Concept cars are somewhat of a fascination of ours. What’s possible, what’s conceivable, what a designer would actually like to see in an automobile. Far too often the concept car gets fully watered down on its way to production, with the far-fetched designs being tamed, the unique features being stripped.
Rarely, if ever, do concept cars go on sale, as the automakers want to keep them as part of their history.
But this trio of concepts from 1953 and 1954 are set to be auctioned off, starting at the princely sum of $14,000,000 dollars.
These beauties are Alfa Romeo Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica concept cars, and they’ve been kept in incredible condition for the past seventy years. They’re beautifully sculptural, obviously from another era, but also timeless in their aerodynamic curves. Designed by famed automotive designer Franco Scaglione, you can sleep soundly knowing you have three of his iconic masterpieces in your collection.
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone
Design by Franco Scaglione
Unconstrained by the limitations of budget and the realities of manufacturing, concept cars afford talented designers the opportunity to explore their wildest and most progressive ideas. At their best, these dazzling, artistic creations invite us to totally reimagine what the automobile can be.
The following description snippets are from the official auction page. Visit the page for more detail.
B.A.T. 5 (1953)
With firm ideas about the minimization of drag by shaping laminar airflow and stability with the car’s exterior form in mind, Scaglione progressively worked through four full-size models before proceeding to the fifth and final stage, the actual metalwork for the car. When completed, the concept car was appropriately dubbed the Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica 5, or B.A.T. 5.
B.A.T. 7 (1954)
As is often the case with concept cars, the B.A.T. 5 was essentially mothballed after the 1953 show season as work commenced on an updated version, soon to be known as the B.A.T. 7. Running gear would once again be sourced from the Alfa Romeo 1900, but given the first car’s success, Scaglione was encouraged to emphasize various characteristics of the original. He obliged by narrowing the front air intakes, lowering the hood by over two inches, and lengthening the tailfins while adding increased angular pitch to the extremities. The rear wheel skirts and pronounced side vents remained.
B.A.T. 9d (1955)
Following the B.A.T. 7’s show season of 1954, Scaglione began work on a third concept for 1955. Perhaps sensing some missed opportunity—as popular as the prior B.A.T.s were, they looked utterly unlike anything sold by Alfa Romeo—Alfa Romeo’s mandate for the final B.A.T concept was to “make it more practical for road use.”
Thus, for his third act, Scaglione explored a roadworthy gran turismo interpretation of the B.A.T theme. The fins were reduced in size to improve rear visibility, and the rear wheel skirts were eliminated. A pronounced beltline was added toward the rear, while a standard production triangular Alfa Romeo Giulietta grille, including the famed Milano crest, was fitted to the front grille, highlighting the car’s identity as an Alfa Romeo. And, of course, the mechanical components were once again drawn from the Alfa Romeo 1900.