Dr. Gary Kaberle, a Michigan Dentist, is the first-ever private individual to display a vehicle on the main floor of the Detroit Auto Show with his BAT 11dk.
We've seen the BAT 11dk before, but thanks to the Carpocalypse thinning the field, he’s displaying his concept BAT 11dk right across from VW. Gary, who hopes the car will help raise breast cancer awareness, was invited to share room on the main show floor with the College For Creative Studies’ — thanks to their unexpectedly large display area. The college traditionally occupies a much smaller slot in the show’s basement, but, along with Brilliance Auto and other previous underground dwellers, the show's withdrawal of Nissan and Porsche has bumped them up with the big boys.
We’re excited to see the BAT 11 on the show floor not just because it’s a seriously cool car, but because the story behind it is so touching. The idea to create a new BAT car came several years after Gary sold his original Bat 9, along with a Ferrari F40 and most of his savings, to finance experimental treatment for his wife’s breast cancer. Bertone built this concept for Gary just as it was going bankrupt, with the company’s designers working overtime to finish it before the financing dried up.
The ultimate plan is to build, in his wife’s memory, a working version of the BAT 11 based on the Alfa Romeo 8C chassis and powered by a 4.6-liter Maserati V8. Gary doesn’t have enough money left to build that car, but is hoping being at the show will attract a corporate sponsor able to help him make his dream a reality.