|Manufacturer||Bond Cars Ltd/Reliant|
|Production||1970 to 1974|
|Assembly||Tamworth, United Kingdom|
|Body style||Microcar 1-door coupé|
|Engine||Reliant 700 cc, later 750 cc|
|Wheelbase||6 ft 5 in (1,956 mm)|
|Length||9 ft 2 in (2,794 mm)|
|Width||4 ft 7 in (1,397 mm)|
|Height||4 ft 2 in (1,270 mm)|
|Curb weight||868 lb (394 kg)|
|Designer(s)||Tom Karen (Ogle Design)|
The Bond Bug is a small British two-seat, three-wheeled sports car built from 1970 to 1974 in Great Britain .
Vehicle design was by Tom Karen , who was employed by Ogle Design . The vehicle captivated with its It is a wedge angular shape. To get in and out, the upper part of the body made of plastic was folded up to the front of the microcar, with a lift-up canopy and side screens instead of conventional doors. It was only delivered in an orange color, with the exception of a small series of Bond Bugs, which were released in a bright yellow.
Reliant manufactured the vehicle under the Bond Bug name after buying out Bond Cars Ltd , first in Preston , then in Tamworth The original concept was explored by chopping down a production Regal vehicle and used some Reliant Regal running gear on a newly designed chassis .
The drive unit is the front-mounted and came from the Reliant Regal a light-alloy four-cylinder unit and had a displacement of 700 cc. In the last few years of production, the 750 cc engine from the Reliant Robin was also offered.
Three variants were offered. In addition to the basic model, there was an E variant, which was equipped with a heater, among other things. The ES model was delivered with even better equipment, a more powerful engine and low-profile tires.
- PERFORMANCE: 700
max power (DIN): 29 hp at 5,000 rpm
max torque (DIN): 34 1b ft, 4.7 kg m at 3,000 rpm
max engine rpm: 5,700
power 41.4 hp/l
max speed: 75 mph, 120 km/h
power-weight ratio: 30.9 lb/hp, 14 kg/hp
fuel consumption: 54.3 m/ imp gal, 45.2 m/ US gal
The Reliant unit which protruded into the passenger cabin. At launch 29 bhp (22 kW; 29 PS) was claimed for the less expensive 700 and 700E models. The more up-market 700ES incorporates a redesigned cylinder head which permitts the compression ratio to be increased from 7.35:1 to 8.4:1. This provided a power increase to 31 bhp (23 kW; 31 PS) as well as improved torque for the then range topping 700ES.
- PERFORMANCE: 700 ES
compression ratio: 8.4: 1
max power (DIN): 31 hp at 5,000 rpm
max torque (DIN): 38 1b ft, 5.2 kg m at 3,000 rpm
power 44.3 hp/l.
power-weight ratio: 28.9 lb/hp, 13.1 kg/hp.
The Bond Bug 700ES also offers more supportive seats as well as more padding over the engine cowl, twin mudflaps, an ashtray, a rubber front bumper and a spare wheel
The British Webster Motor Company manufactured a number of four-wheel vehicles from 1990 to 1991, the design of which was based on the Bond Bug.
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. So now, in fact, we think it's going to appeal to a much wider section of the market than we originally envisaged."
The Bug was available in a bright orange colour, although six white Bugs were produced for a Rothmans cigarette promotion - one of which was also used in an advertisement for Cape fruit and at the moment a Dulux Bond Bug is said to be under commission. Its fame was helped along by a distinctive Corgi Toys die-cast toy car. Although it had a fairly short production run (1970 to 1974), it has a dedicated following today.
In contrast to the image of three-wheeled Reliants as being slow, the Bond Bug was capable of some 76 mph (126 km/h), well in excess of the UK national speed limit (70 mph), and comparable to small saloon cars such as the basic 850 cc Mini (72 mph) and the Hillman Imp (80 mph). However, it could not match the speed of the Mini Cooper S (96 mph) or larger saloons such as the Ford Cortina Mark III (104 mph in the highest-powered variant), or even aging models of two-seater sports cars, such as the MG MGB (103 mph) or the Lotus Seven, where by 1970 even the lowest-powered version of the S4 could reach 108 mph.
The Bond Bug was sold as being fun to drive, with the low seating position giving a similar exaggerated impression of speed as in a go-kart, while the actual speed was similar to that reached by high performance cars only a few years earlier (indeed, earlier versions of the Lotus 7 had a top speed of 76 mph right up till 1968, and their trim level, e.g. side curtains instead of windows, was also similar).
