RE: Berlinetta Aerodinamica Technica cars go on show

RE: Berlinetta Aerodinamica Technica cars go on show

Thursday 21st November 2019

Berlinetta Aerodinamica Technica cars go on show

Legendary 'Jet Age' concept cars currently on display in London - but not for long



If you're passing by Berkeley Square this week, you'll find it hard to ignore what would appear to be a 'bat signal' projected onto one of the walls inside Phillips auction house. It is no ordinary call to the caped crusader though; it is in fact the silhouette of a very special car, or three of them.

The Berlinetta Aerodinamica Technica or B.A.T. cars, known as B.A.T. 5, 7 & 9, are three truly unique concept cars from the 1950s, masterminded by Franco Scaglione of legendary coachbuilder Bertone. Each car is different, but all three were built on the chassis of the Alfa Romeo 1900 SS and feature the same post-war America 'Jet Age' styling.

The first of the B.A.T. cars, number 5, was unveiled at the 1953 Turin Motor Show and wowed show goers who weren't prepared for its radical, otherworldly styling. Cars 7 and 9 would be unveiled at the following two Turin Motor Shows in '54 and '55 and hadn't lost their impact even by the third iteration.


The cars didn't just look futuristic, B.A.T. 7 recorded a drag coefficient of 0.19cd, which is almost unheard of today for a road car, never mind in the 1950s. Unfortunately, Alfa Romeo never intended to put these works of art into production, and each car fell into disrepair, with car 7 even having its fin removed and raced. However, all three were reunited by a collector in California in the 1980s and have since been meticulously restored to concours condition.

The display at Phillips in Mayfair is described as a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity to see the three cars together. Phillips is, of course, an auction house, however, but officially the cars are not being sold. Although sources tell us if you've got many spare millions in the bank the cars might just be available.

The unfortunately short exhibition runs for just three days until 6pm on November 23nd, and is free for all. If you're nearby in the next couple of days, it's too good to miss!


Search for an Alfa Romeo here







Author
Discussion

TheOrangePeril

Original Poster:

401 posts

129 months

Thursday 21st November 2019
quotequote all
Absolutely epic. I remember seeing these in a concept car book when I was a kid, would love to see them for real.

Any ideas why, relatively speaking, drag coefficients haven't improved all that much even now?

Aletsch

101 posts

92 months

Thursday 21st November 2019
quotequote all
True automotive exotica, what a dedication to get these back in concours state after their demise.
Truly epic, unfortunately cannot make it to the "showroom" before they are gone again.....

Venturist

2,840 posts

144 months

Thursday 21st November 2019
quotequote all
TheOrangePeril said:
Absolutely epic. I remember seeing these in a concept car book when I was a kid, would love to see them for real.

Any ideas why, relatively speaking, drag coefficients haven't improved all that much even now?
Because the shapes that are really good for reducing drag are bad for performance requirements (like radiators) and often are a bit too alien looking for the average punter.

Iamnotkloot

296 posts

96 months

Thursday 21st November 2019
quotequote all
Now this is design.

Maybach designers, pay attention!

EyeHeartSpellin

123 posts

32 months

Thursday 21st November 2019
quotequote all
This with zero safety, economy, power, handling or durability or that Maybach monstrosity?

This every single time.

blearyeyedboy

5,002 posts

128 months

Thursday 21st November 2019
quotequote all
I saw these as a child when they were on display in London.

They blew my mind then and they still do. Beautiful creations, in the metal or in photography.

Mark-C

3,176 posts

154 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
I know this sort of articles doesn't get the same amount of comment as flinging us pictures the latest Maybach monstrosity but it's started my Friday morning with a smile so more of this please!

AmosMoses

3,593 posts

114 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Stunning pieces of design!

Greg the Fish

927 posts

15 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
November the 23nd?

Good job the pictures are magnificent enough to overlook that.

Dave Hedgehog

12,087 posts

153 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
if only they could make them frown

kambites

57,671 posts

170 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Venturist said:
TheOrangePeril said:
Absolutely epic. I remember seeing these in a concept car book when I was a kid, would love to see them for real.

Any ideas why, relatively speaking, drag coefficients haven't improved all that much even now?
Because the shapes that are really good for reducing drag are bad for performance requirements (like radiators) and often are a bit too alien looking for the average punter.
I think it's pretty impressive that modern saloon cars can get so close to these things in terms of drag coefficient. For example the Mercedes CLA has a CD or 0.22... shame it's at the opposite end of the spectrum to these wonderful things in terms of looks.

In fact if you took the mirrors off a CLA and faired in the wheels, I wouldn't be surprised if it bettered these things.

ThomasHowarth

87 posts

40 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Greg the Fish said:
November the 23nd?

Good job the pictures are magnificent enough to overlook that.
That's my bad! I had thought the exhibition ended on the 22nd, however, when I checked and realised it was the 23rd I foolishly only changed the digit and not the superscript!

Thank you for enjoying my photos biggrin

GiveItSomeWellie

2,840 posts

145 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
I probably visit London once every 5 years or so (despite only living in Hertfordshire), and by luck I happen to be visiting nearby tomorrow! Will definitely make the trip over there.

blearyeyedboy

5,002 posts

128 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
GiveItSomeWellie said:
I probably visit London once every 5 years or so (despite only living in Hertfordshire), and by luck I happen to be visiting nearby tomorrow! Will definitely make the trip over there.
Please do. The photos are great but they are extraordinary pieces of sculpture in real life.

They're rather like automotive Henry Moore sculptures.

xu5

222 posts

106 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
The blue car looks like a true piece of art. Stunning.

Grodecki

220 posts

133 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
I popped down to this for an hour or so today.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Took a bunch of photos, not sure if people are interested?

theholygrail

239 posts

117 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Grodecki said:
I popped down to this for an hour or so today.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Took a bunch of photos, not sure if people are interested?
GOD yes! Pleeeaase smile

blearyeyedboy

5,002 posts

128 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Grodecki said:
I popped down to this for an hour or so today.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Took a bunch of photos, not sure if people are interested?
Hell yes!!!!

CharlesA

14 posts

23 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Saw all three at Pebble Beach in 1989 - amazing

Grodecki

220 posts

133 months

Friday 22nd November 2019
quotequote all
Few I've imported so far. Can put up a huge dump of about 100 unedited ones if anyone really wants that! Can put some more up if needs be. Got a lot more angles of most of the cars.
It's not really that dark in there either, I still struggle to get exposure right on my X100T








And... can you guess what makes this my favourite?




I'd also like to dispute concours condition. There's chips on the paint of the blue one on at least one of the wings, at the very least.



Edited by Grodecki on Friday 22 November 17:25