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 the 1955 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 after 522 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.