A Visual Journey Through the History of the Bond Bug: The Three-Wheeled Microcar that Looks Like a Giant Orange Wedge

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Designed by Tom Karen of Ogle Design for Reliant Motor Company, the Bond Bug is a three-wheeled microcar with two seats and a wedge shape. It has a lift-up canopy and side screens instead of doors. It was built from 1970 to 1974, first at Bond Cars Ltd factory, then at Reliant’s Tamworth factory.

h/t: vintag.es

The Bond Bug used a new chassis designed by chief engineer John Crosthwaite, and some parts and running gear from the Reliant Regal and the Reliant Robin 750. The original idea was to cut down a Regal car and shorten its rear to end over the rear axle.

The car has a 700 cc four-cylinder Reliant light-alloy engine in the front. The cheaper 700 and 700E models had 29 bhp (22 kW; 29 PS) at launch. The 700ES model had a new cylinder head that increased the compression ratio from 7.35:1 to 8.4:1. This gave it more power (31 bhp or 23 kW or 31 PS) and torque than the other models. The Bond Bug 700ES also had better seats, more padding, twin mudflaps, an ashtray, a rubber bumper and a spare wheel. Podkin took these amazing photos of Bond Bugs in the late 1980s to early ’90s, at car shows and Bond Bug meets.


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