The Bond 875 was a small three-wheeled car designed by Lawrence "Lawrie" Bond and manufactured by Bond Cars Ltd in Preston, United Kingdom from 1965 to 1970. There was also a van version from 1967, known as the Ranger.
The car was announced in August 1965, though volume production got underway only during the summer of 1966. The 875 used a four-cylinder 875 cc four-stroke engine from the Rootes Group. Crucially for the dynamics of the vehicle, this was rear-mounted, unlike in most other British three-wheelers of the era. It was the same basic layout as used in the Hillman Imp, installed as a complete package along with the Imps' transmission, rear suspension and rear wheels: however, thanks to the fact that the 875 had a fibreglass body along with aluminium doors, and weighed less than 400 kg (882 lb), the performance was good — better than the Imp. The engine was the low-compression version (compression ratio 8:1) as used in the commercial versions of the Imp – the Commer van and was able to run on "2-star" low-octane petrol, which was cheaper than varieties used by larger and more highly tuned engines.
The car's light weight enabled it to qualify for motorcycle road tax rates, and be driven on a motorcycle licence but in order to keep the weight down the interior trim and fittings were minimal.
Racing driver John Surtees unofficially broke the saloon car lap record at Brands Hatch, managing to attain 100 mph (161 km/h).
A van version, the Ranger, was introduced in April 1967.
Styling changes, revised seats, rectangular headlamps and a larger bonnet opening heralded the "Mark II" announced in April 1968. Other changes included the fitting of a heater.
Specification and performance
- Capacity: 875 cc
- Weight: < 400 kg (882 lb)
- 0-60 mph: 16 seconds (car), 14 seconds (van)
- Top speed: 80 mph (129 km/h) (car), 95 mph (153 km/h) (van)
- Fuel economy: 50 mpg-imp (5.6 L/100 km; 42 mpg-US) - 55 mpg-imp (5.1 L/100 km; 46 mpg-US)
- Tyres: Michelin X radial
- Price new: £500
The British "Autocar" magazine tested a Bond 875 in September 1966. The car had a top speed of 82.8 mph (133.3 km/h) and accelerated from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.5 seconds. An "overall" fuel consumption of 34.5 miles per imperial gallon (8.19 L/100 km; 28.7 mpg-US) was recorded. This put it usefully ahead of the contemporary 850 cc Morris Mini on maximum speed and acceleration as well as on fuel economy: the car's superior power-to-weight ratio converted into superior performance outcomes. The Bond's £506 manufacturer's recommended price was significantly higher than the £478 price on the Mini, but less than the recommended retail price of £549 for the comparably sized Imp. The testers commended the Bond's performance and economy, but found the three-wheeler unstable at high speed. They thought the gear box and brakes good but were disappointed by 'poor seats and detail finish'.
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