|Period:||August 1965 - March 1970|
|Firm:||Bond Cars Ltd., Preston, Lancs.|
(Mk I, Mk II, Ranger Van/Estate)
|Weight:||<400 kgs; 8cwt|
|Top speed:||nearly 95 mph|
|16 secs (Bond 875); |
14 secs (Ranger)
The prototype Bond 875 was announced shortly after the 1963 Motor Show. A complete 875cc Imp engine was used in a lightweight 3-wheeler with a fibreglass bodyshell. The car's lightweight (less than 400 kgs) enabled the low-compression (8:1) commercial version of the engine to be used. (2 star petrol)
Rootes slowed things down with their concern over high running temperatures, but the car was publicly announced in August 1965. Public attention was caught when racing driver John Surtees unofficially broke the equivalent saloon car lap record at Branch Hatch, attaining 100mph.
Bond had never made anything like it, and it was quite unlike other 3-wheelers, too.
The shell consists of three mouldings: two bonded together for the main compartment and one is the bold on nose-section. The bonnet, engine lid, read panel and dash panel are also glassfibre; the doors are aluminium.
It has a motorcycle fork in the front with leading arm, coil spring suspension and a telescopic shock absorber. A Burman steering box connects this to the steering wheel. It suffers a bit from bump-steer and a lot from side-winds.
It left the factory on radial tyres: Michelin X.
The production Bond 875 claimed an impressive 16 seconds for the 0-60 dash together with a top speed of 80mph and 50mpg. A 55mpg allied to a 50mph average was easily attainable. It sold for £500 (windscreen washers and a spare wheel were optional extras). For this price one had the excellent Imp engine, transaxle and instruments in a comfortable car that was good to drive. Performance-wise, it was able to surprise owners of cars more obviously sporty.
It was a very innovative car. However not all the little Bonds left the factory with a quality finish: water leaks, rattles, seat mountings tearing away, windows popping out...
Later a 'roof boot' was introduced, a padded lockable fibreglass case that clipped to the roof, using clamps fitted to the rain guttering. Again, lack of quality meant the 'roof boot' was never attached very securely to some cars. Few other accessories were available from Bond, who never seemed to 'push' the car.
A firm called 'Two Strokes' of Stanmore, Middlesex offered through-flow ventilation, alloy bumpers and even a radiator grille plus an improved air intake system for the heater (no blower was fitted).
It really was very lightweight. With a 998 cc Fraser racing engine, the Bond would have a power to weight ratio of around 300bhp/ton.
A van version followed in 1966 (or April 1967 ?), known as the Ranger. 0-60 mph 14 secs; topspeed 95 mph.
The Mark 2 version was brought out in March 1968, accompanied by the slogan "How can you improve on perfection ?". The original 875 had opening glass side windows - these were soon deleted to save weight (and cost). 3-wheelers manufacturers had great difficulty keeping the weight down to 8cwt., which enabled the cars to qualify for motorcycle road tax rates, and be driven on a motorcycle licence.
Production slowed when Reliant took the company over and eventually ceased in March 1970. (Some 3,400 had been produced.) This also saw the scrapping of Bond's own Apex project, a 4-wheel competition version, looking almost Davrianlike.
KSG 907F: Edinburgh B.C., 1967
Bond Owners' Club
The Imp Club
Bond 875 Model Registrar
Reports in Impressions by Anthony Shelton, who used to be the club's registrar for the Bond 875: January 1988 and Feb./March 1984
His JKL 281E runs on lowered suspension, Spax adjustables all around. It has a G15 rear and altered steering head angle. Nikki T/choke carburators. Janspeed 4-22 exhaust. Front radiator. Electric fuel pump.
As the recommended tyres (Michelin X) are not readily available now (and the ZX is not suitable), he uses UniRoyal "Rallye" 280 with great succes. Rear 145 x 12; front 135 x 12 (It helps to go downhill). At 50 mpg he says he can afford to drive it with enthusiasm (best: 74 mpg).
Jim Fraser was registrar for some years.
Present registrar: Paul. Club Forum topic 'Got a Bond?', Saying that the club registers only 10.
These pictures were published in an Italian car magazine in 1965, when the Bond 875 made its appearance on the market.
|A road test of the Bond 875 by Bob Currie was published in Motor Cycling, 1965 or 1966|
A comparison of the three wheeler to other cars. Popular Motoring, again 1965 or 1966
Two Strokes Ltd. of Church Road, Stanmore, Middx., recently improved one of these 3-wheelers, and they may well be able to assist in improving the suspension. (Hot Car 1969, August, p.11)
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000
From: Cam Johnson
Subject: [imps] Tim bond 875
The bloke with the Bond 875 three-wheeler actually has three in his front garden. Go from Colchester town centre up the hill past the barracks. 1 mile on right is a house with the Bonds. Len Healey 01206 ******. I don't think any have been used for a few years, but he might have new spares you're interested in.
Found in my Feedback Site evaluation:
Adrian Polley, August 1st 2007
Just to let you know that the 3 Bond 875's in Colchester mentioned on your site were rescued by a friend and I some 4 years ago. One is in dailyish use by me for rallies/work etc the other two are still undergoing work as time permits.
Regards Adrian Polley.
PS The chap that owned them (in his 80's) has sadly passed away, so it might be better if you could remove this mention from your site in respect of his widow who might be frightened of strangers still looking for them. Thanks
Edition 4 Feb. 2012
File started: 4 Jan. 1996