The History of the Bond Motor Car Company
The history of the Bond Motor Car Company began in 1949 with the production of their first vehicle famously known as the three wheeled car, but officially named the Bond Minicar. This particular car drew much attention, and is still remembered well in this day and age, simply due to its uniqueness in that the motor only had three wheels as opposed to the normal four! This Car Manufacturer wasn't always known by the name 'Bond Motor Car Company' as originally, it was called Sharps Commercials Ltd. It wasn't until the year of 1963 that the name was changed to Bond Cars Ltd. In the year of 1970, Bond Cars was taken over by a company based in Tamworth, Staffordshire known as Reliant Motor Co Ltd. Reliant Motors used the Bond name for four years, although they had closed their Preston site and transferred their parts business to Bob Joyner & Son in Oldbury, Birmingham.
What was the first car produced by the Bond Motor Car Company?
As mentioned above, the first car manufactured and produced by the Bond Motor Company was the Minicar, otherwise recognized as the Three Wheeled Car (Mark A) in 1949. This particular vehicle had a single cylinder two stroke, 122 or 197cc Villiers engine. The original design housed mainly aluminium bodywork, until later times when the company introduced fibreglass for certain parts. The Three Wheeled Car proved popular and so it was further developed over the years, moving with the times, to suit industrial demands - the Bond Motor Company moved on from the economic car and began the production of vans, estate cars and convertible cars. The engine was further developed to 250cc single and twin cylinder, to enhance the vehicle's performance. The production of the Minicar continued until 1966, when the final one, called the Mark G, was produced.
The first Bond Motor Cars didn't have reverse gear!
The engines were motorcycle units which meant that there was no reverse gear, however, the remarkable and interesting fact was that the steering wheel could be turned to a full 90 degrees, either way, from the straight position! This effectively meant that the vehicle could be cleverly manoeuvred as it could turn within its own length. In later years, reverse gear was introduced, however, a fact that might seem quite amusing to some, is that the car engine actually had to be switched off before putting the car into reverse! To reverse the vehicle, it had to be started backwards which was done through a dual purpose device known as the Siba Dynastart, which acted as a starter motor and a generator. This meant that the car battery would recharge whilst the engine was running.
The Bond Motor Car Company's first four wheeled car - The Equipe GT
The Bond Motor Car Company produced the last model of the Minicar in 1966. They had already began the production of their first four wheeled car three years earlier in 1963. This particular vehicle was called the Equipe GT and it was a sports car! The Equipe GT housed a Triumph Spitfire 1147cc engine. The chassis was Triumph Herald and fibreglass had been introduced into the body work of this sports car. The Equipe GT was further developed, moving swiftly with the times and demands, the car was given a faster engine and the design was updated giving the car more style and class. In 1967, the car was given a 6 cylinder 2 litre Triumph Vitesse Chassis and Engine. A convertible version was produced and just one year later, it was upgraded to the Mk 2 version.
Which cars did the Bond Motor Car Company produce?
The Bond Motor Car Company produced other well known, famous three wheeled vehicles including the Bond 875 and the Bond Bug. The Bond 875 only remained in production for around five years as production was stopped in 1970 after Reliant had taken over the Bond Motor Car Company. The Bond Bug was another well recognized three wheeled car which became quite the fashion symbol after its production in 1970. Many Bond Bugs were bright orange. The roof was hinged and it swung forward - this is surprisingly how access to the car was gained, as opposed to by doors! This small, fashionable motor could reach speeds of 75 miles per hour - not outstanding when compared to modern day cars, but perhaps for its time, the Bond Bug really was quite a trendy vehicle to own during the 70s with its four cylinder 700 cc engine and unique appearance!