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Event Report

Gran Turismo Trophy Awarded to the Bertone B.A.T.1

On August 15 at the 60th "Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance" held at Pebble Beach of the United States, Producer Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1952 Abarth 1500 Biposto Bertone B.A.T. 1 as the winner of the "Gran Turismo Trophy".

The 1950's "B.A.T." series of cars designed by Bertone, a famous Italian coachbuilder, will always come up when talking about aerodynamics in automotive history. B.A.T. stands for Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica, or aerodynamic experiment coupe. The Alfa Romeo based B.A.T. 5, B.A.T. 6, and B.A.T. 7 are famous, but this Abarth 1500 Biposto is a very important model that was the first of the series.

It was designed by the genius designer Franco Scaglione, who at the time worked for Bertone. He gave this car first class aerodynamics, while at the same time mixing strong character and a new look. The eye opening triple headlights and the carved out features of the front and rear fenders are unique, and the shape of the rear hints at the beginnings of a tailfin. This design created by Scaglione who studied aeronautical engineering, was proven later to have superior aerodynamics in wind tunnel testing. He then became renowned as having already "anticipated the flow of air" back in the 1950's.

There was only one Abarth 1500 Biposto manufactured, and it was shown in the 1952 Torino Auto Show. Thereafter it was purchased by Packard of the United states, and disappeared from the forefront of automotive history. This historically significant car was restored perfectly by Chris Drake of the UK and brought to Pebble Beach, which led to the award.

Meanwhile, the Best of Show at Pebble Beach this year was the 1933 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster of the Patterson Collection.

The Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance:

This is the worlds most prestigious historic car event held annually on the third weekend of August at Pebble Beach, a high class Golf resort to the south of San Francisco. It is held right on the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf course, and the fairway is filled with automotive enthusiasts from around the world during the weekend of the event.
The Gran Turismo Trophy started in 2008 as the Polyphony Digital Trophy, making this the third year for this award.