1922 Cunningham Series V-4 Model 82-A Town Limousine

In 1922, James Cunningham, Son & Company took an unconventional approach by omitting suggested prices for its exclusive automobiles. The market for these vehicles, catering to a small clientele of affluent and discerning individuals who valued the company’s bespoke approach to crafting fine cars based on individual orders, showed little sensitivity to pricing. Entries in the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce “Handbook of Automobiles” simply stated, “Prices Upon Application.”

Within the Series V-4 lineup, two models were introduced: the 132″ wheelbase 91-A and the 142″ wheelbase 82-A. Interestingly, the larger and more expensive model carried a lower numerical designation, a characteristic reflective of Cunningham’s tendency to defy conventional norms. Both models were equipped with Volney Lacey’s 442 cubic inch side valve V-8 featuring cast iron blocks and an aluminum 3-bearing crankcase. Although still officially rated at 45 horsepower by the outdated NACC formula, Cunningham later revealed the engine’s power on the brake to be 90 horsepower in 1923. Boasting a 5″ stroke and 442 cubic inches, the engine delivered impressive torque.

A significant upgrade for 1922 was the adoption of a four-speed transmission, sourced from Brown-Lipe, along with the continued use of the multi-disc dry clutch. Cunningham maintained its reliance on Timken-Detroit spiral bevel drive full floating rear axles, proven not only in Cunningham automobiles but also in the company’s successful line of hearses and professional vehicles. The offering included both centerlock wire and demountable rim wood spoke wheels, with standard “theft locks,” although braking remained exclusive to the rear wheels.

While Cunningham retained control over its body manufacturing, the V-4 series, introduced in 1922, marked a departure from the previous round-shouldered radiator shell. The new design featured sharp edges, exemplified in noteworthy models like the Cunningham Town Limousine.

Source: Bonhams Cars