The three mythical Bertone B.A.T. cars come up for auction in New York

They are known as the ‘Holy Trinity of car design’ – the visionary B.A.T. cars designed by Franco Scaglione for Bertone in the 1950s. Now the three iconic ‘Batmobiles’ come up for sale as a single lot on October 28 at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York.

It’s almost been a year since we last saw the three Bertone B.A.T. cars during a pop-up exhibition and design talk that Classic Driver co-hosted together with Phillips in London. Designed by Franco Scaglione and built by Carrozzeria Bertone in 1953, 1954 and 1955, the Alfa Romeo Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica – or short B.A.T. – concept cars featured pioneering aerodynamics and radical design features. Here’s our full story on how Bertone’s ‘Batmobiles’ became the Holy Trinity of car design.

Now the three cars that have been carefully kept by a single owner are coming up for sale on October 28 at Sotheby’s during a Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York. “To be able to offer the Alfa Romeo B.A.T cars as a single lot triptych at auction is a once-in-a-generation opportunity”, Rob Myers, Chairman of RM Sotheby’s, says. “To do so in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening sale only adds further validation to the global significance of the B.A.T cars. These three truly spectacular cars are amongst the most instantly recognizable and important pieces of automotive design ever produced. Furthermore, they have never been offered for sale as a united trio, and so the offering of this design triptych may never happen again.”

David Galperin, Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auctions in New York, added: “Following the success of the Michael Schumacher Ferrari F1 race car in our November 2017 evening sale, we are thrilled to again present an exceptional example of automotive design in our Contemporary Art auction. Presented in the context of our Contemporary Art Evening Sale, alongside works by titans of post-war Italian art and design such as Lucio Fontana and Carlo Mollino, the sheer radicality, sculptural brilliance, and unique artistic vision of these automotive icons will be ever more magnified.”

Photos: Ron Kimball © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s