Restoration of the warehouse at Bultaco Sherpa

When we consider facing a restoration we have two alternatives: tend towards the original aesthetics, or take advantage of the opportunity to build an exclusive and completely personalized unit.
The latter is the case of our friend José Félix Ortega, whose work with fiber is truly impressive. On this occasion he shows us how he has worked on the tank of his Bultaco 199A to make it more exclusive and resistant. Below he describes in first person how he has carried out the restoration process.
“The tank of the Sherpa 199A is made of a blue tinted thermoplastic called polyethylene. It is microporous and rough to the touch, it also yellows and loses shine with use quickly.
Usually, to improve its appearance, it is treated internally with a sealing product and painted blue on the outside. Or replace it with a fiber one.
My solution is not going to be either, although it is related to both.”


A seal is carried out, although instead of the inside it is done on the outside.
The entire exposed outer surface of the tank is sanded with 80-grit sandpaper and then impregnated with epoxy resin loaded with aluminium powder. Once the resin is polymerized, it is sanded with 120 grit.
This is part of the material used in the restoration process.
The tank gains in strength and aesthetics.


The entire exposed part of the tank is laminated with a decorative fabric of aluminized fiberglass and epoxy resin.


This was the original state of the tank before it was restored. It is painted, the adhesives are applied and lacquered.
I have opted for this method because it provides more guarantees and advantages, aesthetically the result is excellent.
Sanding with 80 grit sandpaper leaves a very rough surface that improves the adhesion of the epoxy, the outer impregnation of the resin is visually controlled perfectly.
The laminate with fiberglass improves the characteristics of the tank, greater resistance.
The aesthetic effect is very nice.
Text and photos: José Félix Ortega.

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