The Future Makers: Aspirational Designs

The Future Makers: Aspirational Designs

The Spacelander


Benjamin G. Bowden was born in England in 1906 and became a noted automotive engineer.  During World War II he helped design military vehicles.  To bolster morale after the war, the British Council of Industrial Design asked several prominent designers to submit designs to the "Britain Can Make It" exhibition. 

Ben Bowden submitted a design for a bike with a frame made of two aluminum halves bonded together, shaft drive and a hub dynamo the stored downhill energy and released it on uphill runs.  The body crew at MG hand formed a rideable prototype.  The cost to produce the bike would have been too great.  Bowden tried to move the operation to South Africa, but political unrest made the move impossible.  Unfortunately the prototype was confiscated.   Bowden cam to America and patented his bike in 1951. 

Bowden helped in the design of the1955 Thunderbird, 1965 convertible Mustang, oil in quart cans, one-piece shower stall and the modular construction of the Contemporary Hotel at Disney World.  Bomard Industries Incorporated in Grand Haven Michigan put the Bowden "Spacelander" into production.  Built in head light and tail lights were added and the bike was produced in fiberglass. 

The production began in 1960 and the bike was available in Stop Sign Red, Outer Space Blue, Meadow Green, Charcoal Black and Cliffs of Dover White.  Bomard Industries was forced out of business by a women who claimed that she had been injured by one of their vibrating chairs.  This brought the end to the Spacelander bike after522 were shipped.  Bowden designed the Bowden 300 which was more in line with the wants of the 1960's.  This partnership also failed and ended the 300.  Bowden then gave up on the bike business.  Starting in 1985 a series of reproduction bikes were produced.

credits:Mombat Bike Museum?, 

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