After working for the Blackburn Aircraft Company during the Second World War Lawrence “Lawrie” Bond turned his attention to designing and building a number of light weight vehicles for competition and road use.
Lawrie’s designs including two 500 Formula 3 cars, both of which predated the Killeen K1, the three wheel Bond Minicar manufactured by Sharp’s Commercials Ltd and both three and four wheel and three wheel Berkley sports cars all featured monocoque construction in aluminium and or fibreglass with front wheel drive.
Lawrie’s competition activities always appear to have taken place alongside his commercial activities and in 1959, just as his collaboration with Berkley was running into trouble, he designed and built the Bond Formula Junior with a fibre glass monocoque supported by strategically placed aluminium and steel inserts.
As with his previous competition designs Lawrie spared no effort designing special hubs, brake drums and unique alloy wheels for the unconventional front wheel drive machine, all of which made for a protracted build time.
Jon Goddard-Watts eventually raced the first Ford powered Bond with it’s unique differential transfer box driving the front wheels twice for the works team without any success in 1961.
Subsequently the car was bought and raced by Chris Featherstone, in 1964 Chris crashed the car at Mallory Park and used the back half of the monocoque from the uncompleted second car to repair the damage and continued racing the Bond until at least 1968.
The original Bond was restored by Andrew Tart for Jon Goddard-Watts and raced to it’s first win by Andrew at Mallory Park in 2010.
Today’s featured Bond is the second chassis which was completed, again by Andrew Tart and stood on it’s own wheels for the first time in 2011, only 51 years after work on it was first started.
Mike Walker is seen at the wheel of the second Bond at Castle Combe in the top three photographs and in the middle of an indiscretion on oil at Oulton Park in the bottom photograph.
Thanks for joining me on this “Front Wheel Drive Monocoque” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at another Healey. Don’t forget to come back now !