Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cunningham car and 1933 dietrich KB Lincoln V12 at Katie's Koffee Klatch

At Katie's Koffee Klatch there was an original Cunningham.  I knew nothing about the Cunningham until Steve and Mike Ferry educated me on this very unique race car.  Below are the two brothers who inherited this car.  Their uncle and father purchased it originally and it was literally left in a field for some time until they decided to have it completely restored.  The two brothers recently inherited this great car. 

Julie's grandparents on her mom's side name was Cunningham, so that got my attention as well.

Here is the brief history snippet from wikipedia on the creator of this car - Briggs Swift Cunningham II (January 19, 1907 – July 2, 2003) was an American entrepreneur and sportsman, who raced automobiles and yachts. Born into a wealthy family, he became a racing car constructor, driver, and team owner as well as a sports car manufacturer and automobile collector.

He skippered the first victorious 12-Metre yacht Columbia in the 1958 America's Cup race, and invented the eponymous device, the Cunningham, to increase the speed of racing sailboats.

He was featured on the April 26, 1954 cover of Time magazine, with three of his Cunningham racing cars. The caption reads: Road Racer Briggs Cunningham: Horsepower, Endurance, Sportsmanship. He became an early member of the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC), an invitation-only club formed to honor notable road racing drivers.

The October 2003 Road & Track magazine article, "Briggs Swift Cunningham—A Life Well Spent", states that "by building and sailing his own ships, and building and racing his own cars, Briggs Cunningham epitomized the definition of the American sportsman." He was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1993, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1997, and named to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2003."

The one brother that Steve, Mike and I were speaking with (the driver in the photo above) echoed the story on the racing stripes that is also listed on wikipedia:  "Cunningham's cars were the first to be painted with racing stripes. The traditional Cunningham racing colors were blue stripes on white, at that time the international racing colors of the United States. Carroll Shelby, who competed against Cunningham and his team, adopted these colors and revived the Cunningham Team stripes for his own brand of race cars."

Below is one of the coolest four door convertibles I have ever seen - 1933 dietrich KB Lincoln V12

Checkout the video that is on YouTube on this very unique car.

There is a great article on RM Auctions on a similar 1933 Lincoln Model KB Convertible Sedan by Dietrich.  Below is a snippet.  (you should go check out the complete article and the photos there as well).

"150 bhp, 447.9 cu. in. L-head V-12 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel power-assisted mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 145"

• One of 15 built, four known in the CCCA
• 96.5 points, first place at CCCA 2011 National Grand Classic
• Single-family ownership for a half century, including former president of Lincoln Owners Club

The 1920s were a time of mechanical improvement at Lincoln. Four-wheel brakes, initially fitted for police service, were adopted across the board in 1927. For 1928, the engine was bored out to 385 cubic inches, which, with larger valves and higher compression, improved its torque characteristics. Rubber engine mounts were added in 1929 to reduce vibration, and the brakes were changed to the internal-expanding type, with cooling fins added to the rear drums.

In 1931 came a new model, the K. A cruciform-braced chassis frame had a wheelbase of 145 inches and allowed a much lower stance. A new peaked radiator and longer hood combined with more flowing fenders to give the car a more graceful, streamlined look. Underneath, synchromesh and free-wheeling were added to the transmission, and cable-operated Bendix Duo-Servo brakes were adopted. The engine, too, was new, with five main bearings. Although it had exactly the same displacement as its predecessor, higher compression and better manifolding netted a third more horsepower.

For 1932, Lincoln took a page from the Cadillac playbook and introduced a V-12 engine in the new KB model. But where Cadillac’s was a 45-degree overhead valve unit of 368 cubic inches making 135 bhp, Lincoln went for a 65-degree L-head displacing 447.9 cubic inches. It weighed half a ton and developed 150 bhp. In a final nod to Henry Leland, it used fork-and-blade connecting rods, though it would be the last Lincoln engine to do so. For one final season the V-8 returned, as a Model KA on the short 136-inch wheelbase used in 1930."