January 2022

Iconic Bond Bug Wins Award More Than 50 Years Since Its Birth

Just before the end of last year, the Ogle team were delighted to discover that our iconic Bond Bug had won an award, over 50 years since its birth!

The Garden City Collection is an internationally significant collection of historical artefacts cared for by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation. One feature you can find at the museum is a Corgi Toys version of the Bond Bug, and it was this that has been named ‘Hertfordshire’s Museum Object of the Year’ for 2021!

The Bond Bug

It was in the late 1960s when car manufacturer Reliant commissioned Ogle’s Chief Designer, and latterly Managing Director, Tom Karen, to create a new vehicle capable of changing the public’s opinion of three-wheeled cars. We wrote about the Bond Bug during its 50th anniversary in 2020, which you can find here.

Capable of reaching a top speed of 76mph and decked out in a shade of orange nobody has seen since 1978, the Bond Bug may not have gone on to be the Tesla of its time but the car’s legacy lived on in a number of ways. From our own reverence here at Ogle to Corgi Toys creating a version, as well as the small matter of inspiring the design of Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder in a small indie franchise you may have heard of……..Star Wars.

Exhibition time

Josh Tidy, curator of exhibitions and operations at The Garden City Collection, which was also awarded for its response to the pandemic, said: “2021 was such a difficult year for most of us, and it was a real boost for us to be recognised by the Hertfordshire Association of Museums for our response.

“Not to mention how pleased we were to get recognition for that iconic Letchworth legacy – The Bond Bug.”

On the back of the award win, The Garden City Collection announced the development of a new exhibition celebrating the work of Tom Karen and Ogle Models and Prototypes, to be opened at The Museum at One Garden City in June. The exhibition is set to feature a number of our best-known projects, including the Raleigh Chopper, Bush TR230 Radio and Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder from the aforementioned Star Wars.

To learn more about The Garden Collection, visit: http://www.gardencitycollection.com/home

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