Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

Progressive development of the Minicar and Minicar De-luxe continued until it was decided to make the more significant introduction of coil sprung independent rear suspension on the car along with other changes. This provided an ideal opportunity to relaunch the car as the Bond Minicar (Mark B) in July 1951.

Much of the design work for the Mark B, in particular the rear suspension, was carried out by the engineer Granville Bradshaw. Bradshaw had become involved with the Minicar at the invitation of his brother Ewart Bradshaw, the owner of Loxhams Garages Ltd of which Sharp's Commercials was a subsidiary.

The rear suspension system was of the sliding pillar type, a block carrying the stub axle rode up and down on two guide pillars mounted on a solid casting bolted to the side of the body. The block's vertical movement was controlled by coil springs.

Externally, the difference between the Mark A and Mark B Minicar were very subtle. The rear mudguards were slightly wider to accommodate the wheel movement whilst the storage area behind the rear seats was also enlarged, increasing the cars overall length slightly. Beneath the bodywork, there were improvements to the electrics and to the braking system. The hood was also redesigned to provide more height.

Also of note was the adoption of the larger Villiers 6E engine and the adoption of the triplex glass windscreen on all vehicles.

At the motorcycle show in November 1951, Sharps announced what they described as "a revolutionary design in the field of commercial vehicles". The Sharp's Commercial 3 Cwt, took the concept of the Minicar's light, utilitarian design, and adapted it as the basis for a light industrial vehicle or invalid carriage. Though Sharp's Commercial never entered production, it served as a forerunner to van and pickup versions of the Mark B which appeared in 1952.

The Sharps Minitruck, was the pickup version, which included a further extension of the bodywork behind the rear wheel, and replaced the bench seat with a single seat for the driver. This provided a claimed load capacity of 3 long cwt (150 kg) and 24 cu ft (0.68 m3). The open-top vehicle had a folding hood with a roll-up flap at the back of the car to assist loading.

The Sharps Minivan, was introduced around 11 June 1952 alongside the Minitruck. It had the same load capacity and also shared the same extended length of the pick-up, but had an enclosed aluminium compartment behind the drivers seat with a side hinged rear door. A short fabric roof covered the gap between the van compartment and the windscreen.

A further final development of the Minivan was the Bond Family Safety Saloon. Additional side windows were fitted to the rear compartment of the van and two small hammock type seats were added either side of the rear door facing inwards. With the bench seat of the tourer replacing the single front seat of the van and pickup, this gave enough room for two children and two adults. It's not known how many Safety Saloons were produced as factory records do not distinguish between the saloon and the Minivan.

Total production for the Mark B was 1414 vehicles including 240 Minitrucks and 80 Minivans.

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Bond vehicles