Alfa Romeo-based B.A.T. cars are the holy trinity of aerodynamic car design

When Alfa Romeo launched its updated tipo 1484 1900C Super Sprint in 1954, it hoped to make an impression on an otherwise mundane car market. The model had been updated by Carrozzeria Touring with plexiglass side and rear windows, modified lights, and an improved interior, plus the engine had been bored out to 1.9 liters and fitted with twin Solex 40 PII carburetors and separate exhaust manifolds; but to the layman, the car wasn’t much different from the earlier C Sprint.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/11/22/alfa-romeo-based-bat-cars-are-holy-trinity-of-aerodynamic-car-design

Beautiful Cars!!! In the 1950’s the designers said we would have flying cars by the 1990’s.
These cars are better looking than ANYTHING on the road today. P.s. where are our flying cars?

Alfa and its history is truely special …

Great looking cars. Did anyone else notice that the blue car’s shadow looks like a bat? How appropriate.

I am the proud owner of a 1970 Alfa 1750 GTV. It has never seen winter, rust free and looks like new. I was introduced to Alfa Romeo in the early '60s by a man that was my mentor and best friend. These were the days as a Canadian teenager that the only exposure to cars were the Detroit offerings … nothing wrong with that, just that the world is much more diverse in engineering and auto development approaches.
The Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferraris, were so different in concept from the Chevys, Fords and Mopars.

There are several variants of these Alfa’s at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA. I snapped the attached photos back in December 2012.

Here is the front view…

gary2, you should be proud! That GTV sounds sweet (and I’ll bet it really does sound sweet). Very jealous. If you ever want to sell it… I know, not for sale.

What a great design for a replica, so much more creative than the new Tesla pickup.

I had the opposite condition, a 65 GTV bought in about 1970. Don’t think the previous owner had ever opened the hood. Still a great experience. Those Alfas were way ahead of their time compared to American attempts.

Did the Japanese collector really pay $18M and sell for $4M, 4 years later?
Or is that a typo that should have been $1.8M

No, he sold for a loss: $18m and $4m is correct. Oh, and the cars are the same as those at the Blackhawk!

You forgot to include the BAT 11 designed by David Wilkie at Stile Bertone and based on the 8C Competizione chassis:

My brother was involved in the restoration of BAT 7 at Tillack and Company in Harbor City. It was found on a used car lot in very sad shape. It had the faded red paint and the wings had been cut off! Luckily, the wings were inside the car. Steve Alcala in El Segundo carefully welded them back on and fixed all the body issues and my brother John Willburn rebuilt the chassis and drive line. I think Rick Fitzgerald in El Segundo painted it. In the 90s, the Japanese were paying crazy money buying everything until the economy took a dump and lost millions


"There are several variants of these Alfa’s … "

Oh no, the - wonderful - blue ones are the work of Giovanni Michelotti and true Lancia-based V 6
1955 called Lancia Aurelia Nardi “Blue Ray 1
& 1958 Lancia Aurelia Nardi “Blue Ray 2

We had these on display at the Meadowbrook Concours, along with a 4th “tribute” one done later. Their biggest thing was that they were very small cars, with a small frontal area. As later concepts have shown they may have been the first low Cd ( not sure about that though), but it isn’t impossible. As far as being a trinity of aero design, not so much. 2 variations on a theme is interesting historically, but influenced very little in real production cars. I suspect some of the late '50s sport cars and concepts were in that range and may have been more significant designs. See similar out of the box cars, like the Dymaxion…

You’re unlikely to ever see flying cars in the U.S. Weight is the enemy of aircraft and the various things added for safety have pushed the weights up a great deal. The lightest cars in the States today weigh a bit less than 2,800 pounds, and that’s before you add wings and a second drive train. A four-seat aircraft like the Cessna 172 weighs about 1,700 pounds. Add another half-ton or so and it cannot fly safely.