Brutsch Microcars

Today in Motorcycle History

The Story of Egon Brütsch and his microcars

Egon Brütsch was an ex-racer and plastic material specialist in Stuttgart, Germany.

He designed the Spatz two-seater and found a licensee (Harald Friedrich in Altenmarkt; Alzmetall factory, which in 1956 became Bayerische Autowerke GmbH (BAG)), but the design had some serious problems and the Tatra engineer Hans Ledwinka had to redesign the car. An acrimonious relationship developed between Brütsch and Friedrich. Later the Spatz was built by Victoria and by FB Fahrzeugbau in Burglangenfeld (Burgfalke).

The Zwerg microcar was Brütsch's next construction in 1955. It had a plastic body on a steel tube frame. The Zwerg was a doorless roadster with a 2-seat-bench. Brütsch also built a single-seat version using the 74cc DKW Hobby scooter engine. Only the two prototypes were built.

In spring 1956 Brutsch redesigned the Zwerg and called it the Zwerg II; 5 units were built.

Egon Brütsch presented the Mopetta in October 1956 just in time for the IFMA (International bicycle and motorcycle exhibition in Frankfurt): a doorless single-seater with only one front wheel and two rear wheels, the left one driven by a 49cc 2.3 HP ILO moped engine. The Mopetta had many moped-like features: it had a brake pedal, but clutch, speed and front wheel brake were operated at the steering bar. The Opel dealer Georg von Opel planned to build the Mopetta at the HOREX factory to sell it as the Opelit (see scans of the pre-production sales brochure at the Mopetta page), but he lost interest in 1958. Only 14 units were built by Brütsch. Four complete surviving Mopettas are known today. One of them can be seen in the microcar museum in Störy, Germany.

The Rollera was also launched at the IFMA 1956. As with the Mopetta, the Rollera only had one headlight in the middle of the front end. Just eight units were built, but Brütsch found licensees in France (STE Rollera and Avolette).

The Bussard was the improved version of an earlier Brütsch design. It had a faux air intake grille at the front end, as did the later V-2.

The Pfeil was the four-wheel version of the Bussard three-wheeler. Only 11 Bussards and 6 Pfeils were built before production ceased in the Spring of 1958.

The 1957 V-2 (Volks-2-seater, nothing in common with the V-2 rocket bombs of WW2) was based on the design of the Bussard and Pfeil. It was equipped with a frameless windshield and a bench for two persons. Total production: just one body without engine.

For a licensee in France, Bruetsch modified the V-2 and called it the V-2-N (N for Ngo, the owner of the French Union Industrielle factory) (1). It had doors and tail fins. The prototype was finished in July 1958.

In 1958 Brütsch changed his business and began to build small plastic weekend houses. This endeavour met with some success.

1. Elsewhere there is an entirely different explanation.

Sources: Hartmut Schouwer, et al.

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