Mark A
Mark B
Mark C
Mark D
Mark E
Mark F
Mark G
Equipe
875
Bug
Scooters
Production
Statistics

Mark A - January 1949 to April 1951

Vehicle Modifications By Chassis Number

Date

Chassis Number

Details of modifications and changes in specification

JAN 1949

A/1/1

A very early production vehicle - click to enlargeThe Mark A 2/3 seat Tourer was introduced. It had an aluminium, stressed skin body fitted with a Perspex windscreen. The single front wheel was driven by a Villiers 10D, 122 cc air-cooled engine and a 3 speed direct change gearbox (no reverse). Steering was by a cable and bobbin arrangement whilst starting was achieved by means of a handle mounted under the dash panel and connected by cables to a modified kick-starter on the engine. There were trailing link front forks, rigid mounted rear wheels and a cable and brake rod system that operated the rear brakes only. A 2½ gallon petrol tank was fitted, along with 6 volt rectified lighting, a manually operated windscreen wiper and the tyres were “Goodyear” low pressure 16" x 4" interchangeable all round. Front lighting was by two external head and side lamps of 12 / 3 watt capacity mounted on either side of the body. Rear lighting was by a single, centrally mounted tail lamp with a 3/ 3 watt double filament bulb. No brake light was fitted.
Vehicle length 8' 10", width 4' 7" and height 3' 6". The wheelbase was 5' 5", the rear track 3' 10" and the weight 310 lb.
Colours available: Pale Green, Light Blue and Maroon Polychromatic cellulose, with “Marimo” hoods and leathercloth seats in the same colours. The introductory price was around £200 of which approximately £45 0s 0d was purchase tax.

MAY 1949

A/5/48

KLX at Morecambe Rally with ex-Sharp's Commercials M.D. Colonel Gray and ex-Saleman Doug Ferreira - click to enlargeThis Light Blue Polychromatic vehicle is one of the earliest known surviving Bond Minicars. Although the chassis plate is stamped A/5/48, the original buff colour “log book” is recorded as A/4/28. Sharp’s Commercials supplied the earlier number to enable the registration number to be allocated. However, when the vehicle was delivered the chassis plate had been stamped A/5/48 and the mistake has never been corrected. It was discovered by Bond Owners’ Club member Nick Mander and is totally original with a genuine recorded mileage of only 4680 miles! Registration KLX 216.

NOV 1949 to
AUG 1950

A/11/254 to B/8/1279

A new rear axle spindle was fitted.

DEC 1949

A/12/355

Sales brochure picture of the new Deluxe model - click to enlargeThe Deluxe Tourer was introduced. Identical to the 122 c.c. model but with the Villiers 6E, 197 cc engine, a marked gear quadrant on the dashboard, a floor-mounted starting handle, engine mixture control, outside driving mirror and a spare wheel. An electric windscreen wiper was fitted but could be specified at extra cost for the non-Deluxe Tourer. New colours of Mimosa, Honey or Blue self-coloured cellulose were introduced, with Silver-Grey, Maroon, Cream and Green becoming available later. Weight increased to 340 lb. Price was £212 0s 0d including £47 0s 0d purchase tax.

JAN 1950

B/1/441

A rubber mounted engine and alloy brake drums with steel liners were introduced.

FEB 1950

B/2/634

BKS on display at Wroughton Airfield - click to enlargeThis vehicle belongs to the Science Museum, London and is stored at Wroughton Airfield, Wiltshire. It was originally donated by a Dr. R.S.B. Marsden of Dumfries, Scotland and was restored by Sharps Commercials on behalf of the Museum in 1955. Finished in Pale Green Polychromatic, it has a matching Green Marimo hood and leathercloth interior. A Villiers 10D, 122 cc engine is fitted but the body appears to have been restored to a later specification with a Triplex windscreen. The recorded mileage is less than 20,000. The vehicle is not normally on view and can usually only be seen on Open Days at the airfield. Registration BKS 448.

OCT 1950

B/10/1360

Sales brochure picture showing the new Pearl Grey Polychromatic colour - click to enlargeAn improved Deluxe Tourer was introduced. A rack and pinion steering replaced the cable and bobbin variety for all models. New colours of Pearl Grey Polychromatic and Ivory were offered and Beige leathercloth was added to the colours used for the seats. Price was £205 0s 0d, plus £57 13s 11d purchase tax making a grand total of £262 13s 11d (£262.69p)

OCT 1950

B/10/1480

A new front stub axle was fitted.

NOV 1950

B/11/1545

New front and rear hubs were machined to take an extra bearing.

JAN 1951

C/1/1733

This vehicle was the first recorded entry in the surviving production records. Tested on 5th January 1951, the body colour was Pale Green Polychromatic.

