The Bond Bug Was The Car That Inspired Luke Skywalker's Speedster
The Bond Bug that had the underpinnings of the Reliant Regal was a young, stylish take on the microcar that became part of the 70s pop culture.
In an earlier article on the BMW ISETTA 300, we introduced you to the microcar and the reasons behind this class of car becoming popular across Post-War Europe. By the late 60s however, their popularity was on the wane and they were now seen as just cheap, easy to use alternatives to full-size cars. This was especially true of England, where the microcar fad had really kicked off and a whole host of carmakers were vying for attention.
The Bond Bug, however, tried to break this mould. The first car to be conceived after Reliant bought out Bond Cars, the Bug was aimed squarely at the style conscious 17 to 25-year-old, for whom economy and frugality were not exactly top priority. The supercar mimicking wedge-shaped styling and the bright orange fibreglass bodywork was the brainchild of industrial designer Tom Karen of Ogle Design. This design was functional, and the Bug was surprisingly roomy as a two-seater. The chassis was a reworking of the Reliant Regal by Chief Engineer John Crosthwaite. Its party trick was the clamshell opening which replaced traditional doors. The interiors in the base model were fairly spartan, with even window panes being an option. The top end ES trim made up for it by offering all manner of bells and whistles like alloy rear wheels, wing mirrors, sports tyres, upgraded interior, even a period F1-style steering wheel. Interesting trivia, the Bond Bug would later serve as a design inspiration to draw up LUKE SKYWALKER’S SPEEDSTER in the original Star Wars film.