Sold as The Bond Minicar (the Mark A epithet being added only after the Mark B was introduced), the car was advertised as the world's most economical car. Austere and simple in design without luxuries. Production began in January 1949, although 90% of initial production was said to be allocated to the overseas market.
As with the prototype, a large proportion of the Minicar is made from aluminium alloys. The main body is a very simple construction of 18 swg sheet with a 14 swg main bulkhead. The integrity of the main stressed skin structure is enhanced by the absence of doors, the bodysides being deemed low enough to stepped over without major inconvenience unless you were wearing a skirt. Most of the bodywork panels are flat or very simple curves and the compound curves of the bonnet and rear mudguard arches being pressed out as separate panels. The windscreen is made from Perspex. The car was said to weigh only 308 pounds (140 kg) “all-in” and it's light weight was regularly demonstrated by one person lifting the entire rear end of the car off the ground unaided.
The car has a single bench seat with a small open compartment behind suitable for luggage. There is also a removable fold-down hood with detachable sidescreens. Headlights are separate units mounted on stalks at the side of the car, whilst at the rear there is a tiny, single centrally mounted lamp.
The air-cooled Villiers 10D 122 cc (7 cu in) engine has a unit three-speed manual gearbox without reverse. The engine has a claimed output is 5 bhp (4 kW; 5 PS) at 4,400 rpm which the manufacturers claimed gave a power-to-weight ratio of 49 bhp (37 kW; 50 PS) per ton unladen. The engine unit sits in an alloy cradle ahead of the front wheel, together forming part of its support. Both front wheel and engine are sprung as part of the trailing link front suspension system, which is fitted with a single coil spring and an Hartford friction shock absorber. The rear wheels are rigidly mounted to the body on stub axles with all rear suspension provided by low pressure "balloon" type tyres. The engine is started by a pull handle under the dash, connected by cable to a modified kick-start lever. The steering system comprises a system of pulleys and a cable usually referred to as a "bobbin and cable" system, connecting a conventional steering wheel to the front steering unit. The bobbin and cable steering system was replaced by a rack and pinion in October 1950. Brakes are only provided on the rear wheels, these are conventional drum brakes operated by a system of cables and rods. Early on, Sharps adopted a policy of continual gradual upgrading of the Minicars, either to simplify or reduce maintenance, to redress noted failings or to improve some aspect of performance. Such changes were usually made available as kits to enable existing owners to retrospectively upgrade their own cars.
In December 1949, a De-luxe version was added to the range. This has a Villiers 6E 197 cc (12 cu in) engine along with a number of modest refinements including a spare wheel and a single wing mirror. The manually operated windscreen wiper fitted on the standard car was upgraded to an electric one. This was found to damage the original perspex windscreen and subsequently in October 1950 the perspex windscreen on the De-luxe models was replaced by a Triplex glass windscreen.
A De-luxe version tested by The Motor magazine in 1949 and carrying only the driver had a top speed of 43.3 mph (69.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-30 mph (48 km/h) in 13.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 72 mpg-imp (3.9 L/100 km; 60 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £262 including taxes.
Towards the end of 1950 an optional mechanical device was introduced which comprised a long lever with a ratchet on the end which fitted onto the drivers side rear wheel hub. This device could be operated from the driving seat and allowed the car to be cranked backwards by hand by the driver to assist with maneuvering.
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