Bond Minicar Mark A

Bond Minicar Mark A

After the war there was a great demand for powered transport coupled with shortages of fuel and raw materials such as steel. Lawrie Bond designed a small three wheeled car and took his design to Sharps Commercials who agreed to manufacture it and the first Bond Minicar was born in 1947. The starting advertising campaign was very aggressive: the 3-wheelers passed several endurance races and showed fuel consumption of 100 mpg.

Full scale production started in early 1949 at Sharp’s Ribbleton Lane in Preston. The company produced only 15 Bond Minicars per week in the beginning. The Bond Minicar Mark A as it was later to become known had two seat, open topped bodywork made largely of aluminium. There were no doors, in order to retain the shell’s rigidity, but simply a slight curved cut-out to the cockpit side. The single front wheel was driven by a 122cc Villiers MK10D two stroke engine mounted on the front suspension so that it turned with the steering. Only the rear wheels were braked, there was no rear springing, and the single windscreen wiper was operated by hand.

The new car proved to be light, economical, and able. Further development resulted in the Mark B which externally resembled the Mark A. Improvements were made to the steering, and rear suspension was added.

As the Minicar gained popularity, more owners seemed intent on emulating the long distance endurance runs, which had been a feature of the early publicity for the Minicar. This together with an overall trend for owners to use their vehicles for substantially more than the local travelling that had been at first envisaged, had led to the introduction of a “De-Luxe” model in 1950, powered by a 197cc Villiers Mk6E engine.

Bond Minicar Mark A photos

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