Tuesday, 23 August 2011

the 1948 Bowden Spacelander bicycle, made of fiberglass when it was a big fad, but less than a thousand were made, they were too expensive

The Spacelander is a marvel of postwar biomorphic design. Its curving lines and amoeba-like voids represent the mutation of the prewar streamlined style into a new expression based on organic, rather than machine-made, forms. “Britain Can Make It” exhibition in 1946. Conceived in aluminum, the dynamic form featured a direct drive hub dynamo that stored the downhill energy and released it on uphill runs. The originally prototype for the exhibit was hand-made by the MG Auto Company. Due to the expense of manufacture, the bike did not go into production until 1960, when Bomard Industries of Grand Haven, Michigan contracted with Bowden to create the finished product. The final design was produced in fiberglass and built-in headlight and taillights were added. Ultimately, Bomard Industries went of business and only 522 examples were ever produced.” and

According to a Yahoo Answer contributor:
Strangely, the Spacelander was designed about 1946 in aluminum but not placed into production until 1960, so if he has the original 1951 fiberglas prototype it's value is inestimable. A mint 1960 version has seen pricing in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.

The Spacelander, as you probably already know, was reproduced in the 1990s, and I think they are still available today, these can be had for less than a couple of thousand dollars.

this may be the one I just saw on TV last night on "It's Worth What?", as Case just took this photo in Burbank, and the sign shows that the bike is from the Vintage Cyclery of Pasadena. (Thanks Case!)


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