Category Archives: Out Of The Box

The Three-Wheeled Bond Minicar – Low Cost Post-War Transportation

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  • A Bond Mark A Minicar in New Zealand in 1950

Three-wheeled mini cars are often built for economic reasons and low initial and operating costs. Because the pint-sized cars in many countries are often classified as motorcycles, this often results in lower registration and tax fees. The image above shows a Bond Mark A that was built between 1949 and 1951. The photograph was taken in 1950 and it appeared in the Evening Post newspaper that was based in Wellington, New Zealand. The photo is courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

Watch the video above as a French enthusiast Jean – Mare Navarro puts his 1960 Bond Mark F Minicar through its paces. Being a simple two-stroke without a reverse gear, at 2:15 he demonstrates how the engine is shut off and started up in the reverse direction for backing up; the early models were not equipped for reversing and had to be pushed or manhandled.

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  • Detail photos of a Mark C Bond Minicar courtesy of the Bond Owners Club

The first Bond Minicar was designed by Lawrence Bond, who had a background in aircraft design and component manufacture. The manufacturing of the new car started in 1949 and was handled by Sharp’s Commercials Limited in Preston, Lancashire, England. The inexpensive car soon became popular in the trying post-war economy and this model continued on until the Mark G ceased production in December 1966. More information can be found at the Bond Owners Club.

The postcard photo below is via Retronaut and shows a Mark C that was built at some point between October of 1952 and May of 1956. This model featured a steerable tubular mounting for the 197cc engine and three-speed transmission, which drove the swing-arm mounted front wheel by a roller chain.


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Israel I. Ziperstein and His Flying Machine Patents


It has been a while since we have covered any aircraft, and this entertaining machine is perfect for a return there. Israel I. Ziperstein and his associates concentrated on devices to stabilize, propel and elevate so-called heavier-than-air machines. The patent drawing seen here illustrates Ziperstein’s Aeronautical Device for which a patent was issued on August 12, 1924.

Through a complicated arraignment of sprockets, chains and gearing, the device above not only powered four propellers, but also four sets of three covered wheel assemblies on a common axle that appear to have been the stabilizers. More details can be seen below, and the right hand drawing shows a motorized version, the complete patent can be viewed here.    

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No pun intended, but it is not known if any of these devices ever got off the ground so to speak. We did find that he was born in Poland in 1875 and arrived in New York City in 1899; his first aircraft patent was issued to him while he lived there and also to Abraham C. Kaplan of Brooklyn, New York. He later moved to Chicago, Illinois, and resided there when the patent illustrated here was granted. He also invented a resilient wheel for which he received a patent.

If you can add anything about Ziperstein and his inventions please send us a comment. If you enjoyed this post on aeronautical devices, check here to see some very interesting aviation engines we have covered in the past. Thanks to Marc Tudeau.


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* Updated * The 1948 Mustang – A Short-Lived Streamliner

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* Update * at the bottom of the post.

The dustbin of automotive history is chock-full of a number of futuristic cars designed and built by forward thinking individuals, some even reached the start-up of the manufacturing process after they were first rolled out to the public. This 1948 Mustang is a perfect example, Roy McCarty of Seattle, Washington, who was a service manager at a Lincoln dealership designed it.


McCarty’s new car was introduced to the marketplace at just right time in the immediate post-war years when the public was hungry for anything new on four wheels. Being a small time manufacturer he utilized as many off-the-shelf mechanical components as possible including Continental and Hercules four-cylinder engines, manual transmissions and a Hotchkiss type rear axle and hydraulic brakes at all four corners.

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  • Chassis body details from a brochure

One unusual feature of his design was the utilization of a rear-mounted unit power plant located in a large “A” frame sprung by cantilever leaf springs. This unique assembly was advertised as only taking nine minutes to remove for service, which may be a bit of a PR exaggeration. It also appears to have taken up about half the interior room making for a somewhat impractical use of that space.

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  • Pacific Car and Foundry built the aluminum body for the first car.

Nevertheless it made for an interesting car that was lightweight, somewhat aerodynamic and featured a look that would appeal to Buck Rodger’s fans. The reality of the story, unfortunately, is what happened to most small time automotive ventures, it failed after only one year. Twelve are reported to have been produced, and one appears to have survived. The story of the Mustang was found via the AACA Library at

Read writer-researcher Robert D. Cunningham’s comment below for more background information on the company.


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Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Out Of The Box | Tagged , , , , , |