The Bond Bug was a child of the seventies and was produced by the marriage of Reliant and Czech designer Tom Karen (he also oversaw the design and production of Luke Skywalkers sand speeder from Star Wars) as Reliant had just bought the Bond name but was not too sure what to do with it.
Even though it was one wheel short it cost more than a Mini or a Hillman Imp when it went into production in 1970 and if you did not like Orange (not good for Graham Taylor) then you were a bit stuck as this was the only colour they came in. Having only 2 seats, the tiny boot plus the fact they were noisy, draughty and sometimes damp it is easy to see why only 2500 Bugs were made up until 1974 when it stopped. It is easy to see the Bugs appeal now as a classic car and a bit of fun for the weekend where practicalities are not so much of an issue but in the 1970's if you had to use one as your only car then it has some short comings. Parts for the Bug were source from all over the place such as the headlights were from an Allegro, the Mini provided the drum brakes and the "boot lock" is from a Triumph Dolomite glove box. (ironic really as the boot is the size of a glove box).
Owning a Bond Bug
These are fun little cars to drive and don't miss having the extra wheel we are used to thanks to a hefty rear roll bar. The engine is in the cabin so can be heard all the time and obviously these are no motorway cruisers. Have fun on the twisty roads as long as you don't mind a few draughts and a in your face engine (remember the future is bright the future is orange).
Don't worry about draughts and drips entering the cabin, they all do it and did so from new as was the noisy engine, it is placed almost in the cabin between the seats so it will be noticeable. The body may not rust but glass fibre needs to be checked for cracking (especially around the rear arches) and as the body is a one piece molding any accident damage will have been repaired using repair sections which are bonded into the original shell. The body is held onto the chassis using pop rivets which over time and vibration can work loose and the body will start to move around the place to check is under the seats.
The chassis can rot by water entering it via the none too watertight cabin, it end up on the floor and then enters the chassis through the pop rivets and early cars had no drain holes in the chassis so filled up and then rusted out. Also check underneath where the steering box is bolted as it can crack.
Mechanically they are pretty tough although the original engine is sometimes replaced with the 850cc unit from the Robin and parts for both Robin and regal units are easy to come by. The gearbox is tough and the back axle (one of the only parts unique to the Bug) are fine and most parts are form the reliant parts bin anyway.
There is not much to the interior and new seat covers and instruments are available, things which are not available new are usually available second hand at auto jumbles or eBay.