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1950 Bond Minicar Mark "A"

Lawrence Bond was a brilliant designer and enthusiast of 500cc motor racing. He was familiar with the construction of ultra-lightweight vehicles and, with his wife Pauline, built a prototype shopping car that bridged the gap between motorcycle and motorcar, exploiting the advantages of both. It could be operated at an absolute minimum of running cost, and at the same time keep the initial price down by simple construction, that of a stressed-skin monocoque. As the prototype had to be lowered through a hole in the second story floor to the ground, it was obvious that new production facilities were needed. These took the form of Sharp's Commercials, a well established company recently involved in the distribution of Chevrolet trucks, under the government’s Lend Lease scheme.

Early Mark A's were stark, primitive vehicles, with the motor mounted on, and steering with, the front wheel. The wire-and-bobbin steering was unreliable and dangerous if broken and was soon replaced by a rack and pinion system. This constant upgrading and improvement of specifications, also available as retrofits, on demand, characterize the history of the Bond Minicar. Early Mark A's had plexiglass windshields, no rear suspension or electric starters, and had a shorter cockpit than the Mark B's.

This example, painted in its original metallic green, came from Holland via Germany, and shows its original dealer badge.

Manufacturer: Sharp's Commercials, Preston, Lancashire England

Model: Minicar Mk "A" Motor: Villiers 2-stroke Body: Aluminum
Years Built: 1949 – 1950 No. Cylinders: 1 Chassis: None
No. Produced: 15 per week Displacement: 122 cc Suspension Front: Coil
No. Surviving: 10 Horsepower: 5 Suspension Rear: None
Length: 8'8" Gearbox: 3 Steering: Rack & Pinion
Width: 4'7" Starter: Pull Brakes: Cable, rear only
Weight: 340 lb Electrics: 6 v 3 Wheels: 4.00 x 8"
Interior: Bench Ignition: Magneto Top Speed: 45 mph

© 2002