Behind the stories of private collections, there are most often passion, sentiment and a human being. The Museum of Motorisation in Biała Olecka was no exception. The idea and initiative were given by Wojciech Kot, an entrepreneur from Olecko, who has devoted most of his life to the yachting industry, co-creating Delphia Yachts, a brand that is highly regarded worldwide. The museum concept started quite innocently with the sentimental memories of his dad’s vehicles. In the late 1950s, when Syrenas, Fiat 600s and Mikruses began to appear on the streets of his hometown Mrągowo, Wojciech Kot’s father bought a new Wartburg 311. At the time, the East German limousine must have been an object of admiration. But that was still nothing because his next purchase was a French Simca 1300 Ètoile.
However, during my early childhood there was no opportunity to come into contact with fascinating motorisation, and the pinnacle of my dreams was my 'Baltic’ bicycle. So it was not until the late 1960s that I did start to get to know the world of exciting cars, when the star rally crews for the famous Monte Carlo Rally drove through Warmia and Mazury We watched machines that enchanted us, remembers Wojciech Kot.
The teenager’s attention was also captured by decent motorcycles. The first one that enchanted him was the Zündapp KS 750, often seen on the Mazurian roads. Later, when he visited his friends in Warsaw or Gdańsk during his studies, he admired beautiful Western cars on the streets.
Collecting all these motoring adventures, which have accompanied Wojciech Kot since childhood, 10 years ago, he decided to buy the first motorbike his dad rode. It was a purple Iz.
Since Dad was simply a cool guy, I treated this purchase purely sentimentally – to put the motorbike in a prominent place as a fond memory. I soon decided that it was also worth buying the cars Dad drove. So, in addition to the Wartburg 311 mentioned before, and the Simka 1300, we also bought Fiats 127 and 125 and a Skoda 120. And when our passion gained momentum, we collected cars and motorbikes that appeared in our entire family, from in-laws to aunts and uncles, he adds.
When a considerable collection of motorcycles and cars from the countries of the so-called „Eastern Bloc” had been assembled, we came up with our first ideas to create an attraction for visitors. Only our friends wondered if motorisation focused on the Eastern Bloc countries would be attractive. So the collection began to expand to include Western makes, which would give a reference point for similar periods of production and classes of vehicles, but produced in the West. That is why there is a broad cross-section of motor vehicles in the museum. The present collection comprises 138 single-track vehicles and 110 cars. In 2019, it was officially registered with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as the 'Museum of Motorisation and Technology’ in Biała Olecka, and in 2022 it was first open to the public for tours.