Car No. 7
Engine No. 8104
Registration No. YW 9887
+44 (0)1869 244 255
The full story of the seven motorcars produced by F.W. Bond in Yorkshire between 1922 and 1928, and the forty or so Chic motorcars built to Bond’s design in Australia, is superbly written up by both Mike Worthington-Williams in The Automobile, June 2002 and by the current owner in The VSCC Bulletin, Spring 2004 edition. With Captain Malcolm Campbell as sole agent, a wealthy mill owner financially backing the project, a proven Meadows 1½-Litre power unit and a beautiful sports two-seater design by Jarvis and Sons of Wimbledon, one would have thought that Mr. Frederick William Bond, possessed all the ingredients required to make a commercial success of his sports cars. What is clear from these write-ups though is that while Bond was clearly a talented engineer who tried many different combinations of components, many different styles and types of cars, he did not produce enough cars and ultimately produced his most saleable entities (the sports cars) at a time when the world was in financial turmoil and sports cars simply were not high on the priority list in most households. A brief summary of the motorcars produced by F.W. ‘Freddie’ Bond is included at the end of this description but the aforementioned articles are well worth reading a provide much more in depth information.
Registered YW 9887, the car offered for sale here is the last car produced by the Bond Motor Co. of Crowtrees and the only surviving example that said firm produced and badged as a Bond. Rather aptly it was the 7thcar produced and badged as a Bond and thus is often known as chassis number ‘007’ in vintage circles, for obvious humorous reasons, although in truth the car was never stamped with a chassis number in period. Freddie Bond had built his first motor car in 1922 and by 1926 had resigned from his day job, employed Freddie Dixon’s friend Eric Greenhough as his full-time mechanic, received financial backing from a wealthy mill owner G.A. Topham, engaged family friend Capt. Malcolm Campbell as sole distributor and had made the strategic decision to build sports cars.
‘YW 9887’ was the third of the sports cars he produced and the second to be fitted with two-seater sports coachwork by Jarvis & Sons of Wimbledon, the first having been fitted with a body by Morgans of Leighton Buzzard. The sixth and seventh Bonds were both visually and mechanically similar, with two-seater Jarvis & Sons bodies and photographs on file show the sixth Bond, eventually registered YV 2347 on the coachbuilder’s Motor Show stand. Both cars had a Rubery Owen supplied chassis and four-cylinder 1½-Litre Meadows engines. ‘YW 9887’ differed slightly from its preceding model in that it was fitted with stronger front springs and a Cozette supercharger.
Upon completion ‘YW 9887’ was finished in “Campbell Blue,” driven to Brooklands and tested there by both Greenhough and by The Hon. Brian Lewis. The intention was for Campbell to race the Bond at the Easter meeting (hence the stronger springs and Cozette supercharger) but for reasons unknown there is no record of it actually being entered or competing in any races. On 4thJuly 1928, the Bond was sold from the Campbell showrooms for £600 and registered ‘YW 9887.’ Although the car was sold in London the original owner is not known as the continuation log-books, on file, demonstrate that Rochdale BC destroyed the original log-book and all traces of the ownership history between 1927 and 1957 along with it!
By March 1957, ‘YW 9887’ had made its way north and was registered to a Mr. P. L. Alvin of Leeds. The Bond is photographed around this time with Mr. Alvin at the wheel wearing a top hat. From the image of the car it is clear that it was in rather tired condition by this time and that, whilst the cycle wings may have been original, the remainder of the pretty Jarvis & Sons coachwork had since disappeared to be replaced with a homemade body of some description. The Bond passed through a number of owners until it was purchased by the current owner, in project form, in 1968. The car was complete, minus the original body, but in need of total restoration.
Over the course of three decades, the current owner carried out a painstaking restoration of ‘YW 9887’ which was completed in 2000. During this period of time he has amassed a huge amount of information regarding all of the cars built by F.W. Bond and a large history file is included with the sale of the car. The owner carried out the lion share of the research and restorative work himself, but having moved countries, got married and had a child over the course of the restoration, it took somewhat longer than planned. Whilst nearly all of the mechanical work was carried out by the owner, construction of the bodywork was outsourced to a former coachbuilder in Wales who used the images of the No. 6 Bond from the Jarvis Motor Show stand to create the correct style of coachwork for the car. The Meadows engine still had the fitting for the Cozette blower but was fitted with a single carburettor and was badly damaged so a replacement original unit was sourced and rebuilt without fitting a Cozette supercharger. ‘YW 9887’ was originally fitted with a Cozette supercharger so it would be possible for the Bond to run in the “standard vintage” class if one re-fitted the correct type supercharger. It is clear, however, from retrospective events that the 1½–Litre Meadows engine is a perfectly capable unit even without a supercharger so this work would not be at all essential and the car performs perfectly well as is.
Since completion of the restoration the Bond has been used on numerous VSCC speed events and came runner up in the VSCC Oulton Park Concours. Recently the engine has been stripped and internally checked at Blakeney Motorsport before being returned to the owner for re-assembly and re-fitting. The Bond is available for sale for the first time in over fifty years. Unlike many one off designs the Bond is not overcomplicated and with Meadows power is an easy vintage sports car to own and maintain. Suitable for all forms of competition the Bond, together with its fascinating history file, is available for inspection at our showrooms where we don’t expect you to talk, we expect you to buy…
F.W. Bond & Co. – A brief History
F.W. “Freddie” Bond was born in Yorkshire in 1890, had qualified as engineer and worked for the Karrier Ltd, a company producing commercial vehicles. Having served in His Majesty’s forces during World War One, he returned to work for Karrier. He had always had aspirations to build his own motor car and in 1922 finished his first car. The car featured a 2,304cc Tylor engine (Karrier had used Tylor engines for many years) and was a two-seat and Dickey design. The car caught the attention of a wealthy local mill owner by the name of G.A. Topham who commission Freddie Bond to make a four-seat all weather tourer which was fitted with a 3 ¼ -Litre six-cylinder Continental engine. The third car he produced was the prototype for the Chic motor cars produced in Australia. A special was built for Yorkshireman and Brooklands racer, Felix Scriven. Initially powered by a Sage six-cylinder engine the car was known as ‘Mother Goose’ but was not successful and the power unit was changed to a four-cylinder 2-Litre Hooker engine supplied by Parry Thomas and the car renamed ‘Nanette’ and entered as the ‘Felix Nanette.’ This car, although never badged as a Bond, survives to this day in a private collection and is currently on display in the Brooklands museum having been restored. The fourth Bond produced was a four-seat tourer for a local councillor Mr. Eric Naylor, and the fifth a huge 7-seater Pullman Saloon built for Topham after his mother had refused to travel in the all-weather tourer. The fifth Bond produced was the first of the sports cars and was fitted with a Vulpine-Anzani engine and a body by Morgans of Leighton Buzzard. The Sixth Bond was the first to be fitted with a 1½-Litre Meadows. This car was fitted with a two-seater body by Jarvis, was registered YV 2347 and was a normally aspirated model. The first owner was a G.B. Palmer who competed in the 1928 MCC London-Lands End and London-Edinburgh Trials. The Seventh a final car produced with almost identical to the sixth but was fitted with a Cozette supercharger and stronger front springs for Brooklands. Due to lack of orders, Topham was forced to retract his funding and in turn Freddie Bond closed the garage shortly afterwards, taking up a role as an Engineering Surveyor. He passed away in 1943 at only 53 years of age.