BOND BUG

Like to stand out from the crowd? The per­fect an­swer is some­thing very small and very orange…

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

‘Re­fined and com­fort­able it isn’t, but you’ll be grin­ning too much to care’

Ask most peo­ple about their idea of a clas­sic three-wheeler and it prob­a­bly won’t be long be­fore the name Del Trot­ter crops up. That’s thanks to his fa­mously de­crepit Reliant Re­gal Su­per­van, of course, but its Tam­worth maker would be in­volved with a rather more ex­tro­vert imag­in­ing of the three-wheeled theme. The de­light­fully bonkers con­cept you see here sprung from the fer­tile imag­i­na­tion of Ogle De­sign’s Tom Karen, whose CV boasted ev­ery­thing from Reliant cars to the Raleigh Chop­per bike.

Launched in June 1970, the Bug was a sim­ple recipe com­pris­ing a steel chas­sis, glass­fi­bre-re­in­forced body­work, and much of the run­ning gear from the Re­gal. Pow­ered by a tiny 701cc al­loy en­gine, power out­puts were mod­est to say the least, with just 29bhp on of­fer for the 700E model (the ES got 31bhp, and the later 750E/ES a whop­ping 32bhp). The re­sult­ing staid per­for­mance was no bad thing, how­ever, given the need for an el­e­ment of cau­tion in the han­dling depart­ment, al­though it’s not as scary as you might think. It also stops well, and the high-geared steer­ing means quick re­sponses around town, but none of that re­ally mat­ters to the sort of peo­ple at­tracted to this strange cre­ation. What does is the size of the smile on the faces of any­one who comes into con­tact with the retina-sear­ingly orange wedge. Less than £600 would have got you be­hind the diddy wheel of one when the Bug was new, but you’ll need a bit more than that to­day. In fact around ten times as much will bag a good one, and for sheer en­ter­tain­ment value it will be worth ev­ery penny. Re­fined and com­fort­able it isn’t, but you’ll be grin­ning too much to care.

Cab­ins don’t come any more ba­sic than this, but own­ers love them.

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