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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