Briggs Swift Cunningham II ( January 19, 1907 - July 2, 2003) was an American sportsman who raced cars and yachts.
He was a racing car constructor, driver and team owner; also a sports car manufacturer and automobile collector.
He 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.
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.
Introduced to motor racing as a youngster when his uncle took him to road races just after the first world war, Cunningham began international automobile racing in 1930 with his college friends Barron, Miles, and Samuel Collier, who in 1933 founded the Automobile Racing Club of America (renamed the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 1944). He continued in competition for thirty-six years.
By 1940 he was building sports cars for other drivers to race. His first race as a driver was with his Bu-Merc, a hybrid combination of modified Buick chassis, Buick engine and Mercedes-Benz SSK body, at Watkins Glen shortly after World War Two. Some of his other hybrids involved Cadillacs, Chryslers, and Fords. Cunningham was one of the first to purchase a Ferrari barchetta, which was raced along with other brands he constructed or owned.
In 1950 Cunningham entered two Cadillac cars for Le Mans, one a stock-appearing Cadillac Coupe de Ville, the other a special-bodied sports machine dubbed "Le Monstre."  They finished tenth and eleventh overall. 
His announcement in 1951 of his intention to build an American
contender for outright victory at the Le Mans
race caused a stir on both continents.  His
team was already a favorite with the Le Mans fans  and the
announcement demonstrated his commitment to fielding a winning team
of American drivers and automobiles. One of the cars, the
Chrysler-powered Cunningham C-4R built by The B. S. Cunningham
Company of West Palm Beach, Florida and
driven by Phil Walters and John Fitch, finished 18th out of 60
starters.  The
other, driven by George Rand and Fred Wacker Jr. failed to
A Cunningham C-4R won the 1953 Sebring 12 Hours.
At Le Mans Walters and Fitch
finished first in class and third overall with a C-5R and the two
other Team Cunningham cars finished seventh and tenth. They
repeated with a third and fifth place at Le Mans in 1954. These years
were to be the high point of achievement for Cunningham-built cars
at Le Mans. The longed-for victory remained elusive. American
journalist Ozzie Lyons later, rather harshly, described the whole
effort as a "gallant failure."  Later
in 1954 the Cunningham cars finished fifth and sixth in the Reims 12 Hour sports
car race. 
By 1956 the Cunningham team was described as a dominant force in SCCA sports car racing—a distinction the team retained for the next decade. In addition to Cunninghams, the team raced Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati, O.S.C.A., Porsche and other sports cars. One of these set a record in 1954 that remains unbroken: Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd drove Briggs Cunningham's 1.5-liter O.S.C.A. MT4 (Maserati Tipo 4) in the Sebring 12 Hours, where it defeated its higher-powered competitors to become the smallest-engined car ever to win the race, and also the first to win on wire wheels. The next year, two other drivers from the team won Sebring in a Team Cunningham Jaguar D-type. In 1964 Briggs Cunningham and Lake Underwood won first place in the 3.0 Litre Prototype class at Sebring with the new Porsche 904 GTS, and took first place in the 2-liter class and ninth overall the following year, again with a 904 GTS.
Alfred Momo was the team's chief mechanic.
Cunningham automobiles were mostly high-performance prototypes that Briggs Cunningham and his team built specifically for racing in the 1950s. A few, adapted for street use, are used as historic personal vehicles. Cunningham's cars were the first to sport racing stripes, the traditional Cunningham racing colors being blue stripes on white. Carroll Shelby, who competed against Cunningham and his teams and was influenced by Cunningham in his similar quest to build a victorious American racecar, adopted the Team Cunningham colors and revived the stripes.
Sebring Raceway's "Cunningham Corner" is named for Cunningham and his team.
Cunningham amassed a high-quality collection of automobiles that included the first Ferrari sold in the United States by Luigi Chinetti, and a Bugatti Royale, one of only six made. The collection was displayed in the Cunningham Museum in Costa Mesa, California and eventually was sold to long-time friend Miles Collier to be added to the Collier Automotive Museum collection in Naples, Florida.
Briggs Cunningham's only son, Briggs S. Cunningham III, along with Robert (Bob) Lutz and Lawrence (Larry) Black, resurrected his father's car company in the late 1990s and introduced a modern Cunningham car, the C-7 model, at the 2001 Detroit International Automobile show. While the Cunningham C7 was very well received, no customer cars were built.
Briggs Cunningham's grandson Brian S. Cunningham, son of Briggs S. Cunningham III, raced in Formula 3 in 1994.
Cunningham team drivers and Briggs Cunningham co-drivers included: