ABOUT OWEN DEVELOPMENTS
Lee Owen, Managing Director of Owen Developments
Founded in 1982 by Brian Owen, Owen Developments have been specialists in design and manufacture of race and rally car products, culminating in the field of forced induction applications.
Brian began his working life at the MG car Company in Abingdon with a 5 year engineering apprenticeship, after which he was selected to join the 'Special turning department', specifically to build a range of BMC race and rally cars.
He eventually became the technical engineer responsible for the development and testing of new tuning products to be sold to the newly introduced world wide network.
As a result of the complete structure changes from the owners of BMC, Leyland and the Austin- Rover, the 'Competitions department' based at Abingdon was disbanded and absorbed into 'Special Tuning'. Brian retained his position as development engineer with a wider scope of responsibility which subsequently resulted in an under cover project to turbocharge an engine for possible use as a replacement for the old 1800cc B series engine.
Two low compression 'O' series production engines were fitted with Garrett T3 turbo's and developed almost double the output of the original engine.
Unfortunately 3 months later the MG factory was closed.
This became a turning point in Brian's career, it opened his eyes on the tuning and power gains over naturally aspirated engine modifications by using this means of forced induction.
The future of Austin-Rover was coming to an end so Brian as a result was asked to join the company who provided the Garrett turbo's which eventually gave him the opportunity to begin his own company specialising in turbocharging applications, modifications and repairs and so Owen Developments was born.
It was not long before more and more car manufactures were incorporating the fitment of turbo's allowing Owen Developments to secure multiple contracts with OEM companies such as Mitsubishi UK, Toyota UK, Daihatsu UK.
Owens quickly became known as a prestigious company with a wealth of knowledge and experience. As a result, Garrett the largest turbocharger company at this time appointed Owen Developments as a main distributor for their products.
In 1990 Lee joined the company straight from school and was put through a traditional 5 year apprenticeship where he spent time at collage 1-2 days a week on a vehicle mechanics course for 3 years and then a 2 year engineering course. Whilst at work he carried out training in our Machine shop / Fabrication department and Turbocharger department before choosing to settle in the Turbocharger department knowing it was the career path for him.
Lee worked on everything from turbocharger remanufacture for local car garages, OEM remanufacture schemes for the likes of Mitsubishi UK, Mitsubishi Europe, Toyota GB, International motors ( Isuzu, Subaru) Daihatsu via Unipart and AA warranties, through to motorsport turbo builds & rebuilds for the likes of Prodrive, M-sport, Mountune and numerous independent motorsport companies running ex WRC cars.
"My passion for motorsport and racing found me always looking for a way to improve the performance or reliability of the race turbos and also build bespoke turbos for motorsport use so I started developing & manufacturing components to be used in these turbochargers from the mid 90’s".
In the late 90's Lee headed the turbocharger department at Owen developments. He continued to work with Prodrive carrying out servicing and some modification of the turbos until the end of Prodrive running the Impreza in the WRC. Owen Developments worked with M-sport on the rebuilds of the Escort Cosworth WRC turbo, also for many years through the mid 2000’s -2013 'Owens' were one of the only aftermarket companies worldwide to work with Garrett Motorsport to carry out Turbocharger servicing/ Remanufacturing of their motorsport specific turbos known as the TR30R.
2010 marked a new chapter for the company, selected by TOCCA as the Turbocharger supplier to the prestigious British Touring car championship as they were making the switch to turbocharged engines from Previous N/A engines.
Similar contracts were also then forged with the Mini Challenge race series, Indy Lights in the USA working with AER, and the China Touring Car Championship.
In 2014 Brian Owen retired, remaining a consultant for the company.
In 2015 Lee Owen then stepped up to the position of MD of the company.
With the wealth of knowledge acquired through 25 years experience working in all aspects of the business, Lee continued to evolve the Owen Developments name and in 2016 drove the development of the GBT (Great Britain Turbochargers), Owen Developments very own brand turbocharger.
Using the knowledge gained from 34 years experience in the field, the turbo was designed to provide impressive performance ranging from 250hp-850hp in a fully rebuildable shell.
Our GBT performance line has become very successful across multiple motorsport disciplines.
As an ever growing business, Owen Developments continue to strive towards unparalleled service and innovation in the field of forced induction.
In 2021 we made the decision to take on a new venture to run along side our turbo workshop, and build a facility designed to service and modify high performance and fast road vehicles. The Owen Developments garage is a purpose built workshop that will run in unison with our turbo workshop, offering services ranging from tyre fitting to bespoke hybrid conversions.
Using the knowledge gained over nearly 4 decades within the motorsport sector, our aim is to provide you, the customer with a service of excellence and a vast selection of components that we trust and recommend.