Bug - March 1970 to May 1974
A distinctive, wedge-shaped two-seater with a glass fibre body and a canopy hinged forwards of the windscreen. This was mounted onto a pressed steel, box section chassis having tubular braced cross members. The forward-mounted 700cc Reliant engine drove the rear wheels through a 4 speed / reverse gearbox. There was a front leading arm and rear trailing link suspension with coil springs/damper units, 7" hydraulic brakes, 10" steel wheels and 12 volt electrics for lighting and starting.
The Bug 700 was planned to be the base model and it was intended that it should be sold without any sort of refinements or luxuries. The hinged canopy had to be held open with a simple prop arrangement and sidescreens were not part of the specification (but supposedly could have been ordered as an "extra"). Only one example is known to have been built in May 1970.
The Bug 700E was a deluxe version of the 700 with sidescreens, a heater, a telescopic canopy damper, canopy lock, polished hub caps, chrome glazing rubber trim, drivers sun visor and even an interior light! - but the spare wheel still had to be ordered as an "extra".
The Bug 700ES had the same specification as the 700E but with a higher compression engine, Decathlon low profile tyres, spare wheel, rubber front bumper, wing mirrors, mud flaps and several other "extras" such as headrests, side and centre seat supports, twin horns, "Formula 1" steering wheel, etc. Seat belts could be specified for all models for an extra cost whilst Exacton aluminium cast wheels were available for all versions as a factory-fitted cost option.
The Bug 750ES was introduced. Similar to the 700ES but with the 7.5:1 compression ratio, 32 b.h.p., larger capacity 748cc Reliant engine.
Bug pre-production (known) chassis numbers: 800001 & 800002
Bug 700, 700E and 700ES Chassis Number Range: BB60001 to BB60699
Bug 700E and 700ES Chassis Number Range: BB61000 to BB62427
Bug 750ES Chassis Number Range: BB62428 to BB62569
Pre-production / development Bugs = 2
Bug 700 Production = 1
Bug 700E and 700ES Production = 2,126
Bug four-wheeler prototype = 1
Bug 750ES Production = 142
Total Bug Production = 2,272