Friday, 20 July 2012

Austin J40

Just harking back to last weekend's Tram Sunday event in Fleetwood for a moment, there was one other item of interest on display that I haven't mentioned.

The Austin J40 was based on Austin's A40 model, scaled down for children and fitted with pedal driven power. These were not pedals as in a bicycle but square hoops that you pushed alternately, first one foot then the other to power the car.

At Fleetwood there was a roundabout operated by Howard Brothers (see the entry about their gallopers).

The J40 model produced for roundabouts had no pedals fitted but was fitted with two steering wheels for two children sitting in each car.

The Austin J40 was built in a factory in Bargoed in South Wales and provided jobs for miners who had either been injured or who had become too ill through lung problems to carry on working underground.

The J40 followed a previous pedal car called the Pathfinder.

Here are a number of Pathfinder pedal cars presented as an attraction in Great Yarmouth. I took the photo in 1981 whilst on holiday there.

These were expensive toys. The Austin J40 cost £33 including purchase tax which in the day would have been 3 or 4 weeks wages for most people.

I emailed my son-in-law, Eddie, a copy of this one. I'm not sure he was all that impressed though...!

Large versions of the photos (advert not included): roundabout, pathfinder, eddie


  1. The A40 was one of my favourite-shaped car of the period. I could never afford one, but my first car was another scaled down version (but bigger than the one above)the A30.

    Stratobuddy, Plymouth

  2. A couple of my mates had (what were then rather old) A35s which had a slightly larger engine. A30s were made from 1951-56 and A35s came in from 1956 to 1959 although the A35 van continued all the way to 1968.


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