JAN 1951

C/1/1765

A left hand steering Tourer, tested on 15th January 1951. Body colour Pale Green Polychromatic. This was the first of six left hand steering vehicles, all built in January, but without a destination being recorded for any of them. The others were: 1769, 1771, 1793, 1794 & 1795 with body colours of Ivory, Maroon, Pearl Grey Polychromatic, Honey and Pale Green Polychromatic respectively.

JAN 1951

C/1/1775

A Pale Green Polychromatic Tourer recorded as having a “manual reverse”,

FEB 1951

C/2/1812

A new type of fork, side plate and top engine bolt was fitted.

FEB 1951

C/2/1853

The single front suspension spring was replaced with a double type. (Also fitted to 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1847, 1848 & 1850)

APR 1951

C/4/1962

The introduction of the Woodhead-Munroe hydraulic shock absorber spring unit.

APR 1951

C/4/1973

The Mark A was discontinued. The last vehicle officially produced was a Pale Green Polychromatic Tourer, tested on 24th April 1951

APR 1951

*BC/4/1461

A Tourer with an unrecorded colour, registration JRK 417.

MAY 1951

*BC/5/1393

A Maroon Tourer, registration NKR 185.

MAY 1951

*BC/5/1504

A Maroon Tourer, registration JGG 641.

JUN 1951

*BC/6/1492

NYA shown at one of the Morecambe rallies in the early 1990's - click to enlargeAn Ivory Tourer with a Red interior belonging to the Lancashire County and Regimental Museum, Preston. The vehicle has a 197cc engine and a Triplex windscreen and was restored in the 1970’s. Although not currently on display, access to the vehicle can usually be gained by writing to the museum before visiting. Registration NYA 538

* These chassis numbers in the Bond Owners’ Club records all have the year letters “BC”.  Whilst no positive explanation can be given due to the surviving production records only starting at number 1733, it is interesting to note however, that the registration marks allocated to these vehicles were all issued in May and June 1951 and appropriately match the chassis month numbers of “4 ”,“5” and “6”. From Service Information published by the factory, the numbers 1461, 1393, 1504 and 1492 should have fallen into the sequence used around October or November 1950 - but clearly these do not. This raises a variety of questions (none of which are ever likely to be answered) and so various hypotheses are offered in an attempt to present some plausible explanations:

a) Would the year letters “BC” have been introduced to give the Sharp’s Commercials Service Department the necessary clue that these vehicles were indeed produced during the 1951 “C” year - although the chassis numbers were actually ones not allocated from the sequence used during the 1950 “B” year?
It can only be imagined the sort of problems that would have been created if there were not some sort of identification for these last few cars. Customers would be trying to order parts for a May 1951 vehicle (which would presumably have had the newly introduced front stub axle, new type fork, side plate and top engine bolt fitted) and the Service department would be trying to supply parts for a vehicle falling into the numbering sequence of late 1950 - but without any of the improvements!

b) Why don’t the production numbers run sequentially?
There is no obvious logical explanation. Members of the Bond Owners’ Club have supplied all these chassis numbers and it must be assumed they have been read and submitted correctly.

c) Why was there such a long gap between the end of April when the last Mark A was tested and the end of June when the first Mark B was tested?
The Mark B was little more than an improved version of the Mark A but there appears to be a break in production of nearly two months between the testing of C/4/1973 on the 24th April and C/6/1974 on the 25th June. This is a very long period for any manufacturing company not to be producing anything and would have had a serious affect on its cash flow. For no particular reason other than a personal inkling, it is just possible that a series of some 100 or so chassis numbers not allocated during 1950 were reinstated and used to maintain production in the two month period until the Mark B’s were ready. This would partly explain the month numbers of “4 ”,“5” and “6” matching the registration marks issued at the same time and would have overcome the likely cash flow problem previously mentioned.

d) Why weren't these 100+ chassis numbers used during 1950?
No answer.

e) Why don’t these numbers appear in the production records if they were produced in the late April/May/June period of 1951?
No idea! All suitable answers in an e-mail, please! One wildly outrageous and speculative possibility (which has not got a single supportive shred of evidence or any hint of such) could have been the existence of another book of production records just for these missing vehicles. Why this might have occurred can only be guessed at. Could they have been made illegally during a difficult financial period and then sold without paying the Purchase Tax due on them to help keep the company in business? An extremely unlikely hypothesis, but it would have been very difficult for anyone outside the company to prove otherwise, especially if they had no idea of the way the chassis numbering system was supposed to work. Even with the records and the benefit of hindsight, the task is still difficult!
Whatever the reason, it will probably never be fully established (unless the missing chassis numbers book miraculously appears!) and Bond Owners will be free to debate the various possibilities endlessly.