|Also called||Bond Minicar Mark A|
|Production||1949–1951 1,973 made|
|Successor||Bond Minicar Mark B|
|Engine||Villiers 10D 122 cc (7 cu in) or Villiers 6E 197 cc (12 cu in) Single cylinder 2 stroke|
|Wheelbase||5 ft 5 in (1,650 mm)|
|Length||8 ft 10 in (2,690 mm)|
|Width||4 ft 7 in (1,400 mm)|
|Height||3 ft 6 in (1,070 mm)|
|Kerb weight||310 lb (140 kg)|
Sold as the Bond Minicar (the Mark A epithet being added only after the Mark B was introduced), the car was advertised as the world's most economical car. It was austere and simple in design, without luxuries. Production began in January 1949, although 90% of initial production was said to be allocated to the overseas market.
As with the prototype, a large proportion of the Minicar is made from different aluminium alloys. The main body is a very simple construction of 18 swg sheet with a 14 swg main bulkhead. The integrity of the main stressed skin structure is enhanced by the absence of doors, the bodysides being deemed low enough to be stepped over without major inconvenience unless you are wearing a skirt. Most of the bodywork panels are flat or very simple curves and the compound curves of the bonnet and rear mudguard arches are pressed out as separate panels. The windscreen is made from Perspex. The car was said to weigh only 308 pounds (140 kg) “all-in” or 285 pounds (129 kg) dry and its light weight was regularly demonstrated by one person lifting the entire rear end of the car off the ground unaided A test run between Preston and London at an average speed of 22.8 mph (36.7 km/h) gave an average fuel consumption of 97 mpg-imp (2.9 L/100 km; 81 mpg-US) for the journey.
The car has a single bench seat with a small open compartment behind suitable for luggage. There is also a removable fold-down hood with detachable sidescreens. Headlights are separate units mounted on the side of the car, though of such low output, they have been described as providing "more of a glimmer than a beam". At the rear there is a tiny, single centrally mounted lamp.
The air-cooled Villiers 10D 122 cc (7 cu in) engine has a unit three-speed manual gearbox without reverse. The engine has a claimed output of 5 bhp (4 kW; 5 PS) at 4,400 rpm which the manufacturers claimed gave a power-to-weight ratio of 49 bhp (37 kW; 50 PS) per ton unladen. The engine unit sits in an alloy cradle ahead of the front wheel, together forming part of its support. Both front wheel and engine are sprung as part of the trailing link front suspension system, which is fitted with a single coil spring and an Andre Hartford friction shock absorber. The rear wheels are rigidly mounted to the body on stub axles with all rear suspension provided by low pressure "balloon" type tyres. The engine is started by a pull handle under the dash, connected by cable to a modified kick-start lever. The steering system comprises a system of pulleys and a cable usually referred to as a "bobbin and cable" system, connecting a conventional steering wheel to the front steering unit. The bobbin and cable steering system was replaced by a rack and pinion system in October 1950. Brakes are provided on only the rear wheels; they are conventional drum brakes operated by a system of cables and rods. Early on, Sharp's adopted a policy of continual gradual upgrading of the Minicars, either to simplify or reduce maintenance, to redress noted failings or to improve some aspect of performance. Such changes were usually made available as kits to enable existing owners to upgrade their own cars retrospectively.
In December 1949, a De luxe version was added to the range. This has a Villiers 6E 197 cc (12 cu in) engine, which had an increased output of 8 bhp (6 kW; 8 PS)and a power-to-weight ratio of 51 bhp (38 kW; 52 PS) per ton. There are also a number of modest refinements including a spare wheel and a single wing mirror.The manually operated windscreen wiper fitted on the standard car was upgraded to an electric one. This was found to damage the original perspex windscreen and subsequently in October 1950 the perspex windscreen on the De luxe models was replaced by a Triplex glass windscreen.
A Bond Minicar De luxe tested by The Motor magazine in 1949 and carrying only the driver had a top speed of 43.3 mph (69.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-30 mph (48 km/h) in 13.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 72 mpg-imp (3.9 L/100 km; 60 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £262 including taxes.
Towards the end of 1950 an optional mechanical reversing device was introduced which comprised a long lever with a ratchet on the end which fitted onto the drivers side rear wheel hub. This device could be operated from the driving seat and allowed the car to be cranked backwards by hand by the driver to assist with maneuvering.