c.1973 Bond Bug
Barn find condition; looks relatively complete and engine turns with a booster pack - very exciting!
Bond Cars Ltd established themselves in Preston, Lancashire in 1965, not as a new business, but the result of re-naming Sharps Commercials Ltd, an earlier business formed by Lawrie Bond in 1948 who had produced quirky three-wheeled micro cars in the 1950s under the Bond banner.
The company was taken over by the Reliant Motor Co of Tamworth in 1970 who quickly closed down the Preston factory but continued to make cars under the Bond name, most notably the famous Bond Bug three-wheeler which came about after Reliant commissioned Tom Karen of Ogle Design to design a fun car.
Karen had worked with Reliant as early as 1963 for a modern three-wheeler to replace the popular Regal range, however his design was considered too adventurous and nothing came of this initial collaboration. By the late 1960s, attitudes had changed and Karen’s design was dusted off and prepared for production, the first prototype appearing in 1968 and a second one following shortly after the Reliant takeover.
The Bond Bug was sold as being fun to drive, with the low seating position giving an exaggerated impression of speed like a go-kart. The top speed was a hairy 76mph, slightly in excess of the UK national speed limit and equal to that of the basic 850 Mini, with 42mpg economy.
The car enjoyed an upbeat launch, at which Reliant's Ray Wiggin stated: "The fact it has three wheels is quite incidental. It's a new form of transport”. This was quite evident considering the Bug’s extraordinary ‘wedge’ styling and obligatory bright orange paint! The Bug was, however, no cheaper than more practical cars, costing £629 while a basic 850 Mini was only £620. A total of 2,268 Bond Bugs were built between 1970 and May 1974 and survivors are increasingly sought after today.
This particular Bug is believed to date from 1972/1973 and features the 700cc engine. It was found hiding in a barn in West Wales. The vendor tell us the engine turns when connected to a jump pack which is positive news. Looking relatively complete bar some of the interior/seats it represents an exciting opportunity to restore it to its former glory.
The odometer shows 70,141 suggesting it was used properly and as intended for many years. How long its has been off the road we don’t know. There are no documents present and although the vendor has applied for a log-book from the DVLA, the registration pictured does not link to any vehicle on Experian and nor does the Vin# - assume that you will need to go through the usual channels to get an age related plate put on the car post-restoration.
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Chassis Number: BB62149
Engine Size: 700
Docs: V5C applied for
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