Week 21 2024

Austin J40 Roadster

Austin pedal cars were made in England by Austin Motor Company Limited. The J40 Roadster was based on the 1948 A40 Devon and Dorset.

The pedal car factory opened on July 5, 1949 and was called the Austin Junior Car Factory. It was actually paid for by Government funds and it was run on a not-for-profit basis and purely for the employment of the disabled welsh coal miners.

Production started in 1950 of the J40. The cars were made from scrap off-cuttings of metal from the Longbridge Austin motor car factory and were built and painted the same way as the motor cars themselves.

The J40 was a very well equipped toy of excellent quality and was probably the best pedal car on the market at the time. It featured real working headlights and horn, detachable wheels with Dunlop pneumatic tires, real like facia panel and leather cloth seating. It had an opening bonnet and boot and also a lot of good quality chrome, namely both bumpers, hub caps, grille and boot handle.

 The J40 sold for £27 plus £6 added purchase tax.  At the time the average working man would have to save 2 or 3 weeks full wages to buy a J40.

The Austin pedal cars were used for many purposes. They were used to teach road safety to school children and appeared in many road safety films. This Pedal car was fitted to a roundabout at the once popular seaside resort of Severn Beach.

There was a total production of 32,098 Austin J40 pedal cars. Production stopped in September 1971.