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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: ClaireBorley/BNPS<br />
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Tom Karen. <br />
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The original drawing designs for the Raleigh Chopper have come to light 45 years after the first ever iconic bicycle was made.<br />
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The idea for the much-loved 1970s bike began as a quick doodle by inventor Tom Karen.<br />
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The first scribbled sketches were just basic outlines but they clearly show its most famous features - large U-shaped handlebars and rear wheel and long leather seats.<br />
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The rough sketches evolved into formal designs and Raleigh produced the first Mark I Choppers in 1969.<br />
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They soon became the must-have children's item across Britain and more than 1.5 million of them were made until production ceased in 1979.<br />
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The two pages of original drawings were retained by Mr Karen, now aged 87, and he took<br />
them with him when in 1999 he retired from Ogle Design, the consultancy firm used by Raleigh.<br />
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Since then his sketch books have been left gathering dust in the garage of the grandfather's home in Cambridge. He has now dug them out after rediscovering them.<br />
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Mr Karen said: "The sketch books were just for me to do some rough doodles for me to pass on my ideas to the designers to work on and show to the client.