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Bond Cars Ltd was a British car maker. The company was formed in Preston, Lancashire in 1949. Initially called Sharps Commercials Ltd, it changed its name to Bond Cars Ltd in 1965. The company was taken over by the Reliant Motor Co Ltd of Tamworth, Staffordshire in 1971.

Bond Minicar

Bond Cars began production of an economical three-wheeled car in 1949. It was called the "Minicar Mark A", and was powered by a single-cylinder two-stroke Villiers engine of 122 or 197 cc. Bodywork was mostly aluminium, though some models used fibreglass for parts of the car. It proved very popular at the time owing to post-war economies.

The Minicar moved on through several different incarnations, culminating in the "Mark G" in 1964. Convertibles were offered, as were van and estate versions. The engine was upgraded, first to a single-cylinder 250 cc and then to a 250 cc twin-cylinder Villiers 4T (optional on the Mark G). The engines were essentially motorcycle units and therefore had no reverse gear. However, this was a minimal inconvenience, because the engine, gearbox and front wheel were mounted as a single unit and could be turned by the steering wheel up to 90 degrees either side of the straight-ahead position, enabling the car to turn within its own length.

Reverse gear of a sort was offered on later models, but using this involved stopping the engine and starting it backwards. This was done by reversing the Dynastart unit, a device which doubled as both starter and generator. It operated as a starter motor when the starter button was pressed but when the engine was running it generated power instead and recharged the battery.

Other products

Other products produced by the company included:

  • Bond Equipe: 1963-1970: A sports car, based on the Triumph Herald chassis with the Triumph Spitfire 1147 cc (later 1296 cc) twin-carburettor engine. In 1967 it changed to the six-cylinder 2-litre Triumph Vitesse chassis and engine.
  • Bond 875: 1965-1970: A three-wheeler with a rear-mounted four-cylinder 875 cc four-stroke engine Hillman Imp-derived Commer van engine.
  • Bond Bug: 1970-1974: Perhaps the best known of the company's creations, this was, again, a three-wheeler but with a Reliant 700 cc four-cylinder engine and a top speed of 75 mph. Most were finished in bright orange, and were a groovy fashion statement in the 1970s. Entry was gained by swinging the roof forwards on a front hinge.

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