RE: Brutsch Mopetta: Spotted

RE: Brutsch Mopetta: Spotted

Thursday 10th January

Brutsch Mopetta: Spotted

Things don't get much more lovable than a completely unrestored microcar



Patina. It's something many of us have come to appreciate more and more in recent years. Sure, we may pine over restored classics that look as fresh - or some times fresher - than when they left the factory. But an ageing car that wears wrinkles like they were the words of its life story? Often, these all-original examples are the most charming.

And valuable. For the sort of collectable models that find themselves going under the hammer at auction, if they retain paint and leather fitted at birth and have all matching numbers, you can bet that they'll fetch a higher sum than a cleaner alternative. Just think of how many tin worm-infested barn finds we've seen go for record prices. People love originality.


This trend is not exclusive to the exotic stuff, either, as is evident from perhaps the cutest listing in RM Sotheby's Paris auction, a Brutsch Mopetta. This completely unrestored single-seater, one of only 14 Mopettas produced by the Stuttgart company after the model was first shown at the 1956 Frankfurt motor show, is thought to be the most original example in existence.

Some of you may recognise this particular car from its appearance at the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it set one of the slowest times ever recorded on the hill. Because although it's just 170cm long and weighs only 78kg thanks to a fiberglass body, power for the three-wheel Mopetta is provided by a dinky 49cc two-stroke engine, complete with a pull start. It drives through a three-speed gearbox, with a claimed top speed of just 30mph.

The whole point of the Mopetta, however, aside from looking immensely adorable, was to provide low-cost transport. Priced at £200 (about £4,585 today), it was very cheap to run, averaging 111mpg, and so simple in operation it could be maintained with a kitchen tool kit.


Still, with such a limited run of original Mopettas, it's perhaps unsurprising to hear that demand greatly surpassed supply. To plug the gap, many replica models have been produced using more modern Honda and Suzuki engines. But of the original Stuttgart run, just five are known to have survived. Values are therefore rather high - seven years ago one fetched £32,000 at auction.

What, then, will our never-restored Spotted go for in Paris 2019, given that it's arguably the most famous and original one in the world? Place your bets.

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Author
Discussion

Hairymonster

Original Poster:

362 posts

42 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
Bet it makes 100k

Nerdherder

398 posts

34 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
“Things don't get much more lovable than a completely unrestored microcar”. What kind of bumfluff is this?

CanAm

3,723 posts

209 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
I saw one in Klassikstadt Frankfurt last year. It was parked alongside a scooter and at first glance I thought it was a sidecar. They are small!

Turbobanana

1,211 posts

138 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
“Things don't get much more lovable than a completely unrestored microcar”. What kind of bumfluff is this?
The language is flowery, for sure, but it's an attempt to open people's eyes to that fact that cars existed before you were born and have taken many forms over the years.

You never know - you might learn something smile

kambites

55,584 posts

158 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
It's a lovely little oddity today, but with no weatherproofing I struggle to understand what it originally offered over a scooter?

Maybe that's why they only produced 14 of them.
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Zirconium

36 posts

26 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
kambites said:
It's a lovely little oddity today, but with no weatherproofing I struggle to understand what it originally offered over a scooter?

Maybe that's why they only produced 14 of them.
Looks like there are fixings for some sort of hood to me. How effective it would be is another matter...

Black S2K

813 posts

186 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
One could install a rudimentary hood - the concept of weather protection was a lot less 'snowflake' way back when.

But yes, the ME/Fendt Kabinenroller offered a plexiglass roof and pleanty of space for two.

And the Lloyd Leukoplastbomber had room for four and was thus almost a proper car.

Pre-Wirtschaftwunder, the Germans were extremely poor.

hoegaardenruls

964 posts

69 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
I'll admit to never having heard of them before..

While the language in the article is a bit flowery, I can help but appreciate it for what it is.

Does look like an early ancestor of a C5 though..




silentbrown

4,186 posts

53 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
Umlauts. They're really not difficult, to get right, and the ad looks terrible because they've all been effed up.

Brütsch


aeropilot

16,771 posts

164 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
kambites said:
It's a lovely little oddity today, but with no weatherproofing I struggle to understand what it originally offered over a scooter?
An extra wheel....... wink

eldar

11,944 posts

133 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
aeropilot said:
An extra wheel....... wink
I suspect two wheels would have been more stable...

deejay005

15 posts

115 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
Love it.

Handy for ducking underneath lorries that are in the middle lane.

Would feel a proper wally driving it in public though and wouldn't want to be in a crash in it!



Rumblestripe

985 posts

99 months

Thursday 10th January
quotequote all
deejay005 said:
Love it.

Handy for ducking underneath lorries that are in the middle lane.

Would feel a proper wally driving it in public though and wouldn't want to be in a crash in it!
You'd need a sense of humour but I guarantee you would turn more heads and get more love than any SUV or supercar driver!

CDP

5,580 posts

191 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
kambites said:
It's a lovely little oddity today, but with no weatherproofing I struggle to understand what it originally offered over a scooter?

Maybe that's why they only produced 14 of them.
That and the expense. £200 was an awful lot of money in those days. It makes you realise just how cheap modern cars are. (a sandero for only 1500 more in todays money)

unsprung

2,601 posts

61 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all

a modern interpretation of this sort of thing would be an ideal candidate

for battery-electric propulsion

biggrin

don the goggles!

noble12345

248 posts

153 months

Friday 11th January
quotequote all
Needs a propeller on the front hehe