- The Brütsch Mopetta is one of the rarest microcars in the world – there are only five still in existence.
- Dental surgeon and avid car collector Dr. Sasha Goryunov owns two of them.
- Unlike many rare car collectors, however, he prefers driving them in public frequently in order to “share them with the world.”
The following is a transcript of the video.
Only five of these microcars exist and this man owns two of them.
Dr. Sasha: My name is Dr. Sasha. I’m a dental surgeon, but my true passion is cars. I own a couple of Brütsch Mopettas. What is a Mopetta? It’s by far one of the rarest microcars. Out of fourteen produced in the 1950s, only five are surviving, and to own two is quite a privilege.
Egon Brütsch, who built the Mopetta, understood that the future was in small cars. He carved this little beauty and drove it to the car fair where it generated tremendous interest. The Opel Company approached him, offering to build 140,000 of them. Only after printing all these catalogues for the car, the company’s management and its advocates said, “Are you crazy? We’re in the 1950s. People like the big tailfins on cars and big engines. Who will drive a tiny car?” So they canceled the deal and that’s how only fourteen cars were made.
I live in Israel and the first one I found was online. A friend of mine, Ferdi, owned it in Germany. I saw a photo of it and had to see it in person. A few emails back and forth, and he agreed to have me come to his place. And the moment I saw it I was in shock. I said, “Ferdi I must sit in one,” and he allowed me. Then I said, “Ferdi I must start it.” It was pouring rain so he asked, “Are you crazy?” I answered, “Ferdi I just flew from a different continent to see it. Sure I’m crazy.” I started it up, drove it down the street, and I just had to have it.
The second one I found was owned by a collector named Malcolm. He had passed away and only then after decades of ownership did his family agree to sell it. The second one is actually the most important and the most original Mopetta in the world. It’s completely unrestored. It drives beautifully. You pull the cable, you start it and just start spreading smiles around. In my profession, I work with smiles every day. I transform them through veneers or surgery. But trust me, driving a Mopetta is more smile-transforming than anything I do on a daily basis. And I insist on driving it. I just like to park it outside of a restaurant and share it with the world. I think that’s really what rare cars need to be. They need to be seen and they need to be admired to generate the interest in the next generation.
I love the fact that it’s challenging to drive. It’s handlebar-operated very similar to a bike. There is no speed gauge. It goes about 30 mph and that’s fast enough and scary enough. It’s far more exciting than going ten times that in a sports car.
My son Noam loves it. He grew up playing with the engine in the living room. He was playing with it before he was even playing with his tiny toy cars. So yeah, it’s a family car… a very tiny family car.
I’ve come to think that I don’t actually need two. I think that it’s not fair to own two out of five surviving cars. So next month, February 6th, RM Southeby Auctions is making this little baby of ours, the unrestored rare one, as one of the stars of the biggest auction they do during their Retromobile week. So you’ll also have the chance to own it and smile as much as I do.
Dr. Sasha’s Mopetta is listed with a price guide of $US102,000 – $US136,000.
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