1959 Bond Minicar Mark "F"
The Bond Minicar Mark "D" was a great success. So much so that when the Minicar Mark "E" was announced at the Motorcycle Show in December 1956, it was decided to postpone production of the new model.
During 1957, testing of one of the laid-up prototype "E's" showed up serious handling problems. These were blamed on the combination of longer wheelbase and narrow track. The problem was easily rectified with flared wheelarches and a shorter wheelbase. The new "straight-through" styling was more car-like, with proper 7 inch headlamps, and its new box-section frame allowed the fitting of doors. The seats tilted forward, allowing access to the luggage boot. 1,180 were built over 11 months, alongside the still-popular "D".
A complete update of the Minicar was scheduled in late 1958. The new Mark "F" range, based on the highly regarded "E" bodystyle, consisted of a 3-seat tourer, a four-seat family sedan with fiberglass roof and two inward-facing hammock seats, and a 3-seat coupe. The heavier body needed the bigger 246cc Villiers motor with four-speed gearbox. The car was a big success and production was up by 150%.
In 1960 the range was expanded with the Ranger Van, based on the family saloon without the rear windows and seats, and the Minivan without the passenger seat. The latter was able to be driven by a 16 year old with a motorcycle license but only 40 were built.
The Model "F" was probably the most popular and practical Minicar built by Sharp's.
It was followed by the "G", which attempted to bring the Minicar more in line with "real" cars with its forward-placed windshield, Ford Anglia rear window, 10" wheels, lockable doors, windup windows and semi-hydraulic brakes.
Manufacturer: Sharp's Commercials, Preston, Lancashire England
|Model: Minicar Mark F
||Motor: Villiers 31A, 2-stroke
||Body: Aluminum/ Fiberglass
|Years Built: Nov 1958 Aug1961
||No. Cylinders: 1
||Chassis: Steel box
|No. Produced: 7000
||Displacement: 246 cc
||Suspension Front: Coil
||Susp. Rear: Flexitor
|Length: 11' 0"
||Gearbox: 4 fwd.+rev (optional)
||Steering: Worm and Sector
|Width: 5' 0"
|Weight: 672 lbs
||Electrics: 12 v
||3 Wheels: 400 x 8"
|Interior: Bench +hammock
||Top Speed: 55 mph