Alex Moulton

(b. 1920)

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Alec Issigonis (1906—1988) motor engineer and designer

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(1920– )

Most widely known for his distinctive, small‐wheeled Moulton bicycle of 1962, Moulton was an inventive British designer and engineer. Having studied engineering at the University of Cambridge on either side of a period in the research department of British Aerospace during the Second World War, he went to work in the family rubber business. He worked with Alec Issigonis on the rubber suspension for the Austin Mini (1959), an idea that was carried through for the suspension of his Moulton Standard cycle of 1960. For a while this distinctive new form of bicycle caught the public imagination, with figures such as the architectural and design critic Reyner Banham seen riding around London on his Moulton and celebrating its revolutionary features. He even wrote a eulogistic essay, ‘A Grid on Two Farthings’, for the New Statesman magazine in October 1960 where he claimed that ‘bicycle thinking can never be the same again, and there can be no more nonsense about permanent and definitive forms’. The Raleigh bicycle manufacturing firm purchased the Moulton bicycle patent and produced the Mark 3. However, when the company was looking to capture a larger share of the children's bicycle market, its consultant designers Ogle Associates came up with the idea of the Chopper. Production energies were expended on the latter at the expense of the Moulton. Moulton later produced the steel AM GT (1983) and New Series in 1998.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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