British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, CV35 0BJ
Home of JOY 1, the prototype J40
British Transport Museum in Wythall, B47 6JX
With Races & Prizes to be won on the day
The Austin J40 Pedal Car Club (originally named the Austin J40 Car Club) was formed in January 1983, the main aims and objectives being: "To promote interest in and encourage the preservation of the pedal cars produced at the Bargoed Factory between 1949 and 1971"
The Club encourages its younger members to enjoy their pedal cars, attend local events and take part in the racing heats and driving tests at the Annual National Event each Autumn, which is always well attended with great enthusiasm!
Advice on restoration, available spares and in most cases, fascinating information on the history of your car is provided.
For information on how to join, visit our Membership Page
Austin pedal cars were made in the specially constructed Austin Junior Car Factory at Bargoed in South Wales, which opened on 5 July 1949. It was paid for by Government funds and was run on a not-for-profit basis and purely for the employment of disabled coal miners suffering from the lung disease, pneumoconiosis. They were re-trained and benefited from in-house medical care.
The cars, the Pathfinder Special and J40, were made from scrap off-cuts of metal from the Longbridge Austin Motor Car Factory and were built and painted the same way and with the same expertise as the motor cars themselves. The original prototype; Joy 1, was 'test-driven' by our Club President, Marcia Blake, daughter of one of the designers, Alfred Ash (See "Men and Motors" coverage of the rally in 2002, to hear from Alfred Ash himself). The J40 was primarily intended for the American market but it also established its own export markets in Canada and Denmark. Austin Pedal Cars eventually were to be found in homes around the world.
A total of 32,098 Austin J40s were made until production ceased in September 1971.
The factory was later used to make parts for the 'A' Series motors. The Bargoed Plant closed on 30 April 1999. 'A' series rocker covers were still being produced alongside other small pressings for Rover Group products.
For further information, visit: John Baker's Austinmemories website
Austin's Leonard Lord invites three Austin workers, one of whom is Alfred Ash, to design and build a prototype pedal car. "Joy 1" is designed, based on the Austin 8 road car of the 1940's. It doesn't go into production, but becomes the fore-runner to the much loved, J40
The Austin Junior Car Factory is opened at Bargoed in South Wales to produce the Austin Joy Pedal Cars, creating employment for disabled coal miners suffering from the lung disease, pneumoconiosis. Subsidised by the Welsh Government, Bargoed was set up as a "Factory in miniature" to train and develop future managers for the Austin Motor Company whilst looking after the health and welfare of the production workers.
A total of 32,098 Austin J40's are made, until production eventually ends in September 1971
(initially named 'Austin J40 Car Club') "To promote interest in and encourage the preservation of the pedal cars produced at the Bargoed Factory between 1949 and 1971"
The factory stopped making the J40 in 1971 but continued to produce small metal pressings for Longbridge under Austin Rover and then for Rover Group, until eventually closing on the 30 April 1999