A trio of Alfa Romeo’s space-age BAT concept cars are heading for auction at 6pm on 28th October 2020 at Sotheby’s New York. The upcoming Contemporary Art Evening, which marks the first-ever three-in-one listing is expected to fetch over $20 million USD. Showcasing a variety of works by Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still and Robert Ryman, these three Alfa Romeo BAT concept cars designed by legendary designer Franco Scaglione, are regarded the most recognizable and important pieces of automotive design ever produced.
Built between 1953 to 1955 by Carrozzeria Bertone, these ‘moving sculptures’ were bought by their current owner in 1989 and fully restored. Having appeared at a multitude of car events over the last 30 years, this trio of BAT concept cars have never before been offered for sale as a group.
Showcasing the 1953 B.A.T. 5 which was the first of the B.A.T. concepts, with a visually arresting design that absolutely maximized airflow, and ultimately created a car of spectacular drama – the 1954 B.A.T. 7 which emphasized various characteristics of the original with narrowed front air intakes, a lowered hood, and lengthened tailfins with an increased angular pitch – the 1955 B.A.T 9 which boasts enhanced design-driven, practical road use, in a roadworthy gran turismo interpretation of the theme with reduced fins to improve rear visibility, and eliminated rear wheel skirts.
More than just design studies and a showcase of what world’s best panel beaters and craftsmen could create; these cars were an incredibly effective demonstration of forward-thinking design engineering and advanced aerodynamics. Although based off a modest Alfa Romeo road car chassis, these cars stunned the public with a hitherto unseen blend of sculpture and efficiency, and with more than just a hint of fantasy and science-fiction resonating from each of the three designs. As a result, this three-in-one listing presents car enthusiasts everywhere with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make history in perhaps, the most important auction of their lives.