<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 322
The ex-B.C. Hartline
1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton
Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company
Chassis no. V4661
Engine no. V4655

Sold for US$ 162,250 inc. premium
The ex-B.C. Hartline
1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton
Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company

Chassis no. V4661
Engine no. V4655
442ci L-Head V8 Engine
Single Stromberg Carburetor
100bhp (approx.)
4-speed transmission
Front and rear semi-elliptical leaf springs
4-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes

*Only three long-term ownerships since the 1930s
*Rare example of this quality car constuctor
*Powerful and elegant touring car


Cunningham Cars

By 1925 James Cunningham, Son & Company didn't even post suggested prices for its exclusive automobiles. Its market, always a tiny one made up of wealthy, discriminating clients who appreciated the company's approach to building fine automobiles to individual customer orders, was largely insensitive to price.

Its listings in the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce "Handbook of Automobiles" read only "Prices Upon Application".

The Series V-6 was offered in two models, the 132" wheelbase 91-A and the 142" wheelbase 82-A, a curious situation where the larger and more expensive model had a lower model designation but one that is in some ways typical of Cunningham's disregard for convention. Both were powered by Volney Lacey's 442 cubic inch side valve V-8 with cast iron blocks and aluminum 3-bearing crankcase. Still rated 45hp by the increasingly outmoded NACC formula, Cunningham in 1923 would announce the engine's power on the engine brake, 90 horsepower. With a 5" stroke and 442 cubic inches its torque was prodigious, and by 1925 it had been improved with an inherently balanced crankshaft.

Also new for 1922 was the change to a four-speed transmission, still supplied by Brown-Lipe as was the multi-disc dry clutch. Cunningham still relied on Timken-Detroit spiral bevel drive full floating rear axles, rugged and proven not only in Cunningham automobiles but also in its successful line of hearses and professional vehicles. Both centerlock wire and demountable rim wood spoke wheels were offered. "Theft locks" became standard equipment but braking was still only on the rear wheels.

Cunningham continued to build its own bodies but, by 1925, they had replaced their prior round shouldered radiator shell with one that was sharp-edged, as seen on this stunning example of the Cunningham Phaeton.

The Motorcar Offered

This handsome touring version of Cunningham's exclusive production offered its original owner the utmost quality of build. Also, with relatively lightweight coachwork, its torquey motor would certainly have whisked them along swiftly and in style. It's not documented how long that original custodian kept the car, but it is known that within the decade the car had passed to its first long-term keeper, Jack Bullen of Flint, Michigan.

Jack Bullen was using the car well into the 1950s, as he is known to have campaigned it on the Glidden Tour in 1950 and it was shown by him at the 1957 Greenfield Village Car Show, being reported in a subsequent Bulb Horn report on that event. Sometime after this, the car migrated to Akron, Ohio and into the ownership of noted collector B.C. Hartline, who would become its owner for the next four decades. The present custodian purchased it in 1999 from B.C. Hartline's widow, Lorena. In joining this collection, it has shared a stable with a number of other cars of New York marques, some of which are also offered for sale in this auction. Between them all, the diversity and impact that NY state had on the motor industry in its early days is clearly shown.

As with many cars that benefit from simple ownership histories, this has weathered its 90 years well. It arrives on the market today for the first time again in a considerable number of years, clear from even the most cursory inspection that it is a highly authentic and well-cared for example. Showing a whisker under 40,000 miles, which is almost certainly original, it appears to have received a repaint some time ago and may have been re-trimmed, but both now have a consistency to their age and the general presentation is of a charming, gently aged automobile.

During a recent road test by a Bonhams specialist with experience in Cunningham motorcars, the car exhibited exceptionally lively performance. The engine had a crisp and potent feel propelling the car with ease. Gearing was found to be unusually tall and it is believed the fourth gear is over drive. The original Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic brakes were a noticeable step up from the earlier models mechanical units. The overall impression was a well sorted and highly potent example of the marque.

Cunningham cars rarely appear for sale, but to their connoisseur owners they are still appreciated for the same characteristics and quality with which they were marketed for in their day. Testament to this, only the acquisition of another of its breed has enabled this particular opportunity.

Bonhams proudly offers this survivor of the Cunningham marque.
Contacts
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
<i>The ex-B.C. Hartline</i><br /><b>1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton  <br />Coachwork by James Cunningham, Son & Company </b><br />Chassis no. V4661 <br />Engine no. V4655
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App