Monday, March 31, 2014

Bond Equipe

The Equipe GT4S was created by a UK company called Bond. The Equipe, introduced in 1963, was Bond's first 4 wheel car. Prior to that their line of cars were 3 wheelers. Bond never officially exported any cars to the US.

Built on a Triumph Herald platform and using Triumph's 1200 cc engine, this was meant to be a GT type of car. However, the Equipe took almost 18 seconds to hit 60MPH and top speed was under 100MPH, ruining any sporting / GT pretences the body may have had.

About that body... Everything that makes most 1960s sports / GT cars look really good are there. Quad headlamps, round tail lights, fastback design... Somehow it just doesn't quite work with this car. It doesn't look bad from certain angles, but overall it just looks awkward.

This is not a car you'd buy to look at, anyway. The Triumph running gear is strong and reliable. The Herald underpinnings will provide some entertaining handling. This car is meant to be driven. Take it to car shows and for some long weekend drives. You're guaranteed to attract attention.

This Equipe looks to be in very restorable condition. The seller knows very little about it, however. The fiberglass body won't rust of course, but needs to be checked for cracking and poorly done repairs. About the mechanical condition, the seller writes; "It ran a couple years back, rough, but it did run." He mentions the car having wood and leather in the interior, but not the shape it's in. The good news is that since most parts came from Triumph, they are relatively cheap and easy to find.

For a long time the Brits had a great cottage automotive industry, one that produced some pretty amazing cars. This car, while unfamiliar to most Americans, was an important part of that industry. It is a piece of history that should be preserved.

Located in Boulevard, CA, click here to see the eBay listing. (Note the Sunbeam Imp parked next to it in the top picture. There is no mention of it being for sale, but it might be worth checking the sellers eBay listings every few days.)

3 comments:

Jon said...

It looks like a GT4S. You can really see the Herald DNA in the body. It must have been quite the challenge to transform a stodgy design into a sporty "fastback" coupe.

Spitfire (and later GT6) owners had nothing to worry about.

French Driver said...

Almost looks like a Citroen concept car. Cannot imagine a GT car with a 1.2 liter engine though.

Anonymous said...

My friend had one one of these that he was forever 'just restoring'. Don't know what happened to it in the end but I bet it never saw the road again!

The Imp the background is quite a rare care these days too!