B.A.T. 9

1955 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 9d

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | October 28, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

And then there was this one, the final Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept car of the 1950s (they actually produced a B.A.T. 11 concept in 2008 as a sort of tribute to the first three). Scaglione’s styling on this one was a little more subdued. The rear wings shrunk down, and the front end actually carried an Alfa Romeo corporate look, foreshadowing the Giulietta Sprint Speciale.

This one also debuted at the Turin Motor Show, albeit in 1955. Ownership history is known since new, and the powertrain was again sourced from Alfa’s 1900.

The story of the three of these being united is interesting. Nuccio Bertone was in Pasadena, California, in 1989, and the organizers of the Pebble Beach Concours arranged to have all three cars displayed at their show, which Bertone ended up attending. While there, a collector made offers on all three, and it worked. The cars later spent ~10 years at the Blackhawk Museum and are all three now being offered as a single lot. Click here for more info.

Update: All three B.A.T. cars sold as a single lot for $14,840,000.

B.A.T. 7

1954 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 7

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | October 28, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the second of the three Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept cars that RM Sotheby’s is offering as a single lot later this week in New York. It was also styled by Franco Scaglione at Bertone and carries a similar look as BAT 5, except that those rear wings are pulled so far inward they look like the spiraling vapor trails off the end of a plane’s wing.

The driveline was sourced from Alfa’s 1900, meaning that this car has a 115-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four. Designed without the aid of computers (and likely little-to-no windtunnel time), the BAT 7 boasts a drag coefficient of 0.19. That’s better than a Prius, a car designed specifically to slip through the air.

This car debuted at the 1954 Turin Motor Show and was later sent to the U.S. by Alfa Romeo. It even ran in SCCA races in 1955. The rear wings were removed at one point before being re-installed during a late-1980s cosmetic restoration. Click here for more info.

Update: All three B.A.T. cars sold as a single lot for $14,840,000.

B.A.T. 5

1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | October 28, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica concept cars of the mid-1950s are some of the most wildly stylish prototypes ever built. Each was bodied by Franco Scaglione at Bertone as an attempt to research the effects of aerodynamic drag on a car. Thus, the swoopy, be-winged designs.

This is the first of the three coupes produced (no, I don’t know why they started with “5”). It debuted at the 1953 Turin Motor Show and is powered by a twin-cam inline-four that supposedly made somewhere between 75 and 100 horsepower. The car’s styling resulted in a drag coefficient of just 0.23. That enabled the tiny engine to push the car to over 120 mph.

Stanley Arnolt was the first private owner, and it has known history since then. RM Sotheby’s is now offering all three B.A.T. concept cars as one lot. It’s an easy eight-figure sale, should it meet the astronomical reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: All three B.A.T. cars sold as a single lot for $14,840,000.

Mantide

2009 Bertone Mantide

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15, 2020

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Let’s start by stating that “Mantide” is a ridiculous name for anything, including a car (it means “Mantis” in Italian). The Bertone Mantide is a concept car produced by Bertone in 2009. They initially planned to build a run of 10 examples, but only one was ever completed.

It is based on the contemporary Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, which means the engine is up front. That engine is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that makes 638 horsepower. Top speed is 218 mph. The car was shown at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show – and it was originally red.

Its first owner had it repainted white, and the car was later shown at The Quail, where it won the supercar class. In an era of limited-run supercars, it seems relatively easy to come across an example that never got past the prototype stage. But it’s not so easy to actually get a chance to acquire one. You can read more about this car here and see more from Worldwide Auctioneers here.

Update: Not sold.

Fiat 519S Torpedo

1924 Fiat 519S Torpedo Sport Speciale Convertible by Bertone

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Fiat 519 was produced between 1922 and 1927 in a few different forms, including the 519S, which rode on a shortened wheelbase compared to other models. It was offered in different factory body styles, but customers could also have coachbuilt bodies constructed, as is the case with this example.

It carries a boattail Torpedo body from Bertone and is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.8-liter inline-six. Top speed was about 79 mph. This particular car was discovered in a barn in Australia in 2011 and subsequently restored.

Only 2,411 examples of all 519 models were produced. Just 25 of those were of the 519S variety, and this is said to be the only remaining example. It’s a beautiful – and early – example of Bertone coachwork. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Siata Berlinetta

1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta by Bertone

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Though Siata could trace their roots back to 1926, they didn’t actually begin producing their own cars until 1948. Their great, sporty, Italian cars were a flash in the pan, however, and they disappeared by 1975 after spending nearly a decade producing a not-sporty, retro-styled convertible called the Spring.

