The Austin J40
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TOPIC: The Austin J40

The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #1

Platinum Boarder
I thought I would start this topic as this, with the Pathfinder, was probably the best pedal car available which a child could have wanted with opening bonnet & boot,dummy engine, working head lights & horn , pump up Dunlop Cord  tyres... the list goes on.


Brief history of the J40, in 1943 Parliament passed an act which recognised that miners were being struck down with the lung disease pneumoconioie's.


A plan was made that to help these guy's work again , was that they were to build a toy pedal car based on a current model & made from the scrap metal left over from the production line. In 1946 JOY1 was produced & unveiled at the Austin factory.


In 1949 The Austin Junior Car Factory was opened in Bargoed South wales. In 1950 the J40 was finally on sale at a cost of £20. The car as we know it was based on the Austin Devon. The production ran from 1950 to 1971 with 32,098 models being produced.


If you would like to know more then there is a "bible" book on the models by David Whyley.


Each car had its own chassis number in the boot from which the year it was made can be found.


The cars were very popular with fairground rides featuring them & I remember the Met Police coming to our school with "Safety Sam" teaching us about road safety using one.


Now to my own example, I bought this car back in 1993 when the boy who owned it wanted to buy a computer. The dad was more sorry to see it go as he had done all the work on it (as it remains today).To the fussy J40 collector this would need some work doing to it but it is my J40 & I did not have to sell the house to pay for it & it will remain in my collection to day dot.


These cars were not made in BR Green but it suits , unfortunately the boot had rotted where the chassis no. was so I don't know the age , however it is an early model with the folded lip on the cockpit area which was later removed for safety reason as was the "flying A" from the bonnet. I have added a few extras to mine without drilling any holes in the body to fit them!


This was a pedal car I wanted as a kid & to be truthful if I did it would have probably not been with me now as all my pedal cars were left out in the garden & the metal ones rotted away, at least I had rides on them at the fairground & wished that I would own one.



























































 



Sorry I can not rotate these if anyone can please do so.


































My original brochure































The "Bible"










Last Edit: 4 years, 4 months ago by Andy66.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #2

Platinum Boarder
I think it was the miners that had the health issues, otherwise we minors all would be ill in the hope of getting one!


 


Any way I really wanted one of these too when I was a bit (lot's) younger. They were really a dream for most of us then.


 


Fabulous pedal car. To my mind one of the beast made, and what a fine example.


 


I also had to make do with a lesser one with the lights and the sharp tinplate knives that served as indicators on the wire windscreen frame.


These were responsible for the scar I still have on my arm from a little accident, when my friend and I were changing the wheels we omitted to put the split pin back in so whilst going down the hill it came of put me and the car in the ditch and a trip to hospital to stitch up the gash in my arm.


Lesson is that I always check the torque on the wheel nuts when I change wheels!


 


Thanks for posting it.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #3

Platinum Boarder
Many thanks for the correction StuartR , I have since corrected this I always spell miners wrong!


Interesting story with your pedal car , if you have any pictures please put them on here.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #4

Moderator
What a stunning pedal car. Thanks for showing the detailled photos

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #5

Platinum Boarder
This is a treat and I have not seen such a nice pedal car since I was a child. I had a pedal car but all I can remember was I was about 6 so about 1955 and it was red and had round fenders and white steering wheel and white wheels with rubber tires on them. I am sure my Niece, who has all the old family pictures now, would have a picture somewhere in all of Dad's slides from back then. Maybe in black and white photo to as I don't think slides came into use until the early 1960's. I will have to ask her to see if she can find it.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #6

Platinum Boarder
Thanks for your comments, Nobleco your pictures would be great to see,


If any one likes the Norman Wisdom films , "One Good Turn" features an Austin J40 & it is my personal favourite of his brilliant films.


Sierra1 has a couple of pristine examples & I am sure he will be involved in this topic when he has time.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #7

Platinum Boarder
When I was a child the local Ambulance Service would raffle a J40 every year at Christmas which instilled in me a life time yearning. I finally bought one in 1986.


The one I have came from a 10 car carousel so has no pedals or hand brake. The serial number is 12802. It's not pristine and will be the subject of a future rebuild.



Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #8

Platinum Boarder
That's lovely, the good side to ex-fairground ones is that they never got dented. There are re-pro pedals for sale on Ebay & Roy Halford is the man for spares.


I will have to work out how to find the year as this looks also to be an early model.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #9

Platinum Boarder
Can only find a Photo of me refuelling my tractor when living down the Fens (Lincolnshire). The farm has a 3 Wheeled John Deere then and mine was the same!!


 


Believe it to be the Triang Midget tractor, I'm sure the Pedal car Aficionados here can help me out with this?






Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #10

Platinum Boarder
Brilliant picture & yes this is a Triang Midget tractor , they made the bigger "major" one,the engine was nicely printed on to the metal , The Fen's  you had the great outdoors in your childhood.


This is an illustration drawn by Vaughan (Sierra1) which was used in David Whyley's book, as no one can find a poster from the film One Good Turn. Vaughan also has a J40 with a very interesting history relating to the film, I will let him tell you the history.



Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #11

Moderator
StuartR wrote:
Can only find a Photo of me refuelling my tractor when living down the Fens (Lincolnshire). The farm has a 3 Wheeled John Deere then and mine was the same!!


 


Believe it to be the Triang Midget tractor, I'm sure the Pedal car Aficionados here can help me out with this?


Superb photo Stuart



StuartR wrote:
Nice horn and the steering wheel. It did run on tapwater?



Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #12

Platinum Boarder
Yes, but don't tell any one the oil industry would be fizzing!!

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #13

Platinum Boarder
I just read this thread.  That Austin J40 is absolutely wonderful. So real.

Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #14

Platinum Boarder
This Austin J40 pedal car deserves some more attention.


Blimey I saw one on Ebay for 3 grand.


These pictures add to the beauty of the beast.








Here we have wee young Andy in short trousers thinking about having such a car:



Re: The Austin J40 4 years, 4 months ago #15

Platinum Boarder
Some very nice pictures, the ones standing in storage are from a fairground ride if you look carefully they have no pedal mechanism & plate welded to make a floor so as the children's feet did not get caught in the ride ouch!


The other thing which you can see is that the steering wheel was set to the right so as a smaller brother or sister could fit in with the driver, I am not sure but I think they were also set to the left for export...This is my thinking I may be wrong.


I think I told the story on here on the Triang pedal car topic that when I was small we went for a family day out & my dad was complaining about a wobble on his steering & how he had just had new tyres fitted, so we stopped at a garage to get the wheels balance & in the garage office was a BR green J40 on display with it's bonnet up & a small oil jug , hence the one in my picture, I looked & dreamed & my dad spoke to the guy in the garage regards the car & he said sorry it is not for sale & he been asked that question thousands of times.


I did have two others of which I was going to make a good one out of the two but a guy approached me when I had this one on show & wanted to buy it I therefore & I regret it now sold him the pair for restoration. Although not many people will believe me I bought one of these for £15 it had been found in brambles during some building work & a friend sold it to me for what he aid for it , it had rotted on the front end but was complete this was only about 14 years ago.
Last Edit: 4 years, 4 months ago by Andy66.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RoutemasterNL
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