The Bond Equipe GT
It was the first sportscar I ever rode in and it was one of the early pretty ones, built between 1963 and 1967.
It belonged to my father’s senior partner in the practice; I have no idea why he bought it. Presumably it was a fun car to drive and a fun car to own; the early single headlight Equipe isn’t a bad looking car even today, especially from the front and ¾ sides.
My memories of it are hazy; it was in a sort of gunmetal grey that was extremely fashionable in the 1960s (see a certain spy’s Aston Martin). It also had a non-standard chrome mascot of a show jumper bolted on the centreline between the handsome cupped headlights – reminiscent of so many sports cars of the period from MGs to Ferraris. It may have had wire wheels or I may be imagining that; we are talking some of my earliest memories here; perhaps pre-1968.
I can only remember one or two rides in it; presumably when my father’s Mini Traveller was being serviced. After the Mini the interior seemed luxurious; I believe there was a rev counter, a wooden dashboard, bucket seats and a rather lovely wooden steering wheel. It also sounded rather gorgeous – manufacturers were unrestrained by noise requirements back then and could tune exhausts to make the most agricultural engines sound really rather potent and sporty.
There’s one specific moment I can remember clear as day (so it must have been very vivid). I remember asking Dad if we could overtake the car in front, and he said “Oh yes, easily.” Then he dropped the Equipe down a gear or two and we stormed past something like a Morris Minor on wave of torque and somewhat strained revs.
There’s a happy postscript to the story. As far as I know the Bond is still with the original family and was due for restoration a few years ago.