|Manufacturer||Bond Cars Ltd|
|Production||1965-1970 3431 made|
|Body style||2-door saloon 2-door van|
|Engine||Rootes Commer Imp van, 875 cc, 34 b.h.p.|
|Wheelbase||78 in (1,981 mm)|
|Length||116 in (2,946 mm)|
|Width||55 in (1,397 mm)|
The Bond 875 was a small three-wheeled car partly designed by Lawrence "Lawrie" Bond and manufactured by Bond Cars Ltd in Preston, United Kingdom from 1965 to 1970. There was also a van version from 1967, known as the Ranger.
The car was announced in August 1965, though volume production got underway only during the summer of 1966. The 875 used the lower-compression (8:1) four-cylinder 875 cc 34 b.h.p. four-stroke engine used in the Commer Imp Van from the Rootes Group. Crucially for the dynamics of the vehicle, this was rear-mounted, unlike in most other British three-wheelers of the era. It was the same basic layout as used in the Hillman Imp, installed as a complete package along with the Imps' transmission, rear suspension and rear wheels: however, thanks to the fact that the 875 had a fibreglass body along with aluminium doors, and weighed less than 400 kg (882 lb), the performance was good — better than the Imp. The low-compression engine meant it was able to run on "2-star" low-octane petrol, which was cheaper than varieties used by larger and more highly tuned engines.
The car's light weight enabled it to qualify for motorcycle road tax rates, and be driven on a motorcycle licence but in order to keep the weight down the interior trim and fittings were minimal.
Racing driver John Surtees unofficially broke the saloon car lap record at Brands Hatch, managing to attain 100 mph (161 km/h).
A van version, the Ranger, was introduced in April 1967.
Styling changes, rectangular headlamps, front grille, a larger bonnet opening and revised seats heralded the "Mark II" announced in April 1968. Other changes included the fitting of a heater as standard equipment.
Specification and performance
- Capacity: 875 cc, 34 b.h.p.
- Weight: < 400 kg (882 lb)
- 0-60 mph: 16 seconds (car), 14 seconds (van)
- Top speed: 80 mph (129 km/h) (car), 95 mph (153 km/h) (van)
- Fuel economy: 50 mpg-imp (5.6 L/100 km; 42 mpg-US) - 55 mpg-imp (5.1 L/100 km; 46 mpg-US)
- Tyres: Michelin X radial
- Price new: £500
The British "Autocar" magazine tested a Bond 875 in September 1966. The car had a top speed of 82.8 mph (133.3 km/h) and accelerated from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.5 seconds. An "overall" fuel consumption of 34.5 miles per imperial gallon (8.19 L/100 km; 28.7 mpg-US) was recorded. This put it usefully ahead of the contemporary 850 cc Morris Mini on maximum speed and acceleration as well as on fuel economy: the car's superior power-to-weight ratio converted into superior performance outcomes. The Bond's £506 manufacturer's recommended price was significantly higher than the £478 price on the Mini, but less than the recommended retail price of £549 for the comparably sized Imp. The testers commended the Bond's performance and economy, but found the three-wheeler unstable at high speed. They thought the gear box and brakes good but were disappointed by 'poor seats and detail finish'.