Today in New York is an auction organized by RM Sotheby's. This event, called the "Contemporary Art Evening Auction" is aptly named because, among the automobiles that will be offered to potential buyers, the 3 Alfa Romeo B.A.T concept cars numbers 5, 7 and 9 represent the main attraction of this sale.
These three exceptional concept cars could come straight out of the American comics of the 1950s knowing that these “four-wheeled Italian beauties” were unveiled, one after the other, at the Turin shows of 1953, 1954 and 1955. We owe these Alfa Romeo BATs (Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica) to designer Franco Scaglione, Carrozzeria Bertone, who built them.
In detail, the B.A.T 5 (pictured below) is powered by a 4-cylinder engine with a power of 90 horsepower, the transmission being provided by a 5-speed manual gearbox. Its design is not only the result of a style study because its long curves have been developed, like the other two Alfa Romeo B.A.T., with the aim of optimizing the treatment of air flows. In this post-war era, automotive engineers found their inspiration in the world of aeronautics and, therefore, particularly in studying fighter jets. In figures, the Cx of this B.A.T. 5 is 0.23 and its top speed is quite impressive for the time: 200 km / h.
A year later, in 1954, it was the turn of B.A.T. 5 (pictured below) to make its debut in Italy. The links between this concept car and the one presented above are quite obvious. Indeed, the B.A.T. 5 can be considered as an evolution of the number 4 with, in particular, more pronounced ends and the presence of rather classic optics at the front. In terms of aerodynamics, this very special car has a Cx of 0.19 on its technical sheet.
From concept car to concept car, we come to the one that is closest to a production model, namely the 1955 Alfa Romeo BAT 9 (photo below) with certainly still original shapes, but worthy of a GT. Up front, fans of the Italian automaker will, of course, have noticed the presence of the historic Alfa Romeo grille that appeared on the Giulietta.
Finally, after being initially sold one by one, the 3 Alfa Romeo B.A.T.s caused a sensation in 1989 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Then, a man bought the 3 before giving them back their former glory. Today, therefore, RM Sotheby’s offers them in a single lot. This superb trio is estimated between $ 14 and $ 20 million… we'll let you convert it into €. For those interested, the RM Sotheby's ad can be viewed by clicking here.
Find our subject on another unique and exceptional Alfa Romeo, the 1900 Sport Spider from 1954 (photo above) by clicking on: Alfa Romeo 1900 Spider: meet the unique example.
Photos: RM Sotheby’s