Lawrie Bond is somewhat of a hero of mine and creator of many intriguing vehicles. The interest stems from my first car being a Bond Equipe - a fibreglass re-bodied Triumph Herald. Lawrie Bond was a designer of minimalist motoring, an enthusiast for fibreglass bodywork and the genius behind some of postwar Britain's most interesting vehicles.
The book Lawrie Bond Microcar Man passed me by until I came across it in a local remainder book store. Probably because it is marketed as a car book and titled as such. The content however is as much two and three wheeler biased as it is towards the four wheelers. A pity really that the book was aimed squarely at the car enthusiast market as this limits its sales and deprives a potential audience of the joys of Lawrie Bond's creations.
In his work Nick Wotherspoon has concentrated on the story of Bond's creations rather than the man himself and has not set out to write a biography. The book is what it is and achieves its aims excellently, though there is surely an interesting story to tell about Bond's life. Following his maverick engineering activities he ended up running a pub in Yorkshire.
For those that are not familiar, Lawrie Bond was the man behind the Bond Minicar: a three-wheeled microcar of admirable austerity - the early models were billed as the world's cheapest car and featured 122cc Villiers engines, aluminium bodies and wire and bobbin steering. The engine sat on a dolly with the single front wheel and reverse could be achieved by turning the motor unit through 180 degrees, thus the Bond could drive as quickly in reverse as forwards. Other Bond creations were the Bond Minibike (a riveted aluminium monocoque scooter lacking suspension but with ballon tyres), the BAC Lilliput (a miniturised motorcycle) and the Oscar Scooter. There was also the somewhat more conventional Bond Scooter that featured fetching fibreglass bodywork and the sporting Berkley range of three and four wheelers. Finally who could forget the magnificent Bond Bug!
The book is of 307 pages, well written, researched and illustrated. A very comprehensive work on Bond's creations and well worth purchasing. If the work had come to my attention before I saw it in a bargain basement bookshop I should have been happy to pay the £30 list price and considered it good value.