Directly from the depths of hell, we bring you a three-wheeled 1972 Reliant Bond Bug with a couple of small upgrades.
The Bond Bug was produced between 1970 and 1974; all told there were a little over 2200 of the machines ever produced. It originally had a 750cc engine in it and in stock form had a rated top speed that was just a smidge over 78mph. This example goes... a little bit faster than that.
The builder, James Stoddart, who as far as I can tell lives in London or thereabouts, bought the thing with a Hayabusa engine already stuffed into it, but (and you can hear this coming, right?) the previous owner did it all wrong. Stoddart took it apart and rebuilt everything, basically, it sounds like, from the frame up, including the frame. He rebuilt or replaced the steering system and the brakes, rebuilt the engine twice (with upgraded pistons and connecting rods), and added a turbo. It puts out 300hp now, and has the brakes, steering and suspension to handle that.
True to British wit, when asked about the contraption’s handling, he says “it can get a bit squiggly” and “it’s a bit of a handful.” He’s installed a clutchless shifter with a blip system. The engine has three ECUs for engine and turbo management, which, Stoddart says can “bang against each other” so he has set the rev limiter low to protect the motor. Predictably, he does not let our visiting host drive the thing.
The host’s face at about 6:22 is priceless. You can tell he’s not sure whether he will live through this particular test drive. The noises coming out of that heavy breather of a Hayabusa engine are other worldly. You can tell Stoddart thoroughly enjoys freaking people out with this machine he built, it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last.
If you pay close attention to the interview in the first part of the video you’ll see a bunch of shots of this thing sitting still, where you can really appreciate the fit and finish, and the attention to detail that went into this build. From the paint finish to the turn signals to the dash full of well-seated gauges to the diamond plate–it is a work of art.
And it’s for sale.