BK Micro Car Collection BK GROUP - Helsinki
Only 2270 cars made between 1970 to 1974

Bond Bug ES 700 - 1973

The Bond Bug is a small British two-seat, three-wheeled

sports car built from 1970 to 1974.

It   is   a   wedge-shaped   microcar,   with   a   lift-up   canopy   and   side   screens   instead   of   conventional doors.   Following   the   purchase   of   Bond   Cars   Ltd.,   Reliant   commissioned Tom   Karen   of   Ogle   Design to   design   a   fun   car.   The   Bond   Bug   was   based   on   Chief   Engineer   John   Crosthwaite's   newly designed   chassis   and   some   Reliant   Regal   running   gear.   The   original   concept   was   explored   by chopping   down   a   production   Regal   vehicle,   the   rear   of   the   car   being   shortened   to   end   over   the rear   axle.   This   prototype   could   be   seen   for   many   years   later,   languishing   in   the   yard   at   the   rear of   the   factory,   by   anyone   who   cared   to   look   through   the   chain-link   fence   from   the   canal towpath. The   engine   is   the   front-mounted   700   cc   (later   uprated   to   750   cc)   Reliant   light-alloy   four-cylinder unit,   developed   from   the   Austin   7,   and   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   permitted   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. 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   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   tangerine   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 (1970–1974), 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),   in   excess   of   the   UK   national   speed   limit   (70   mph/102.6   km/h),   and comparable   to   small   saloon   cars   such   as   the   basic   850   cc   Mini   (72   mph/106   km/h)   and   the Hillman   Imp   (80   mph/117   km/h).   However,   it   could   not   match   the   speed   of   the   Mini   Cooper   S (96   mph/141   km/h)   or   larger   saloons   such   as   the   Ford   Cortina   Mark   III   (104   mph/152.5   km/h   in the   highest-powered   variant),   or   even   aging   models   of   two-seater   sports   cars,   such   as   the   MG MGB   (103   mph/151   km/h)   or   the   Lotus   Seven,   where   by   1970   even   the   lowest-powered   version of the S4 could reach 108 mph/158.4 km/h. 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/111   km/h   right   up   until   1968,   and   their   trim   level,   e.g.   side curtains instead of windows, was also similar). The   Bug   was,   however,   no   cheaper   than   more   practical   cars.   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.


Engine 700 cc 4 cylinders Power 31 HP Top speed 150 km/h Lenght/width 2,79 m/1,39 m Weight 340 kg The collections Bond Bug is in fine original condition, Ready for a spin.
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.