There are few questions about how and when Bultaco started – Francisco Xavier Bulto created the company (the name was a blend of his last name and his nickname, Paco) in May of 1958 after resigning as the Technical Director of Montesa, a manufacturer he co-founded in 1944. When Montesa decided to stop racing, Paco knew it was time to start his own venture.
His new firm released their first bike in March of 1959, the Tralla 101. The company had some success in road racing with legendary models like the Metralla, but most fans learned about the company through their success in off-road competition with machines like the Pursang (motocross), Matador (enduro), and of course, the Sherpa (trials). Things get a lot messier when it comes to how Bultaco ended. The factory shut down in 1979 and was brought back to life in July of 1980 with assistance from the Spanish government, only to go out of business again a few years later. However, details aren’t clear and the blame changes wildly depending on who you ask.
The 199B was a new model in a distinctive blue, and it featured a new frame, swingarm, and 340cc motor. Outside of the TSS roadracer, this generation of the Sherpa was the only bike Bultaco made with a six-speed transmission. The R&D costs for all these new parts is one of the reasons why Bultaco eventually closed up shop. An interesting thread on Trials Central suggests that official production ended in 1982, though the doors didn’t close until 1984 after the unions could liquidate all the inventory. The purpose of the thread is to try and determine what “the last Bultaco” is, and their conclusion was VIN: JB-19914920-B – that’s what we have on sale today.
The seller of this example (Engine #: JM-19914920-B) acquired it from Michael Woolaway, the former Design Director of Deus Ex Machina’s US location in Venice, California (he’s now at Saddlemen). Michael purchased it directly from Paco’s grandson, Patricio (Pato) Bulto – shown in the photo below:
All the import paperwork is included, and the only flaws appear to be a missing right side tank logo and a disintegrating air filter.
Find this Sherpa for sale in Santa Monica, California with bidding up to $1,850 here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.
Disclosure: Bike-urious is a partner in Iconic Motorbike Auctions.