1962 - 1963 Trailer Tent Mark I
The Trailer Tent came into being in 1963 after Bond's chief designer, Alan Pounder and his wife, Sheila, had gone on their first camping holiday with the local Bond Owners' Club to Penrith in Cumbria. Having no camping equipment of their own, they had borrowed a ridge tent, two airbeds and a camp bed. The holiday was memorable for the very long, damp grass in the camping field, the collapse of the camp bed and the nocturnal noises made by the wildlife in the nearby reeds!
Deciding there had to be better ways to spend a night under canvas, Alan Pounder approached Colonel Gray (Sharp's Commercials M.D.) with the idea of producing a trailer tent. Approval was given and design and assembly of the first prototype took place in Alan's workshop back at India Mill. Using many of the Minicar components to hand (Flexitor suspension units, hubs, 8" wheels, lights, etc.), the resulting design was a 7' 6" long, 5' 0" wide, two-wheeled aluminium trailer with a wooden floor and an upper section, hinged at the rear. After unfolding the upper section and extending the supporting legs, the tubular frame and canvas was erected to provide a large 15' 0" long frame-type tent with a headroom of 6' 8" in the centre. The complete operation was claimed to be possible in only 90 seconds! By removing the frame, canvas and upper section, the lower half could also be used as a general purpose trailer.
The prototype was completed in November 1962 and the Bond Trailer Tent was first shown to the public at the Motorcycle Show at Earls Court in London on 10th November 1962. The price was £98.00. Although the sales brochure talks of trailers being '. . . . available in a choice of hard-wearing finishes in attractive colours', in reality they were either white or silver!
Whilst the Trailer Tent was quite successful, its overall length at 15' 0" was also too long and soon there were stories of tents being blown over in high winds because of the large side area of canvas. Clearly a new design of Trailer Tent was called for and production finished in October 1963.
Trailer Tent Number Range: 62/11/101 to 63/10/245
Total Trailer Tent Production = 145