1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Coupe B.A.T. 5

Body by Bertone
Sale Price
$14M - 20M
Est. Range
28 October 2020
Sold Date
Lot Number
Recent restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
S/N 190001396; Metallic grey with red tube grille over red leather. 1,884-cc, 100-hp I-4, 4-speed manual. Single 2-barrel carburetor, chrome-spoke Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, woodrim steering wheel, front and rear wheel skirts, retractable headlights fold into the front fender extensions.

Evaluation: Very good clearcoat paint aside from a crack at the front of the hood and a tiny blister at the peak of the right fin. Scratched, wiper-scuffed windshield with grime at the base. Good but scuffed trim chrome. Very good upholstery and interior trim. A quality older restoration showing some age and handling damage.

Bottom line: Conceived by Franco Scaglione and sanctioned by Nuccio Bertone as a concept project to materialize Bertone’s design and construction expertise, B.A.T. (Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica) 5 was the smash hit of the May 1953 Torino Auto Salon. It has followed a winding course from the famous Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt (for whom Bertone bodied the Arnolt Bristols and MGs) until it was reunited with its successors, B.A.T. 7 and 9, in the 1980s. It was offered as a group at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. It is a case of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and it is impossible to argue with the price paid for what will be a centerpiece of any collection of automobiles. It’ll suck attention from the likes of Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadsters and Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagatos.

by Rick Carey
27 November 2020
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.