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Bug - March 1970 to May 1974

Vehicle Modifications By Chassis Number


Chassis Number

Details of modifications and changes in specification

MAR 1970


Photo from Bug specification sheet - click to enlargeBug production started in February and completed cars started to come off the production line during w/e 20th March in preparation for the launch in June. The first 17 vehicles were all to 700E specification.

Photo from Bug Press Pack - click to enlargeA distinctive, wedge-shaped two-seater with a glass fibre body and a canopy hinged forwards of the windscreen. This was mounted onto a pressed steel, box section chassis having tubular braced cross members. The 700 cc Reliant engine, forward mounted, drove the rear wheels through a 4 speed/reverse gearbox. There was a front leading arm and rear trailing link suspension with coil springs/damper units, 7" hydraulic brakes, 10" steel wheels and 12 volt electrics for lighting and starting.

Length 9' 2", width 4' 7" and height 4' 2".

Colours available: Tangerine with Black interior trim.

Bug 700

This was planned to be the base model. It was to be sold without any sort of refinements or luxuries. The hinged canopy had to be held open with a simple prop arrangement and sidescreens were not part of the specification (but could be ordered as an “extra.”). Launch price including purchase tax was £548 0s 4d (£548.02p). 

Bug 700E

700E from Bug Press Pack. Note lack of wing mirrors, front rubber bumper, rear black strip and mud flaps - click to enlargeThis was a deluxe version of the 700 with sidescreens, heater, a telescopic canopy damper, canopy lock, polished hub caps, chrome glazing rubber trim, drivers sun visor and an interior light! - but the spare wheel still had to be ordered as an “extra.” Price £579 7s 0d (£579.35p) 

Bug 700ES

Picture used on 'Airfix' plastic model kit, 1972 - click to enlargeThe same as the 700E but with a higher compression engine, Decathlon low profile tyres, spare wheel, rubber front bumper, wing mirrors, mud flaps and several other “extra’s” such as headrests, side and centre seat supports, twin horns, “Formula 1” steering wheel, etc. Price £628 19s 2d (£628.96p).Bug interior, 1972 brochure - click to enlarge

Seat belts could be specified for all models for an extra £6 10s 7d (£6.53p) whilst Aluminium cast wheels were available for all versions as a Factory fitted option at £12 8s 0d (£12.40p)

MAY 1970

BB60115 to BB60145

During w/e 1st May 1970, after the first 114 had been built (all 700E’s), the only basic 700 model ever produced appears in the Production Meeting Statistics. The chassis number is believed, therefore, to be between BB60115 and BB60145 when the following weeks production finished.

Also during w/e 1st May the first batch of 11 Bugs to 700ES specification were built.

JUL? 1970

BB60700 to BB60999

There appears to be a complete block of some 300 numbers missing from all known chassis number records. Research by the Bug Club Historian indicates that this seems to have happened around the time of the closure of the Preston factory and the transfer of production to Tamworth. The conclusion drawn is that production re-started at 61000 but, as yet, no firm evidence to either substantiate or deny this has been found.

AUG 1971


A new gearbox with synchromesh on all gears and a different reverse position was introduced.

JAN 1972


The first chassis number recorded for 1972. (Source: Page 2 of an unsigned memo seen at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu by the Bug Club Historian.)

FEB 1972


The steering column was shortened to allow for the fitting of a dished steering wheel that conformed to the latest safety regulations.

NOV 1972


A 700ES on display at the Motorcycle Show, Earls Court. Prices for listed models were: £578, £607 and £653 respectively.

APR 1973


The Bug 700 was officially discontinued. The date has been supplied from Glass’s Motorcycle Check Book although it is now known only the one was ever produced. The "BB62***" number would therefore appear to be irrelevant.

OCT 1973


The Bug 700E and 700ES were discontinued.

OCT 1973


The Bug 750E and 750ES were introduced. Similar to the 700E and 700ES but with the larger capacity 750 cc engine. Price was £648.87p and £694.14p respectively.

??? 1973/4


Picture from Stondon Transport Museum brochure - click to enlargeThis Bug is currently (April 2001) in the Stondon Transport Museum near Hitchin, Hertfordshire. The chassis number indicates it is the 63rd 750 to be produced and the Museum’s owner claims to have documentation stating the vehicle has been officially “clocked” at a recorded speed of 112 m.p.h.!

Registration number PGB 409 M

MAY 1974


The Bug 750E and 750ES were discontinued. Registration number VLB 249 M became the last vehicle ever produced to bear the “Bond” name.

Picture taken at Tamworth, 1970? - click to enlargeAt least one prototype 4 wheeler Bug using, presumably, Reliant Rebel front suspension and steering is known to have been built for evaluation at Tamworth in 1970. Registration number GBF 473 H.

Several rumours of a second (unregistered?) 4 wheeler Bug at Tamworth persist but to date there are no pictures to confirm or deny this.