The Bug was, however, not cheap. It cost £629, while a basic 850 cc Mini, a four-seater much faster round corners but with considerably inferior acceleration, cost £620. Also, while a basic Lotus Seven (with much faster acceleration and good cornering) cost £945 in 1970, it was also available as a complete knocked down kit much more cheaply, partly because of more favourable tax treatment.
Throughout the new millennium, the car has enjoyed an increased following through publicity with appearances from stars such as Robbie Williams in the "Millennium" promo and the infamous 118 guys.
Film and TV
Tom Karen oversaw the design and production of Luke Skywalker's landspeeder from Star Wars: one of the models was built upon the chassis of a Bond Bug - the wheels hidden by mirrors angled at 45° to the ground.
The Wheeler Dealers television program purchased and restored a Bond Bug 700ES and, after completion, sold it on to make a profit. Since then, the Bug has been on display at the 2011 NEC Classic Car Show in Birmingham, where Wheeler Dealers presenters Mike Brewer, Edd China and Mechanic/Technical Assistant Paul Brackley were reunited and signed the Bug.
A Bond Bug (Reg No: ABN 583L) was featured in many of the earlier episodes of Hollyoaks as a vehicle belonging to one of the characters in the series.
The Wheeler Dealers Series 7 Bond bug
Bond Bug Technical details and specifications (1970-1974)
ENGINE: 700 cc
4 stroke; 4 cylinders, in line
42.7 cu In, 700 cc
bore and stroke: 2.38 x 2.40 in, 60.4 x 61 mm
compression ratio: 7.3:1 700 ES 8.4: 1
light alloy cylinder block and head, wet liners
3 crankshaft bearings
valves: overhead, push-rods and rockers
camshafts: 1, side
lubrication: rotary pump, full flow filter
fuel feed: mechanical pump
driving wheels: rear
clutch: single dry plate, hydraulically controlled
gears ratios: 1st 4.267, 2nd 2.461, 3rd 1.454, 4th I, rev 5.493
gear lever location: central
final drive: spiral bevel
axle ratio: 3.550
type box-type ladder frame, tubular cross members
front suspension: single wheel, swinging leading arm, coil springs, telescopic dampers
rear suspension: independent, wishbones, swinging longitudinal trailing arms, anti-roll bar, coil springs/telescopic damper units.
cam and peg
turning circle (between walls): 29.9 ft. 8.9 m
drum, single circuit
swept area: total 55.7 sq in, 359 sq cm.
20 Ah battery
240 W dynamo
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
wheel base: 76.97 in, 1,955 mm
rear track: 48.43 in, 1,230 mm
length: 110 in, 2,794 mm
width: 55 in, 1,397 mm
height: 50 in, 1,270 mm
ground clearance: 5 in, 127 mm
dry weight: 897 1b, 407 kg
© Motor car History
Bond Bug Specifications (1970-1974)
4-cylinder in-line four-stroke OHV
700 cc (later 750 cc)
60.45mm / 60.96mm
21 kW(29 hp) at 5000 rpm ( 700ES : 23 kW(31 hp) at 5000 rpm )
47.8 Nm at 3000 rpm ( 700ES : 51.5 Nm at 3000 rpm )
7.35:1 (700ES: 8.4:1)
15.875 cm Borg & Beck dry clutch
4-speed, 2nd and 3rd gear synchronized
Reduction 1st gear
Reduction 2nd gear
Reduction 3rd gear
Reduction 4th gear
Height with body unfolded
number of built
Bond Bug Maintenance and Service Guide (1970-1974)
Fuel: 96 oct petrol
Engine oil change: 4.9 imp pt, 5.9 US pt, 2.8 1, SAE 20-30, change every 5,000 miles, 8,000 km
Total oil capacity: 5.5 imp pt, 6.6 US pt
Coolant capacity: 4.9 imp pt, 5.9 US pt, 2.8 1.
Gearbox oil: 1.5 imp pt. 1.7 US pt. 0.8 1, SAE 80 EP, change every 5,000 miles, 8,000 km
Final drive oil: 1.9 imp pt, 2.3 US pt. 1.1 1, SAE 90 EP, change every 15,000 miles, 24,000 km
Greasing: every 3,100 miles, 5,000 km, 7 points
Tappet clearances: inlet 0.006 in, 0.15 mm, exhaust 0.006 in, 0.15 mm
Tyre pressure: front 20 psi, 1.4 atm, rear 20 psi, 1.4 atm.
Tyres: 5.20 x 10.
Carrying capacity: 353 1b, 160 kg
Fuel tank: 5.1 imp gal, 6.1 US gal
© Motor car History
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