The Bond Minicar Mk G

 

1962 Bond 250 G Saloon

Although the Mk F proved to be the companies most popular Minicar with some 7000 being built, the company could hardly rest on their laurels. The 1950s were coming to a close and the 1959 Motorshow was to be one of the most important since the war. Although economy was still a consideration, the restrictions and crisis that had given the Minicar such a boost were now giving way to fashion. The show saw many totally new models, including the Ford Anglia, Triumph Herald and perhaps most importantly the Mini. Sharp's answered 
by updating the Minicar yet again in September of 1961, with the somewhat unsurprisingly designated Mk G range. However, despite its similar appearance to the previous model, the company was taking the competition 
 seriously and the Mk G Minicar featured many important improvements. The engine was updated to the new Villiers 246cc Mk35A engine, the rear suspension was redesigned and now incorporated trailing arms, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers and the brakes were brought up to date with a Lockheed hydraulic system. The passenger compartment was redesigned to give more room and on the Saloon models (illustrated above) a cut-back rear window was incorporated to improve the 

1962 Bond MkG Estate

Bond 250 G sales brochure

headroom over the rear seats, which now could accommodate two adults in comfort, and improve visibility. Other refinements included: opening quarter lights, wind-up door windows, improved interior trim and 10" wheels - all intended to give the Minicar a more conventional "real" car feel! Initially only the four-seat 250G model was offered (see brochure on the left), but in 1962 an Estate model was added to the range (illustrated above) featuring a large top-hinged tail-gate, giving excellent access and a fold-down rear seat to give the options of load or passenger carrying capacity.
Also introduced at the same time was a light Commercial version using the same bodyshell - the 250 G Ranger van which now replaced the Mk F Ranger which had remained in production. Despite the competition the Minicar seemed to be holding its own - road tax for three-wheelers and a lower rate of purchase tax for such vehicles no doubt helped. The 250G Estate was very well received and even achieved the distinction of being
one of the very few three-wheelers to be the subject of a full Autocar Road test, published in November 1962. However 1962 was not to be a good year for Sharp's, with the lowering of purchase tax on conventional vehicles, but without any concession for three-wheelers effectively removing one of the major attractions of the Minicar. Furthermore the Motorcycle Show in November of that year saw the launch by Reliant of their new Regal - now powered by an all-alloy 598cc overhead-valve engine of their own design and remarkably competitively priced. 

1965 Bond MkG Tourer

Sharp's responded by offering a new engine option for the Minicar using the 249cc Villiers Mk4T twin cylinder engine giving increased power and performance, but it made little difference. The Mk G Minicar soldiered on, but efforts to promote the vehicles, including the introduction of a three-seat Tourer version (illustrated above) in 1964 and , failed to revive flagging sales. Production continued as late as 1966, but only to order and with a total of just over 3000 Mk G vehicles being built, it ceased. After 15 years continuous production & some 26,500 Minicars rolling off the production line, the story as far as the Minicar was concerned came to an end.
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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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