   13″
Capacity   331 C.I.   Suspension: Front   Wishbone/Coil
Valves   OH Pushrod   Rear   Coil Spring
Comp. Ratio   7.5:1   Shock Absorbers   Dual Hydraulic
Max. HP   325@5200 RPM   Wheel Type   Cast magnesium
Carburation   4 Zenith DD

Ignition   Autolite Coil   Tire Size   7.00″x16″
Fuel Pump   Mechanical   Steering gear   Worm and Roller
Fuel Capacity   50 Imp. Gal.   Steering Wheel   17″ Spring Spoke
Oil Filter   Full Flow        
Oil Capacity   7 Imp. Quarts   Dimensions
Water Capacity   25 Imp. Quarts   Wheelbase   100″
Electrical System   6 Volt   Track: Front/Rear   54″/54″
Battery Capacity   130 Amp/Hrs   Overall length   156″
        Overall Width   64″
Transmission   Overall Height   39″
w/o screen
Clutch   Single Dry Plate   Ground Clearance   4″
Gearbox   5 Spd synchro   Dry Weight   2410 Lbs.
Final Drive   3.36:1        
        Source:   Automobile Topics,
December 1952
C-1 C-2R C-3 C-4R/C-4RK C-5R C-6R


Website Disclaimer

Please read the disclaimer prior to entering this website. You may access it by clicking here.

© Lawrence W. Berman, All Rights Reserved | Disclaimer | Privacy | Contact Us
Credit to Kane Rogers for his important contributions to this website's creation.