Bultaco is best known (if known at all) for their off-road successes in the 1960’s. Bikes like the Sherpa, Pursang, and Alpina are legendary. Bultaco also tried their hand at on-road bikes. In 1965 they brought out the Mercurio 175, or Mercury in Spanish, advertising it in the U.S. as the Sassy Devil with “small bike maneuverability in a full size motorcycle.” Find this 1966 Bultaco Mecurio for sale at a vintage car dealer in Seattle, WA for $5,995.
The Mercurio was powered by a 175cc two-stroke single giving 18 horsepowers. It didn’t have the “advanced” oil injection systems that were beginning to show up on Japanese two strokes, so it required the rider to mix their own oil & gas. It was also one of those 1960’s European weirdos with the shifter and brake on the opposite sides of what is done today along with the kickstarter on the opposite side of today’s bikes (if today’s bikes even have a kickstarter).
With 18 hp and a weight of 198 pounds it could actually hit 80, given enough level road and a 1960’s weight rider. It’s pretty cool how they oriented the speedo with zero at the top, with a sweep to the left. No word on what sort of hill you’d need to hit the ton. This bike according to the ad was purchased in the local Seattle area an kept there over the last 50 years. It’s original and has had a mechanical rebuild but has not been restored. It won first place at The Meet – the annual Le May Museum Vintage Motorcycle show and has participated in couple of Isle of Vashon TT‘s.
In 1965 you could pick up a Mercurio for $499 on the east coast, which works out according to inflation calculators to $3,800 of our debased 2016 dollars. Is this bike worth another $2,200 for surviving the last 50 years more or less intact?
See a patina’d survivor commanding less of a pretty premium? Email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org