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BAT Alfas – The Trinity

There was a rare opportunity to see the ‘Trinity’ of Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica or B.A.T. Alfa Romeos designed by Franco Scaglione for Bertone in the 1950s at Phillips auctioneers London showroom on 20-23 November. The three cars, designated B.A.T. 5, 7 and 9 appreared at the Turin Motor Show in 1953, 54 and 55 respectively.  They are credited as having disrupted automotive culture at the time as well as establishing Bertone as an innovative automotive design studio.

Scaglione’s designs are based on the 1950s Alfa Romeo 1900SS saloon and despite these modest underpinnings B.A.T. 5 achieved 200kph. Applying the lessons learnt from B.A.T. 5, Scaglione created B.A.T. 7 with a remarkably low drag coefficient of 0.19cd, still lower than almost any production car you can buy today. Finally with B.A.T. 9 Scaglione created a car with more in common with Alfa Romeo’s production designs and which is credited as being the inspiration for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale. The Giulietta SS was shown as a prototype at the 1957 Turin Motor Show and went into production in 1959.
Words and Pictures: Keith Mainland

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