Introduced in 1970, the Bond Bug aimed to attract young buyers seeking an affordable and sporty car with distinctive aesthetics. The late 1960s and 1970s marked an era where wedge-shaped cars were considered futuristic, likely influencing the Bug’s design.
In contrast to the more recognized Morgan three-wheeler, Reliant’s three-wheeled cars featured a single front wheel and twin rear wheels. This configuration made cornering a bit challenging, as the car had a tendency to tip over. Seasoned drivers often placed a bag of cement on the passenger seat for improved left/right weight distribution.
Originally equipped with the Reliant four-cylinder alloy engine generating 29 bhp from a 700cc displacement, the Bug later saw the release of the 700ES. This model featured a redesigned cylinder head and higher compression ratio, boosting power to 31 bhp.
The Bug adopted a body-on-frame design with a steel chassis and a fiberglass body. Its unique entry and exit feature involved the entire roof section tilting forwards. With seating for two, the 1970 to 1974 production run yielded just under 2,300 Bond Bugs. Today, collectors value them for their eccentric appearance and distinctive driving characteristics.