Whyley David

The Austin Pedal Car Story

The Fascinating History of Austin’s J40 and Pathfinder from 1946 to Present Day



Delivery charges are excluded.

Product description

The Austin J40 pedal car is a miniature motoring marvel.

The level of interest over the years in these diminutive Austins is way beyond anything that the three-man design and development team could ever have imagined when they hand-built the prototype of Austin Chairman Leonard Lord’s ‘little idea’ in 1946.

Over 70 years after the first production example rolled off the South Wales factory line – in 1949 – interest in the Austin J40 remains strong today, boosted by the annual Settrington Cup race for J40s at the Goodwood Revival.

The intriguing story of secrecy, innovation and social responsibility – perhaps unique in the history of the motor industry – is told in fascinating detail in this lavishly produced book, which provides a social history intertwined with the story of Austin’s diminutive Pathfinder and J40 pedal cars.

  • Lavish production, large-format, and extensively illustrated with over 1,000 images, including a wealth of previously unpublished photographs detailing: the Bargoed factory, the evolution, history, production of the pedal cars; the social impact of the factory, set up to rehabilitate former miners; period advertising and use of the cars for road-safety education and for fairground rides; plus specially commissioned studio photography of cars today.
  • Fascinating and authoritative text from respected Austin pedal-car expert and historian Dr. David Whyley.
  • Detailed tables covering production data, specifications, and paint colours for Pathfinder and J40 pedal cars.
  • Insightful interviews with numerous people involved in the design and production of the pedal cars, and with owners across the years.
  • The discovery of the long-forgotten special J40 given to King Charles III as a young prince, which now resides in the Royal Collection.
  • Comprehensive chapters covering: the pedal cars’ roots and evolution; the Bargoed, South Wales factory; the workforce; Austin J40 racing, in period and today; the use of the pedal cars in road-safety campaigns around the world; details of the prototype cars, plus production Pathfinders and J40s; stories from owners.

Product details







1000 COL and B/W
English cars
News, Newsletter #215.

Copyright © 2023 Libreria dell’Automobile. Tutti i diritti riservati. Tutti i prezzi sono tasse incluse, escluse le spese di spedizione.