Recollections of the Bertone B.A.T.'S at the 1989 Pebble
Beach Concours...

They'd always fascinated me.

When the '89 August R&T magazine came out featuring BAT 9, I knew I couldn't miss going up to Montery.

Warning: I'm going to name drop like crazy, so bear with me.

The article written and photographed by Strother MacMinn said in a nut shell: It's 1963 and a 16 year old Gary Kaberle spies an incredibly unusual car in front of the local Dodge-Plymouth dealership. He has to have it. Tapping into his entire savings and a loan from his not wealthy family, he puts everything into 50's and 100's and drops them on the manager's desk.

He then drives home to Evart, Michigan in B.A.T. 9. Fast forward to 1989. Gary is now a doctor and still owns the car. It will be at PB along with it's older siblings - 5 and 7.

Met Gary. He had been talking to an older gentleman, but took the time to tell me about his plans for the car. That's Gary signing my R&T on 9 in the bottom right photo.

Okay, so I followed Bertone (that's him in the ice cream suit in the bottom left photo) into a private function and asked for his autograph. Got it on the same magazine.

Previously Gary told me I should get Strother's (older gentleman) autograph since I liked the article so much. He declined. I insisted. He signed just above his name on the story.

Strother was for many years head of Art Center School of Design's transportation department. I ran into him from time-to-time, the last being at a copy center in Pasadena. I mentioned to him he was the most influential person in the world regarding automotive design. He told me to 'stop right now!'. Strother was writing cutting-edge articles for R&T in the 50's. His influence caused many major car companies to locate their 'leading edge' design studios in Southern California.


 Photos top to bottom, left to right: BAT 7's derrarie;
The Group with BAT 9 in the foreground; BAT 5;
BAT 5's and 7's fins; BAT 5's tail; BAT 5's vent;
Bertone looking at a book on the hood of 7;
Gary Kaberle signing my R&T on 9 | Biba Restorations | ACS Parts / Accessories Home Page

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