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The Bond Minicar Mk B

 

1952 Bond Minitruck front view

As the Minicar gained popularity, more owners seemed intent on emulating the long distance endurance runs, which had been a feature of the early publicity for the Minicar. This together with an overall trend for owners to use their vehicles for substantially more than the local travelling that had been at first envisaged, had led to the introduction of a "De-Luxe" model in 1950, powered by a 197cc Villiers Mk6E engine. The demand for a slightly more practical and rugged vehicle led to the introduction of the Mk B model in July of 1951.

The new model featured as standard the more powerful 197cc engine, as well as a number of features which had only been optional on the Mk A, such as a Triplex safety-glass windscreen, mounted in a new stronger frame
 in place of the easily damaged Perspex standard item on the Mk A and a re-designed and improved hood. The Mk B still utilised a similar looking all-aluminium semi- monocoque bodyshell, but with extra luggage space at the rear. However a major improvement was the inclusion of a simple coil-spring rear suspension system, giving the new Minicar basic all-round independent suspension. Other features included improved brakes - though surprisingly still only fitted at the rear and re-designed split rim wheels to aid tyre changing.

Initially only one model was offered and it was noted 

1952 Bond Minitruck rear view

that the larger engine and extra weight of all those improvements had led to a increase in petrol consumption - though this was independently recorded at 76.8 mpg over a relatively tough test route.
1952 Bond Family Safety Saloon front view

During 1952 Sharp's introduced two new versions of the Mk B Minicar, initially attempting to branch out into the commercial market, by introducing the concept of the "ultra-light" commercial vehicle. The first of these being the "Minitruck" - a 1952 model being shown above - which was almost identical in appearance to the standard Minicar, apart from a modified hood with a rear "loading" flap. Inside however, only a driver's seat fitted and a flat load platform extended from the rear over the normal passenger seat location.

The second model was the Minivan, with an aluminium box, with a rear access door, built in place of the rear of the Minicar body and a short hood to cover the gap between this and the windscreen frame. This was soon followed by a version with side windows and sideways-facing hammock style seats fitted to accommodate two children in the rear and somewhat grandly titled the Family Safety Saloon - an unrestored 1952 example is shown above & right - Apparently the "Safety" part referred to the fact that the rear door could only be opened from the outside!

1952 Bond Family Safety Saloon rear view

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

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