February 1, 2013
It is now 50 years since the first 4-wheeled Bond cars were produced. So when I saw in the TV listings over Xmas that there was to be a programme called “50 years of Bond Cars” I became quite excited. Wotta swiz. The programme wasn’t about Bond cars at all !! It was about all the different cars driven by James Bond in the movies !!!
March 18, 2011
Thanks to Robert at the Bond Info magazine for drawing the club members’ attention to this atmospheric photo of a Bond Equipe GT4S languishing in Corsica. “Ideal for restoration” is a phrase often used for basket-case/uneconomic to repair/unloved old cars. I can picture exactly what state this car will be in without needing a closer look. Of the 2505 originally manufactured in Preston in the 1960s I doubt if 100 examples survive in any condition. I always liked the bonnets on the GT4S. So much so that my Triumph Herald currently wears one. Does that make it a Berald or a Hequipe ?
May 3, 2010
Spring is sprung. The grass is riz. The car is roused from hibernation and seems pleased to be out in the sunshine (and hail !!). The petrol tank is still full of 4* and the tax disc on the windscreen says 1999 !!
Here are two more brochures from the 1960s.
March 22, 2010
Although I really should have known better, in 1989 I purchased a Bond Equipe 2 litre Mark 1. It was a 1968 model with Mark 1 Triumph Vitesse running gear (as opposed to my earlier Equipe GT4S which was Herald/Spitfire derived). I had great “fun” installing a replacement overdrive gearbox, replacement radiator and stainless exhaust system. I drove it for a few years until new toys came my way (cars that will be future classics such as a Mk11 Ford Granada, Rover SD1 3500, Opel Monza etc.) but although other cars have come and gone I have kept hold of the Bond.
Approx 600 2 litre Mk1s were assembled before Bond began using the Mk11 Triumph Vitesse chassis. The numbers of roadworthy ones (mine isn’t at the moment) must have now diminished to perhaps only a few dozen. Even Triumph classic car clubs (Triumphs were once as popular as MGs and Jaguars especially in the USA) are beginning to lose cars and members as indifference/the recession takes hold.
I keep meaning to check out someone else’s car to see if all the Mk 1 dashboards are the same. On my car the ignition and choke knobs are almost on the passenger’s side which makes for intimate moments when starting the engine. As with Triumph cars of the time operating the wipers and the water squirter is a two-handed operation. I still prefer the Mk1 wooden dashboard/steering wheel/gearknob to the black plastic/ambla as seen on the Mk11s.
Here is a pdf file of a brochure from 1968 listing the benefits (???) of being brave enough to purchase a brand new Bond Equipe 2 litre convertible. The precise number of cars that were convertibles out of the 1431 2 litres built is unknown. As they were all Mk11 versions I’m sure only a few hundred can have been built in 1968 and 1969 and there aren’t too many survivors now …..
June 13, 2009
My first car was a Triumph Herald 13/60. This was shortly followed by a Bond Equipe GT4S. Although I have fond memories of this vehicle it really was in diabolical condition for a 10 year old car. Bond Cars of Preston built a few thousand of these hybrid coupes between 1964 and 1970. This particular model featured a glassfibre body upon a Triumph Herald chassis with a Triumph Spitfire Mk 2 1200cc twin carb engine (Mk 3 1296cc for the years 1967 – 1970). Unfortunately they also used the metal Triumph Herald bulkhead, floorpan and doors. With zero rustproofing in those days and only a cursory coat of paint they rusted away from the underneath faster than an early 1960s Vauxhall Victor.
British cars were evidentally easier to sell in the 1960s. Amazingly 2505 Bond Equipe GT4S cars were produced.There were also 444 of the earlier GT model and 1431 of the later (bodily revised) Equipe 2 litre in Mk 1, Mk2 and convertible form. I still own a 1967 Equipe 2 litre Mk 1 in white and rust (which is a story for another day).
PPS: Of course when I was younger/stronger/stupider it seemed to be a good idea to fix the rust by seperating body and chassis for easy access. A junior hacksaw blade “soon” cut through the mounting bolts and then it was the “simple” task of a person grasping each rear wheelarch and lifting. Nothing happened. I then remembered the handbrake cable was still connected. Once that was disconnected the car was in two halfs !!!
PPPS: Yes I know the rear outriggers under the boot floor are “wrong”. As far as I’m aware even when the cars were new these parts were unavailable. You just had to buy the Triumph Herald/Vitesse items and shorten them to suit. Also note the toe-in of the rear wheels without the weight of a body. Braking and/or taking your foot off the accelerator at speed on a tight bend in many of the early models of Equipe/Herald/Vitesse/Spitfire or GT6 could re-create this effect with dire consequences. To prevent the hassle of being upside down in a ditch or embedded in someone’s front garden wall the solution was to hang on tight and accelerate around bends !!! Often the vehicles handled better with the weight of four occupants or (my own favourite solution) two or three paving slabs installed in the boot !!