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From: (Andy Dingley)
Subject: Re: British 4x4 terms
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 1996 00:31:25 GMT

The moving finger of (David Stockton) having

>   OK, who's going to describe the original Bond

I think the "kit car" and the "special" were particularly British
creations. In the '50s, there was a demand for cheap transport, steel
quotas limited the production of real cars, and lack of money
prevented the Brits buying them anyway. The solution was to take a
pre-war Austin 7 or Ford 95E engine and components and re-clothe it in
a fibreglass bodyshell bought from an advert in the back of Car
Mechanics. Adventurous types could buy an entire chassis, from a more
advanced kit maker like Lotus. Many of the UK's surviving car makers
began in this way; TVR, Marcos, Lotus, Caterham. Bond made bodyshells
too, but soon moved into the low-tax 3 wheeler market.

> the Bond Bug, 

Splendidly silly vehicle. Imagine a tricycle motorbike, with a
fibreglass clamshell body to keep Britain's perpetual rain off your
head. Any colour you like, so long as it's lurid orange. The styling
is resolutely triangular, and best described as a Mayan pyramid
mounted on a wheelbarrow. The rear face was cut off vertically,
leading to the persistent myth that the cars could be parked by
stacking them vertically on the rear window (all the engine oil pours

Like the Reliant 3 wheelers too, they're horribly unstable at speed.
The slightest sideways motion sets up a sickening Dutch roll,
combining sideways roll with a forward pitching movement. It's true
they're impossible to roll sideways - they go end-over-end forwards
first. Police around here refer to them as "Plastic Pigs" and they
have a lurid reputation for poor survivability after an accident or

>and the Bond Equipe?  

A Triumph Herald or Vitesse running gear, with a fibreglass body on
top. Early 4 cylinder models were plug-ugly, in a Daimler 250 sort of
way. The later 6 cylinder models were quite cute, especially the
convertibles. Although they were basically fibreglass, the doors were
standard Triumph steel doors.

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