A rarer alternative to the Reliant Robin.
Manufacturer: Reliant Cars
Origin: Tamworth, England
Motor: Reliant 4-cyl., 4-stroke, OHV
Displacement: 701 cc
Power: 30 hp
Length: 8 ft. 9 in.
Identification No. 8861705
The Bond Bug three-wheeler symbolized the youthful exuberance of the late sixties and early seventies. A cultural revolution was occurring, and the youth market was the driving force of the times. The Bond Bug was aimed squarely at this 18–25 demographic, with a special finance scheme to assist younger buyers.
The Reliant Company, founded in 1935, had designer Tom Karen of Ogle Studios submit a number of drawings of bold, futuristic designs for a “fun car” concept. The 1969 acquisition of Bond Cars lent a new momentum to the project. The resulting three-wheeler was a striking aerodynamic wedge shape, it had an aircraft-style lifting canopy, it was available only in a bright tangerine orange, and it sported unconventional high tech black graphics and aircraft-style instruction decals indicating tire pressure and other vital information. It turned heads wherever it went. Technically a motorcycle, it was not allowed at the Motor Show, but Reliant scored a publicity coup by building a special body, joined back to back, and displaying it as a “four-wheeler.”
Although there was still a demand for the Bug, it was superseded by the more commercially viable Reliant Robin. This particular car was restored in England during the 1990s and remains in very presentable overall order.