This week sees the Concept of the Week title go to Alfa Romeo and Bertone for their collaboration on the Alfa Romeo BAT 7, the second addition to the BAT series that began in 1953 and finished in 1955.
First seen at the 1954 Turin motor show, this wildly futuristic ‘dream' car came about after Alfa Romeo contacted Giuseppe "Nuccio" Bertone of the Bertone carrozeria to commission three concepts with the lowest possible drag coefficient. The cars were named BAT for "Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica."
Built upon the Alfa Romeo 1900 chassis, the BAT cars featured large rear bumpers and curved fins, and the concepts achieved a drag coefficient of just 0.19 - an impressive result.
The second of the BAT series, the BAT 7, continued with the basic design of the original concept and then pushed the limits. Bertone, through his experience in the aeronautical industry, eventually decided upon the large, curved tail fins. The nose was also lower than the BAT 5's and the headlamps were relocated to the car's nose.
Interestingly, just one BAT 7 made it to the race track – R. McLaughlin cut off the rear fins so that he could race at Glendale on November 13, 1955, and came 6th. The fins were later replaced.
First shown Turin 1954
Designer Frank Scaglione/Giuseppe "Nuccio" Bertone