The Bond Minicar Mk E

 

Bond MkE prototype

As mentioned on the Mk D Minicar page, the introduction of the Mk E Bond Minicar was in fact delayed due to the continuing popularity of the previous model. The prototype illustrated on the left had in fact been built and displayed on Sharp's stand at the 1956 Motorcycle show in December of that year, but it was not until late in 1957 that any serious road testing of the new model was carried out! The result was that it immediately became apparent that there were serious handling problems which were soon traced to the narrow rear track and increased
wheelbase of the new vehicle. Fortunately this was fairly easily rectified and full production commenced in January 1958. The design of the new Mk E abandoned the monocoque shell of the earlier models in favour of a new box section steel "chassis" riveted to the underside of the new aluminium bodyshell. This gave sufficient rigidity to allow the incorporation of full size opening doors for easier access and allowed for the design of a much more streamlined and conventional looking vehicle. However there was a considerable 

Bond 1958 MkE tourer

weight penalty to this new design, which as the Mk E was powered by the same 197cc Villiers Mk 9E engine used in the Mk D, led to the new Minicar being somewhat under-powered.

Bond 1958 MkE tourer interior (modified)

As the new Mk E was intended to compliment the existing Mk D Minicar range and also no doubt influenced by its poor performance, it was only offered as a three-seater Tourer model. Though later a glass-fibre hardtop was made available, effectively providing a three-seater coupe option as well. The interior was truly spacious compared to previous models and the bench front seat really could accommodate three adults, though in the case of the 1958 example illustrated on the left, more
conventional car seats have been fitted at a later date. The new body design also meant that ample luggage space was provided with access via forward tipping hinged seat backs. The SIBA Dynastart unit was fitted as standard, which together with the new 7" headlamps gave a much improved lighting system. Overall the Mk E was by far the most practical and conventional looking of the Minicars so far and certainly initially Sharp's had high hopes for it, but the initial teething problems and the poor performance meant that it never really took off and inNovember of 1958 the model was discontinued, with only some 1,800 having been built.

Bond Spare Parts List illustrated with a MkE Minicar

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Book cover

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

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