05 November 2019
Phillips Celebrates an Iconic Moment in 20th Century Design with an Exhibition of Alfa Romeo 1950s Concept Cars
B.A.T. 5, B.A.T. 7 and B.A.T. 9 are Considered to be One of the World’s
most Mythical, Desirable and Valuable Series of Collector Cars
B.A.T. 5, 7 and 9 © 2019 Peter Harholdt
LONDON – 5 NOVEMBER 2019 – Phillips is pleased to announce Trinity: B.A.T. 5-7-9, an exhibition showcasing three of Alfa Romeo’s iconic 1950s concept cars. B.A.T. 5, B.A.T. 7, and B.A.T. 9 will go on view to the public for the first time in years at 30 Berkeley Square, from 20 to 23 November. Icons of 20th century design and automotive history, they represent three of the most daring, visionary and futuristic concept cars ever built. The product of the collaborative efforts of coachbuilder Bertone and designer Franco Scaglione, these cars showcase the fascinating avant-garde creativity and artistic craftsmanship developed by independent Italian design studios in the 1950s.Trinity: B.A.T. 5-7-9 presents a rare opportunity to see all three cars displayed together in Europe.
Edward Dolman, CEO, Phillips, said: “As the only international auction house to focus exclusively on the 20th and 21st centuries, we have a commitment to promoting the works of art and design that define modern and contemporary culture. Trinity: B.A.T. 5-7-9 represents a masterpiece of art and engineering, of modernity and progress, of sculptural and timeless form – they are monuments to a moment in time. We are honoured to have been entrusted with the exhibition of these cars, and look forward to unveiling them to the public.”
Franco Scaglione was an artist whose remarkable taste in sculptural form blended with an instinctive feeling for the laws of aerodynamics. In 1946, after fighting in the Second World War, Scaglione returned to Italy and offered his services to Bertone, an established coachbuilder.
In 1950, Bertone commenced a project which carried the name “Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica”—B.A.T. for short. For this, Scaglione produced a series of striking concept vehicles that explored aerodynamic efficiency through design. The cars were christened B.A.T. 5, 7 and 9 and took the automotive world by storm when they were unveiled at the Turin Motor Show for three consecutive years beginning in 1953. Their audacious aesthetic is an eclectic fusion between the new and futuristic Jet Age – a style highly popular in 1950s America, which translated aeronautic design elements such as wings and chrome into cars and everyday objects – and traditional post-War Italian coachbuilding.
In 1989, the trio appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California, as a tribute to the late Bertone. Marking their first joint showcase, they have remained a trio ever since. After restoration in 2005, they were unveiled once again at the Pebble Beach Concour d’Elegance, and subsequently in other landmark US car design exhibitions.
The B.A.T. cars not only subliminally influenced subsequent automotive design, but also put Bertone on the global map and in the same prestigious echelon as Pininfarina heading into the 1960s. As such, they are among the most important concept cars ever presented and, unlike many concept cars, the B.A.T. Alfa Romeos were – and remain – fully functional.
All Images ©2019 Peter Harholdt
Exhibition: 20-23 November 2019
Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London
Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world. In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.
Visit www.phillips.com for further information.
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