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Alfa Romeo Bertone B.A.T.

As Found at the Blackhawk Museum

B.A.T. 7 on the left and B.A.T. 5 on the right.

Many believe that the 1969 Dodge Daytona and the 1970 Plymouth Superbird with their gigantic rear wings were the first and last of their kind. Obviously, there were numerous American cars from the late 1950s that had large tail fins. but none of these were first. Arguably, the largest and most exaggerated wings were seen on the early 1950s Alfa Romeo Bertone B.A.T. trio of concept cars.

What is a B.A.T.? It is a Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica. The three B.A.T. cars were all concepts built by Bertone and shown at the 1953 ( B.A.T. 5), 1954 ( B.A.T. 7) and 1955 ( B.A.T. 9) Turin Motor Shows.

B.A.T. 5 the first design was wild for 1954.

Designed by Franco Scaglione, and styled by Nuccio Bertone, all three were built over Alfa 1900 Sprint mechanicals and were referred to as “Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica”. B.A.T. for the Americans! The acronym may have also been chosen for the rear of the cars’ bat-like look of the tail section.

The B.A.T. 7 carried the B.A.T. 5’s design to the extreme!
By B.A.T. 9 the extreme rear batwing design was exchanged for a more acceptable fin.

Each car was powered by a four-cylinder engine with 90 HP and a five-speed gearbox. As weak as this might sound the combination was good enough to propel the cars to a top speed of 125 MPH which for the day was very impressive. As with the Daytona and Superbird, superior aerodynamics was the goal. With less drag coefficient a smaller engine can make up for fewer horses. The drag coefficient (cd) of 0.19 is better than most cars today. By comparison, the first-generation Dodge Viper, with its aerodynamic shape, had a cd of over .5; the 1994 Plymouth Duster had a cd of .42. ; the mid-1990s Eagle Talon had a cd of .36 considerably higher than the 0.28 of the 1969 Charger Daytona. That car set a speed record that held for 13 years, to be broken by about 1 mph in 1983.

B.A.T. 5
B.A.T. 7
B.A.T. 5
B.A.T. 7
B.A.T. 9
B.A.T. 9
B.A.T. 5
B.A.T. 9

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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