In the 1960s (before he bought his 1956 Porsche) my father rode a Bultaco Metralla everywhere. I have his Porshe 356 and you can see restoration photos on my website. I also have his Hercules bicycle from 1956 hanging in the workshop. What was missing? A Bultaco motorcycle.
From what research I have been able to do I believe the following summary of Bultaco history is correct. don Francisco Xavier Bulto started his company in 1958 when the motorcycle company he had founded in 1944 decided to pull out of racing. Bultaco was a Spanish company and their first model, the Tralla, came out in 1959. The thumbs up sign on the Bultaco emblem was inspired by British motorcycle racers giving the “thumbs up” that all was well when they passed the pits.
Bultaco became known for their off-road motorcycles. They did produce a couple road models, the Metralla and the Mercurio. I believe my father had the Metralla. A small, two stroke motorcycle, my father rode his Metralla all over the place. This included a jaunt from Troy New York to Washington DC because apparently there was a really good party to attend! He had two rear wheel issues on that trip but still made it to the party.
The model I have looks like an Alpina. This one is from 1971 and I received it from the second owner in partial trade for some Jeep repair work. It is in very nice shape and I rode it through the fields for the first time today. What fun!!!
It needs some TLC and new rubber seals, gaskets and such but runs very nice and is quite comfortable. Bultaco produced motorcycles through the early 1980s but began to disappear from the scene in the US by the mid 1970s. Two veteran motorcyclists I spoke with thought the company had closed down by 1976. Bultaco was the victim of Spanish government regulations on what engine they could produce, and US requirements for importation. Bultaco remains a legend and I am very proud to have one in the stable now. I cannot wait for my father to ride it!!