history of Austin

Item number: Austin (4285)


Category: Austin


Company history and description of the company Austin in Wales

In early 1946, Leonard Lord, the chairman of the Austin Motor company conceived the idea of producing an Austin child's pedal car to be produced in a new factory that would provide useful employment to disabled miners in South Wales. The idea was passed to a specially selected development team at Longbridge. They researched the project, actually built the prototypes and developed the original concept into two manufacturable pedal cars, a roadster based upon the full size Austin A40 and a single seater based upon the pre-war Austin twin cam racer. Austin equipped a new factory at Bargoed in South Wales and retrained a skilled workforce of disabled miners.
Production started in 1949, initially with the Pathfinder and it was planned to build 250 a week, but unfortunately this figure was never reached.
Over 31.000 J40's were produced by the time production of pedal cars was phased out in 1971.

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