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930 Regent St. Madison's largest selection of used bicycles

930 Regent St. Madison's largest selection of used bicycles

1960 Ben Bowden Spacelander Fiberglass Bicycle

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Amazing piece of cycling history!

1960 Ben Bowden Spacelander Fiberglass Bicycle

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You could be the proud owner of this vintage one-of-a-kind Bowden Spacelander bicycle. Originally designed by the famed Ben Bowden; the MG manufactured Spacelander made it's debut at the "Britain Can Make It" trade exhibition of 1946. After years of searching for a manufacturer the Spacelander finally reached a very limited production run in 1960, executed by Bomard Industries of Kansas City Missouri of 522 bikes (this number is unconfirmed but frequently sourced as the total production run). It is rumored that Bomard was forced out of business in this year by a lady who claimed she was injured on one of their vibrating chairs (a couple of sources site this as the cause, but there is no documentation; either way it's a fun story). The bicycles frame was entirely manufactured of fiberglass, with a silky smooth finish showing off the fibers used in construction. A marvel of mid-century post war aerospace design, this bicycle is a must-have for any collector.

From the New York Times Obituary of Benjamin Bowden on March 23, 1998: "The original model included an electric motor that gathered energy on downhill and flat terrain and helped the rider climb hills. A number of bicycle manufacturers rejected the Spacelander as too exotic for mass marketing.

The automobile designs he worked on included the Healey sports car, a forerunner of the Austin-Healey, and an armored car used by Winston Churchill and King George VI in World War II.

In 1952, he moved to Windsor, Ontario, where he had a hand in making the Ford Thunderbird perform smoothly, his daughter said. ''His fingerprints are on a ton of things,'' she said. His design work also extended to objects like bathroom fixtures and gasoline station pumps.

His last job was coordinating designs for military tanks at General Dynamics, his daughter said. He was 79 when he retired and moved to Florida in 1986."

Regarding aesthetic and mechanical Condition:

This Spacelander is in overall decent condition. The fiberglass frame remains mostly intact, the notable exceptions are at the non-drive side axle drop out where a portion of the fiberglass has cracked of where a metal bracket formerly was. The drive side axle drop out is also missing the metal bracket however there is no apparent damage to the frame of the bike. There is some cracking and scratching present at the mounting point of the rear tail lamps. The front head lamps and fender are in good shape although in regards to all lights we are uncertain if they are still functional. The "Outer Space Blue" color isn't too heavily faded (very common in the "Stop Sign Red") but does have some light brown discoloration to it. The handlebars are not original although we have seen vintage photos of Bowdens with this style of handlebars and grips (both grips are cracked and will need replacement if you intend to ride this bike). We're uncertain if the Troxel saddle is original or not. The whitewall tires, rear rack and pedals are original. Serial plate is present beneath the saddle along the uppermost chromed ridge of the frame and reads "Bomard Industries, Inc...Kansas City, Missouri...U.S. Patent No., 2,537,325 Canadian Patent No. 1951...Serial No. B 010218". Finally, one of the mounting bolts around the crankset is missing.

This bicycle has not been tuned by our shops mechanics but appears to be operational as is.

This bike is being sold as is, please see photographs for details.

NOTE: We would highly advise local pick up of this bicycle due to the age and fragile nature as well the price. We will ship freight in a large wooden crate and pack to the best of our ability but make no guarantees on it's condition upon arrival if shipped.

Serial #B010218
Reference #40316

Additional Information

Year 1960
Gender Mens
Color Blue
Speeds Single
  • Made in USA
  • Rare & Collectable
  • All Original
Frameset Fiberglass
Drivetrain Single Speed Coaster Brake
Decade 1960s
Country of Origin USA
Used or New Used
Can be seen at 640 W Washington
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