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.

Dodge Firearrow IV

1954 Dodge Firearrow IV Concept

For Sale by Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Here’s another classic Dodge concept car from the mid-1950s. This was the final car in the Firearrow series. To recap, the first Firearrow was a mockup, the second was a beautiful convertible, the third was a coupe, and this, the fourth, was a production-ready car that Chrysler decided not to move forward with.

It’s powered by a 150 horsepower, 3.9-liter Red Ram Hemi V8. Like the Firearrow II, it was styled by Virgil Exner and produced in Turin by Ghia. It has a black-and-white checkered interior, which is fantastic. Imagine if Dodge had actually built this and given themselves a legitimate, stylish Thunderbird and Corvette fighter.

This car has changed hands before (it sold for $1.1 million at Barrett-Jackson in 2007) and has been in the Blackhawk Collection for years. And now Mecum appears to be offering it on their behalf. Click here for more info.

Dodge Firearrow II

1954 Dodge Firearrow II Concept

For Sale by Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Dodge debuted a series of Firearrow concept cars in the 1950s that showcased their Hemi V8s and their relationship with Ghia in Italy. Only two of the four Firearrow cars were convertibles, including this one.

It’s powered by a 150 horsepower 3.9-liter Red Ram Hemi V8. Not the most powerful thing in the world, but proof that Dodge was trying to move into a more performance-oriented territory.

Styling is by Virgil Exner, and the body was built in Turin by Ghia. The car was shown all over the U.S. in 1954, and it marked the first running, driving Firearrow, as this car’s predecessor was just a static model. This Jet Age concept car is fully usable, and it is for sale by Mecum/the Blackhawk Collection. Click here for more info.

Dodge Firebomb

1955 Dodge Firebomb Concept

For Sale by Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Does this look like a Dual-Ghia to you? Well if it does, that’s because it essentially is. Chrysler had a relationship with Ghia during the 1950s that led to some fantastic concept cars, including this. But Chrysler passed on putting this one into production.

So in stepped Gene Casaroll, a Detroit-area businessman, who arranged to put it into production as the Dual-Ghia. The Firebomb remained a one-off Chrysler concept powered by a 270 horsepower, 5.1-liter V8. This car is also the reason some people refer to the Dual-Ghia as the “Dual-Ghia Firebomb,” which is not accurate.

The car has been hanging around the Blackhawk Collection for years and is now offered for sale as part of Mecum’s “Gallery,” alongside quite a few other Blackhawk cars. You can see more about it here.

Zagato Raptor

1996 Zagato Raptor Concept

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 30, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Sometimes design houses will build concept cars on behalf of a manufacturer. ItalDesign used to do it, along with Pininfarina and even Zagato, as was the case here. It was built in conjunction with Lamborghini and was ultimately intended to slot in Lambo’s model lineup below the Diablo.

Only one functional prototype was built (this car), and it borrows the Diablo VT‘s chassis and all-wheel-drive system. Power is from a 5.7-liter V12, and the car weighed significantly less than the one it was based on, thanks to carbon-fiber bodywork and a lack of doors. That’s right, the entire front section, windshield included, flips forward to allow entrance to the two-seat cabin.

It debuted at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show and was acquired by its current owner in 2000. The car was last shown and driven in 2008. You can see more about it here, and see more from RM here.

Update: Sold $1,086,250.

Rover Scout Concept

1991 Rover Scout Concept

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

This Rover concept car was a little ahead of its time. Where it to be introduced today, they would sell quite a lot of them. It’s basically a Rover Metro five-door hatchback with some lower body cladding, headlight guards, roof rails, and sporty graphics. In today’s word, that means it is a crossover. It’s off-road-ready!*

Power is from a 1.4-liter inline-four. The Scout was one of six “lifestyle” concepts based on the Metro that were built around this time. Land Rover would ultimately enter the space that this was intended to fill with the Rover 200-based Freelander.

This car has covered just over 1,000 miles since new and is coming from a private collection without a pre-sale estimate or a reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

*Not really.

Update: Sold $3,307.

Vector Avtech WX-3

1993 Vector Avtech WX-3 Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If my schoolgirl-like giddiness for this car becomes too distracting in the text that follows, please just bear with me. I love Vectors. They are outrageous. The company traces its roots back to the 1970s when founder Gerald Wiegert showed his first prototype, the W2, in 1978. The W8 was their first production car in 1989.

The Avtech WX-3 debuted in 1992 and was to go into production with three engine options. This, the coupe version (just wait until next week), is finished in a beautiful shade of Brilliant Aquamarine, though it was originally silver.

Wiegert lost control of the company shortly after this car debuted and the new owners, while barred from using this design, more or less did anyway with the very similar-looking M12 that used Lamborghini engines. This car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V8 putting out 1,000 horsepower.

This is the only car like it in the world, and Wiegert has never parted with it, until now. It’s so over-the-top in a wonderfully 90s kind of way. I just love these cars. The details are just so extreme, to wit: its shark-like appearance and the fact that the fuel cap looks like it was ripped right off of a Cessna. It is expected to bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $615,500.

Citroen Citela Concept

1991 Citroen Citela Concept

Offered by Leclere-MDV | Aulnay sous Bois, France | December 10, 2018

 Photo – Leclere-MDV

The Citela was Citroen’s take on the urban EV… back in 1991. This car was first shown at the French Pavilion of the 1992 World Expo in Seville, Spain. It had an electric motor and powers two inboard rear wheels (notice how you can’t seem them from this angle?). It sort of just looks like an over-sized mobility scooter.

The powered version (that Citroen still has) will do 68 mph and makes 26 horsepower. A couple of these prototypes were built in varying body styles and this one is just a roller. It should bring between $11,750-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $17,233.

Update: Not sold, Aguttes July 2019.