Equipe badge The Bond Equipe GT4S

 

Bond Equipe GT4S 1300

Bond Cars Ltd. second Equipe model began to take shape as Early as April 1964 whilst the existing model was still being promoted and it is a credit to the small company that it was ready for launch by October of that year. The new Equipe - illustrated on the left - was designated the GT4S, in recognition that it was now a true four-seater and its predecessor was now retrospectively called the GT 2+2. The new Equipe was the work of the company's in-house design team and was to use the same basic Triumph components as the previous model, in order to allow production to commence as soon as possible. 
The main changes were to the body shell which was completely redesigned at the rear to include a conventional opening boot-lid and at the same time raise the headroom over the rear seats to just 3 inches less than that 
over the front seats. The result retained the Equipe's distinctive fast-back styling, by incorporating a neat rear spoiler - illustrated below - making the practical opening boot-lid less intrusive. The most obvious change was however the new bonnet - illustrated on the original body buck on the right - which now incorporated the powerful 4-headlamp system from the Triumph 2000, a neat fresh-air intake scoop and was designed to allow the possibility of accommodating the in-line 6-cylinder engine from Triumph's Vitesse at a later date.

Bond GT4S original body buck

Bond GT4S & 2+2 cars at the 1964 Motorshow

 Initially it was intended to offer both the Equipe models, with the GT 2+2 to be given a slightly more powerful tuned 70 bhp version of the Spitfire engine. Both models were in fact exhibited side by side on the Bond stand at the 1964 Motorshow - illustrated left - but the response from the motoring press and prospective buyers was such that the plan was dropped. Minor changes were made over the next few years of production - mainly to update the mechanical components in accordance with changes made by Triumph. 
Bond also developed and marketed a range of accessories including centre-lock wire wheels and a heated rear window with micro-elements bonded into the laminated glass.

Publicity for the GT4S never again reached the heights of entries in international rallying, though an attempted media coup by offering Bond vehicles as Press cars for the opening of the new M6 Motorway - illustrated right - came to naught when Winston Churchill died the next day! Production continued steadily with the next major change being the introduction of the GT4S 1300 in February 1967, powered by the new 1296 cc Spitfire Mk III engine from Triumph. Apart from this the new vehicle was

Bond GT4S cars on the new M6 motorway in 1965

identical in appearance to its predecessor and continued in this form until August 1970 - with some 2505 GT4S vehicles being built overall - when the Bond factory in Preston was closed by its new owners - Reliant.
Book cover

For more information on the history of the Bond marque click on the book cover for details

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