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.
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.