You Should Buy Briggs Cunningham's Le Mans Corvette So It Will Stop Calling Me

Illustration for article titled You Should Buy Briggs Cunningham's Le Mans Corvette So It Will Stop Calling Me
Image: RM Sotheby’s

Listen, this thing has been ringing my celly non-stop for the last year wanting me to just hang out. I’m not the kind of guy to be tied down to just one Corvette. This Ex-Briggs Cunningham Corvette with Le Mans history is a little desperate, and you’d really be doing me a favor if you took it out for a nice spa day and a Can’t Buy Me Love makeover before dinner, drinks, a movie, and maybe some vintage racing at Monterey Car Week this summer. It’s a good car, it’s fun to be around, and it has a lot of charm, but I’m still kind of sorting out my options right now. I don’t need no Corvette key on my keyring tying me down. I’m just not looking for that kind of a commitment.

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Way back in 1960, this little beauty was commissioned by Zora Arkus-Duntov to race at Le Mans. It learned a few things while over in France, like how to smoke a cigarette in a pretentious way, how to say “Où est la bibliothèque?”, and the true meaning of amor. It also learned how to DNF after 207 laps and 20 hours of racing to an engine fire. Quel désastre!

If you know your Chevrolet history, you know that the company was decidedly not involved in racing in 1960, and the whole operation was a bit on the clandestine side. Duntov didn’t have explicit permission to support the team racing anywhere, let alone at Le Mans, so the cars were raced under the privateer banner of B.S. Cunningham. Briggs was something of a wealthy playboy racer with eyes on winning the overall prize at Le Mans, though never did, despite a pair of class wins.

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Image: RM Sotheby’s

Following the breakdown at Le Mans, the car somehow got lost in the shuffle and was not uncovered again until 2012. In all that time, the car has received extensive modifications from its original race-spec, but according to vintagemotorsport.com, it still carries enough of its original pieces to be identifiable as one of Cunningham’s exes.

Anyway, this car really needs this opportunity, and you’d be doing me a real solid if you made it feel young again. All it wants is to feel the wind in its carburetor again. It’ll only cost you an estimated $900,000 to 1.3 million for the opportunity, but then again, it’s a no-reserve lot, so you could really get a bargain.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

DISCUSSION

bikebrh
Bruce from Missouri

Briggs Cunningham had a museum years ago in SoCal that housed, among other things, one of the Bugatti Royales, which was even back in 1987 a 12 million dollar car. I asked a person I thought was a docent a couple of questions, it turns out it was Briggs himself. I guess he could tell I was more than just a casual car enthusiast, because he introduced himself, and then spent the next 45-60 minutes walking around the museum with me regaling me with stories about the various cars. I don’t remember much of the stories anymore beyond him saying that the Royale was so easy to drive that the 12 year old daughter of the previous owner used to drive it around the estate.