Briggs Cunningham talks with one of his drivers, Fred Whacker on June 9, 1952 at Le Mans. (AP Photo/Michael Nash)
Briggs Cunningham talks with one of his drivers, Fred Whacker on June 9, 1952 at Le Mans. (AP Photo/Michael Nash)

Briggs Cunningham is known for making sailboats go faster and for being the American who built his own race cars to compete with the best of Europe at Le Mans. There’s a reason why Mercedes-Benz gave him the first Gullwing ever as well, but on that and why he went for custom Pateks made of steel instead of gold, here’s Hodinkee’s Benjamin Clymer.

European writer of Jalopnik, based in Budapest.

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philskater14
Philipman1

My grandfather, Phil Walters, raced for Cunnigham in the early 50s at Le Mans and Sebring before retiring after the wreck at Le Mans in 1955.