June 2020

The Bond Bug Turns 50

We love a birthday here at Ogle HQ. And this year marks an extra special anniversary for one of the most iconic projects in our history – the Bond Bug. Having recently marked May 4th, the annual day of all things Star Wars, what better time to celebrate the iconic three-wheel car that ended up inspiring the famous Landspeeder model that featured in the first movie.

Before Luke there was Bond

Ogle’s relationship with Reliant Motor Company started back in the early 1960’s. Ogle and Reliant initially started work on designing a new car named the Reliant Rogue, although those plans were put on ice, where they remained until the turn of the next decade. Having purchased Bond Cars in 1969, however, Reliant commissioned Ogle’s Chief Designer, and latterly Managing Director, Tom Karen, to dig out the old Rogue designs in a bid to revive the concept.

Just before a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away……

Using a combination of parts from other Reliant models, some ground-breaking designs and a dash of The Ogle Factor, the Bond Bug was born; a three-wheel, 700cc, four-cylinder unit, complete with ergonomic seats, twin mud flaps, a rubber front bumper, with the wheels hidden by mirrors angled towards the ground. It was the chassis of the Bond Bug that later played a part in the design of the model of Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder, featured in, you guessed it, Star Wars.

The Bond Bug’s iconic legacy

When it hit the market in 1970 hopes were high for the Bond Bug. While the view of three-wheeled cars at the time were that they were slow and unstylish, the Bond Bug could not only hit a top speed of 76mph but it also came in an eye-catching bright orange colour – which was very ‘of its time’, trust us. Corgi Toys even created a toy car based on the Bond Bug. While production stopped in 1974, the Bond Bug’s legend lives on, with appearances on television from everything from Hollyoaks to The Grand Tour.

So, we hope you join us in raising a glass in celebration of a true Ogle hero – The Bond Bug.

To learn more about Ogle’s history and some of our most iconic moments, view our history timeline, here: https://www.oglemodels.com/our-history/.

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