Search for Spaceman: Memphis legendary Voice-Driven Car Inventor

MEMPHIS, TN – Paving the way for the community, building a greater Mid-South, stone by stone.

That was the purpose of the annual Stone Awards, which were held  at the Buckman Performing Arts Center.

The night is meant to encourage, promote, and honor leaders and organizations who pave the way for the community.

The evening celebrated Pastor Melvin “Cooking” Jones,” a former radio and record executive.

Also among the honorees were WMC Action News 5 and beloved entertainer in the Bluff City, Brian Winford, also known as “Spaceman.”

Winford said he is elated to be honored.

“I can’t read or write like you guys, but I don’t have to,” Winford said. “I open my mouth that same spirit that guides me talks through me to you or whoever is listening.”

Spaceman created a self-driving, voice-activated car 1988, which inspired a song.

Earlier this year, WMC documented a search to find him after people wondered where he had gone after all these years.

 

Palestine, Arkansas (WMC) – The search for a Memphis legend known as “Spaceman” has come to an end.

WMC Action News 5 met up with the man and found out that he’s still up to his old tricks after all these years.

He was born Bryan Winford. However, decades ago he picked up the name “Spaceman” because of his ability to have constant ideas.

“I didn’t like it at first, but the spirit that guides me said leave it like that because you’re in the world, but you’re not of the world,” Spaceman said.

Winford said he now prefers the name Spaceman and there is something otherworldly about Spaceman. He’s a deeply religious man who said he cannot read or write.

“I couldn’t get a job because I couldn’t fill out an application to get a job,” he said.

Spaceman, who now lives in Palestine, Arkansas, once lived in Memphis. He made his living going from car lot to car lot making small repairs on vehicles. But his claim to fame is his voice activated, self driving, talking cars.

Those cars are damaged now after a storm blew through and they need repairs.

One of them has a current license plate on it.

He stopped working on it when his daughter died a couple of years ago.

“This is something I designed,” he said.

His house is powered by batteries he built. His ideas never seem to stop. He’s a kind of genius.

“The real genius is in my father in heaven. He created all of this stuff,” Spaceman said.

He not only sees ideas everywhere, but also God.

“These dogs is the ones that alerts me. So, dog is God spelled backwards,” he said.

Spaceman said he plans to get the cars running again.

 

A song recorded decades ago has a Hollywood actor searching the Mid-South for a man called Spaceman.

In 1988, Kym Clark had just started at WMC Action News 5. One of her first interviews was with Brian Winford, aka Spaceman.

Spaceman was a Memphian who was ahead of his time. He’d created a self-driving, voice-activated car. This was 1988 in Memphis; not 2020 in Silicon Valley.

Spaceman’s story inspired musician Johnnie Frierson. He wrote a song called Miracles where he lauds Spaceman.

“I know a man, he had a plan
To manufacture custom-built cars.
He had no help, he was by himself.
He had no money, no money to get started.
But he made a miracle, a miracle.
He had faith, you might know him. He lives in Memphis.
He manufactured automobiles, miracles, miracles.
They call him Spaceman. They call him Spaceman.
Miracles, miracles. Things that seem impossible.”