1954 Alfa Romeo 1900C Coupe B.A.T. 7

Body by Bertone
Sale Price
$14M - 20M
Est. Range
28 October 2020
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
S/N AR1900C01485; Metallic blue and black over white leather. RHD. 1975-cc, 115-hp I-4, 4-speed manual. Dual Weber 2-barrels carburetors, chrome-spoke Borrani wire wheels, Michelin tires, wood-rim steering wheel, headlights drop down from above the air intake, suicide doors.

Evaluation: Good older clearcoat paint, edge chips on the right door and at the front of the hood. Masking holiday on the left quarter window frame next to a sanding scrape. Panels fit flush with even gaps except the spare tire access panel. Upholstery is aged and stretched but sound. Very good engine compartment. An older restoration and a sound but mediocre repaint.

Bottom line: After the B.A.T. 5’s 1953 reception at the Torino Auto Salon, Nuccio Bertone realized he was onto something with wild concepts and with his intuitive but aerodynamically informed designer, Franco Scaglione. The follow up was an even more extreme but refined design called B.A.T. 7. Its curved fins were exaggerated, shaping the air over the greenhouse in a manner that shows Scaglione’s understanding of trailing airflow, something that today’s Formula 1 designers and aerodynamicists exploit with fins, tabs, slots, and extractors. B.A.T. 7 retained B.A.T. 5’s enclosed front and rear wheels, employing extractor vents to shape and exhaust turbulent air from the wheels.

Sold as a group with B.A.T. 5 and B.A.T. 9, this is the most refined and extravagant of the Bertone/Scaglione B.A.T.s. Conceived and developed without recourse to a wind tunnel, its coefficient of drag is estimated at 0.19, well below that of today’s most aerodynamically efficient cars like the Toyota Prius (which has a 0.24 Cd). It is the best of the B.A.T.s and deserved to be at the center of the trio on display at Sotheby’s NYC headquarters.

by Rick Carey
27 November 2020
1954 Alfa Romeo Bertone B.A.T. 7 Teal Overhead Rear View Studio
1954 Alfa Romeo Bertone B.A.T. 7
1954 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 7 body by Bertone

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