Perhaps the most desirable car produced by the firm was the 208, which was offered in two forms including the S (roadster) and CS (coupe). They were built between 1952 and 1955 in small quantities, and fewer than 20 examples of the CS were built. Some of 208 S examples looked like an AC Ace, but every one of them was coachbuilt. A 125 horsepower, 2.0-liter V8 provides the oomph.

This Bertone-bodied coupe was ordered new by Stanley Arnolt (who was closely associated with the carrozzeria). It was also displayed at the 1952 Paris Auto Show. Fifty years later, it was restored, and it is now offered with a pre-sale estimate of $850,000-$950,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Jaguar Pirana

1967 Jaguar Pirana by Bertone

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What we have here is a one-off sports car financed and built for the motoring department at a British newspaper in the late 1960s. It used off-the-shelf components and a very nice exterior design from Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The bodywork clearly foreshadows the Lamborghini Espada.

Power is from a Jaguar 4.2-liter inline-six, and the car uses an E-Type 2+2 frame and chassis as well. It also carries Jaguar badging, even if Jaguar didn’t officially have much to do with the final product. The car debuted at the 1967 Earl’s Court Motor Show and was first sold at auction in 1968. It stayed in the US for a long time and was purchased by its current owner in 2011.

The auction catalog makes a big deal of the fact that the car is called a “Pirana” – without the “H” – and how it was Bertone’s personal choice to spell it that way. It then goes on to say that the car was restored to its Earl’s Court specification. Photos clearly show “Piranha” badging on the rear. What’s the deal with that? At any rate, it will sell at no reserve this August. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $324,000.

Coachbuilt 911 Convertible

1966 Porsche 911 Spyder by Bertone

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 25, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

The first Porsche 911 went on sale in 1964, replacing the 356 series of cars. Upon introduction, only a two-door coupe was offered. A removable-top Targa joined the lineup in 1966 and the first 911 convertible didn’t arrive on the scene until 1982. So what was a well-heeled Porsche fanatic to do in the 60s?

Let’s start by not forgetting that Karmann came up with a 911 Cabriolet Prototype in 1964. So then, in 1966, a Southern California Porsche dealer wanted an open-top 911 for his customers and commissioned Bertone to build one. They started with a bare 911 chassis, which did not include the “S” 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-six that the car carries today. Back then it had a stock 130 horse variant.

Rear-engined convertibles tend to seem a little bulky at the back and it’s funny that Gooding & Company draws parallels to the Fiat 850 Spider, which is the exact car I see when I look at this. The final result here is quite nice and nothing about it says “Porsche.” It looks Italian. The current owner acquired this car in 1993 and it’s been on static display for quite some time, so it will require a little attention to make roadworthy. It should bring between $700,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Sold $1,430,000.

Siata 300 BC

1953 Siata 300 BC Barchetta by Bertone

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Giorgio Ambrosini’s Siata somehow survived until 1970, but it was the 1950s where they made their mark. The first cars were modified Fiats and their first homemade model was the 1951 300 BC Barchetta.

The car is very light (as you can see, the tires look like they were stolen off a bicycle) and it’s powered by a 51 horsepower 1.1-liter Fiat straight-four. Earlier cars had Crosley motors. This model was aimed at Americans who needed an agile SCCA weapon.

This is car #38 of 40 that were bodied by Bertone (another handful or two were also built, some with bodies by Motto). It’s been in the U.S. since new and was first road-registered in 1989, having been primarily used for competition up to that point. For most of its life, it was driven twice a year to keep it running. It’s been repainted and the interior redone, but otherwise it’s largely original. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $198,000.

250 GT Speciale by Bertone

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale by Bertone

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 15-16, 2015

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Of the myriad of sub-models in the Ferrari 250 range, the SWB Berlinetta is one of the most sought after today. They were race cars, introduced in 1959, and this one is powered by a 3.0-liter V-12 making 240 horsepower.

This car was actually bought new by Nuccio Bertone – yes, of that Bertone. He had a young man working in his coachbuilding business named Giorgetto Giugiaro who he co-designed this car with. The car was modeled after earlier Ferrari race cars with “sharknose” styling.

This 250 GT debuted at the 1962 Geneva Auto Show and was Bertone’s personal ride for a short time before he sold it to a parts supplier in Milan. It had a few more owners before coming stateside in 1966. It later spent 35 years in a Mexican collection. It sports a fantastic restoration and is one of the most recognizable coachbuilt Ferraris of all time. This one-off should bring between $14,000,000-$16,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $16,500,000.