They aren’t headed to auction, but auction house Phillips will display three of the most famous automobiles ever created. From November 20-23 at its London facility at 30 Berkeley Square, Phillips will present a special exhibition, “Trinity: B.A.T. 5-7-9” featuring the trio of Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica cars by Bertone and Franco Scaglione.
“As the only international auction house to focus exclusively on the 20th and 21st centuries, we have a commitment to promoting the works of art and design that define modern and contemporary culture,” Edward Dolman, Phillips chief executive was quoted in a news release.
“Trinity: B.A.T. 5-7-9 represents a masterpiece of art and engineering, of modernity and progress, of sculptural and timeless form – they are monuments to a moment in time. We are honored to have been entrusted with the exhibition of these cars, and look forward to unveiling them to the public.”
A Phillips publicist added that the cars, based on Alfa Romeos, are being showcased for their iconic status “in the context of them being works of art and design that define modern and contemporary culture.”
She added that, “They are not going to auction.”
“Franco Scaglione was an artist whose remarkable taste in sculptural form blended with an instinctive feeling for the laws of aerodynamics.” Phillips said in its announcement. “In 1946, after fighting in the Second World War, Scaglione returned to Italy and offered his services to Bertone, an established coachbuilder.
In 1950, Bertone commenced a project which carried the name “Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica” — B.A.T. for short. For this, Scaglione produced a series of striking concept vehicles that explored aerodynamic efficiency through design. The cars were christened B.A.T. 5, 7 and 9 and took the automotive world by storm when they were unveiled at the Turin Motor Show for three consecutive years beginning in 1953.
“Their audacious aesthetic is an eclectic fusion between the new and futuristic Jet Age – a style highly popular in 1950s America, which translated aeronautic design elements such as wings and chrome into cars and everyday objects – and traditional post-War Italian coachbuilding.
“The B.A.T. cars not only subliminally influenced subsequent automotive design, but also put Bertone on the global map and in the same prestigious echelon as Pininfarina heading into the 1960s. As such, they are among the most important concept cars ever presented and, unlike many concept cars, the B.A.T. Alfa Romeos were – and remain – fully functional.”
Phillips said that in addition to opportunities for buying and selling, Phillips stages such exhibitions at its locations in London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong.