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Cunningham:
The Passion, The Cars, The Legacy.
Regular Edition.
Richard Harman

Cunningham:  The Passion, The Cars, The Legacy by Richard Harman
 
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By Richard Harman. Book background by Richard Harman: Cunningham was a name which cropped-up in my earliest memories of Le Mans and as my interest in motor racing developed, I found the longer distance events for Sports Cars far more enticing that the increasingly shorter Grand Prix races. The Cunningham was just a car and I knew nothing about the man behind their existence until my knowledge expanded through an increasingly extensive library of motor racing books and magazines, of which I could never get enough.

With the advent of a functioning International Sporting organisation, World Championship events for Sports Cars and later Grand Prix races gradually included the USA, Briggs Cunningham, among others, was eager take on the challenge of the European giants and grasped the opportunity of establishing America as a legitimate competitor. When the very first event of the newly established World Championship for Sports Cars, in 1953, was won by a Cunningham car, America began to be taken seriously on the World motor racing scene, while the European press begrudgingly included coverage. However, Sebring 1953 was neither a fairy story with a happy-ever-after ending, nor the first time Cunningham had matched himself and his cars against the best that Europe had to offer.

During his lifetime, he had owned and raced a multitude of cars; some of which he kept. In his retirement, he assembled them all together in a collection near his home in California. He spent his time there, with the cars and his extensive library of literature and memorabilia, welcoming visitors and organised groups of enthusiasts. Events were held there, where man of the cars were demonstrated in the huge parking lot of the museum, much to the pleasure of those fortunate enough to have been there.

This work has taken over seven years to complete, with the assistance of numerous people who were there at the time, together with past and current owners of the multitude of cars connected with Cunningham, all of whom have been most forthcoming with information, photographs and recollections. Unprecedented access to the Cunningham family archives, provided by Briggs’ children, in addition to their invaluable support, has enabled this well-overdue recounting of the full Cunningham story, for the first time.

Leatherbound Edition:

A full black New Zealand goatskin leather two-volume edition with raised spine bands in a hand made cloth slipcase, richly embossed with Cunningham logo is available from Dalton Watson. The slipcase and two volumes will be further presented in a custom-made protective Solander box.

The leather edition has special hand-made and individually marbelised endpapers and is numbered to coincide with the 50 chassis numbers of the Cunningham-produced cars. A further 10 books will be produced that will be associated with a significant Cunningham-owned or raced car.

Some further details on the production are as follows. The goatskin is picked from hides arriving from New Zealand and only the best 20% is used for book binding. The hides are tanned in France before being shipped to the binder's agents. The Solander box was first created by Dr. Solander who traveled with Captain Cook recording the flora and fauna on his voyage and used the box for samples and drawings. The hand-made marble end papers are made by Jemma Lewis in her workshop in Chippenham, Wiltshire. She is using skills and techniques developed in England in Victorian times giving her papers a distinctly English flavour. The binding is by Ludlow Bookbinders in Shropshire, England. The first of these copies was made by Brian Settle who started binding books in England 56 years ago. He was one of the last true master bookbinders. His skills have now been passed to another generation at Ludlow.



  • Winner of the 2014 Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award.
  • Shortlisted for the Motoring Book of the Year for the 2014 Royal Automobile Club Awards. Click here to read the full press release.
  • Shortlisted for the Publication of the Year for the 2013 International Historic Motoring Awards.
  • Hardbound
  • 844 pages
  • 303mm x 220mm
  • Two volumes
  • 1500 B&W and color images
  • Leather bound ($1200) and Regular Edition ($350)

Click here to view sample pages

Jay's Book Club: Cunningham: The Passion, The Cars, The Legacy
Youtube Video of Cunningham cars in 2013 at Lime Rock
Author Biography

Richard Harman was born and brought up in West Bromwich, near Birmingham in England. The small town boasted three establishments that engaged teenagers in the 50s and 60s – Jensen cars, West Bromwich Albion Football Club and the Grammar School, each of which occupied most of Richard’s days. His fascination with both sport and cars began at an early age. As soon as he could reach the pedals, he was driving the various cars his father owned, and impressed him enough that by the age of 14, he was chauffeuring him to and from his structural engineering company on traffic-free Sundays. More about Rich Harman


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