Last week, we talked about a trio of Alfa Romeo concept cars that were going up for auction as a set, at the RM Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. The three Berlinetta Aerodynamica Technica (B.A.T.) concept cars, influenced the Alfa Romeo design language during the 1950s. The B.A.T. projects were commissioned by Alfa Romeo and built by Italian coachbuilder Nuccio Bertone and designer Franco Scaglione, to experiment with the era’s trend of streamlined design.
The three concepts took in a whopping $14,845,000 USD as the hammer fell at the RM Sotheby’s auction house.
The 1953 B.A.T. 5 was the fifth and final full-scale model that Scaglione settled on for the initial concept. It rides on chassis number AR19000 01396 and made its debut at the 1953 Turin Auto Salon. Its bulging pontoon fenders, teardrop cockpit, and curved tail fins headlined the show that year. Weighing in 2,400 lbs., B.A.T. 5 was more than just a facade, as analytical methods of the time estimated the drag coefficient to be roughly 0.23. That number was sleek enough to put that car to a top speed of 124 mph. The car was featured a better drag coefficient than the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia (0.28) even though it has a top speed of 149 mph.
The 1954 B.A.T. 7 Concept Car, was Bertone’s more extreme follow-up to the original B.A.T. 5. It rides on chassis number AR1900C 01485 and kept Scaglione’s B.A.T. 5 side vents and rear wheel skirts, but featured a 2-inch lower hood, narrowed the front air intakes, and lengthened the tail fins. This resulted in a car that was lighter by 200 lbs. and an even more aerodynamically slick 0.19 drag coefficient concept that wowed onlookers at the following year’s Turin Auto Salon in 1954.
The third car, the B.A.T. 9d was shown at the 1955 Turin Auto Salon. Unlike most concept cars, the Bertone team made the concept look more like it was a production road car. Scaglione shrunk the tail fins, ditched the rear wheel skirts, and added cues more befitting a production car, such as a distinct beltline and a Scudetto triangular grille with Milano crest pulled right off a Giulietta. Like the other cars, it was based on the Alfa Romeo 1900 platform, however, this one was built on chassis number AR1900 01600.
The three Alfa Romeo concept cars were presented alongside a Mark Rothko painting from 1958, masterpieces by Clyfford Still and Brice Marden from the Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as a spectacular Robert Ryman painting from 1980 which has resided in the Crex Collection since its acquisition from Konrad Fischer.
Source: Alfa Romeo