The Carchive: Bond Equipe Mk2

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It’s Friday, it’s probably time to think about having some lunch which means, I’m afraid, it’s time for The Carchive. Again.

The Carchive’s endless labyrinth of caverns contain car brochures of every possible description. Big, small, cheap, expensive, some of them take the form of hundred-page, full colour, bound, boxed works of art. The one we’re looking at today, er, doesn’t. It’s the Bond Equipe MK2.

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 Bond, a marketing style of Sharps Commercials LTD, was a name usually seen of hopeless and hilarious looking three wheeled contraptions, often powered by Villiers two-stroke engines. In 1963, though, that name was attached to the nose of a car with the correct number of wheels for the first time ever.

“The New Bond is the 100mph-and more-MK2 Equipe”

103mph, to be precise. Or more, depending on conditions, according to the brochure. And luck, probably.

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This was a very rakish car. It was intended as a classy mover, with upmarket features like Laycock-de-Normanville overdrive on the gearbox, wire wheels with centre-locks and the provision for a radio to be fitted. There were fitted carpets. There was a pair of sunvisors. A heater. Self-parking wipers. Don’t laugh, in the late ’60s this kind of tech couldn’t be taken for granted.

“It gets its pace and rocketing acceleration from a new, uprated, 104bhp, 6-cylinder Triumph 2-Litre engine”

That’s not all it got from Triumph. The fibreglass body of the Equipe was essentially an alternative suit of clothes with which to dress the chassis from the Triumph Vitesse, that name signifying a high(er) performance version of the everyman Herald. The doors were highly modified but still originated on a Triumph production line, and the scuttle assembly and floorpan were as per standard production.

The MKII suffix to the name was arrived at in response to Triumph suddenly releasing an uprated version of the Vitesse with an independent rear suspension, replacing the swing-axle setup that went before and gave rise to some truly terrifying handling shortfalls.

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“Built by BOND in association with Standard Triumph”

The Equipe was pretty close to being officially sanctioned by Triumph, who opened their service department doors to accept Bond drivers and their cars when routine maintenance was needed. Of course, if you showed up with a Bond Bug you’d be laughed at with herculean force.

The flimsiness of this publication is a sure sign of a company without an enormous amount of money to throw around. By 1970 the Bond story was all over and the company was absorbed by Reliant, with the Bond name living on only to brand the highly amusing Bond Bug three wheeler. But when they saw sense and finally ended production of that in 1974, Bond would be gone for good.

(Disclaimer: All images are of original manufacturer publicity materials, photographed by me. Copyright belongs to whoever bought the Reliant intellectual property rights, probably on eBay for about £46)

About RoadworkUK

RoadworkUK is the online persona of Gianni Hirsch, a tall, awkward gentleman with a home office full of gently decomposing paper and a garage full of worthless scrap metal. He lives in the village of Moistly, which is a safe distance from London and is surrounded by enough water and scenery to be interesting. In another life, he has designed, sold, worked on and written about cars in exchange for small quantities of money.

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