New J40 Continuation model launched by Austin Pedal Cars…
They tell us:
(All words and images from Austin Pedal Cars).
- New J40 Continuation is the first Austin pedal car to launch since original production ended in 1971
- Austin J40 Continuation developed entirely in-house by Austin Pedal Cars
- Hand-formed aluminium body accurately replicates lines of the original J40
- All-new, perfectly balanced, pedal system engineered to automotive tolerances
- Continuation range launches with exclusive Legacy Edition, limited to just 49 cars, with a bespoke specification
- Austin Pedal Cars manufactures the new J40 Continuation, sells classic J40 models, offers official Austin factory restorations, sells a full range of in-house manufactured parts and accessories, and offers a wide range of merchandise
Salisbury: 24th October 2023
Austin Pedal Cars unveiled the final development version of its J40 Continuation at the 2023 Goodwood Revival, and now formally presents the completed production model to the world. Being the first new Austin pedal car since the original J40 ended production in 1971, the new J40 Continuation not only represents a milestone for Austin Pedal Cars, but it is also an important moment for the Austin brand.
The new Austin J40 Continuation presents an exquisite interpretation of the much-loved classic J40 pedal car, produced between 1949-1971, brought back to life by combining modern technology with traditional principles. The end result of over 3-years of in-house development, the car is radically different to the classic model, with very few carry-over parts, despite its familiar looks.
The aluminium body is formed by hand in a skilled process which takes many weeks, creating a classic look but with a significant reduction in overall weight. Newly manufactured headlights along with a new-look Austin badge sitting atop of a beautiful, newly designed chrome grille creates a striking first impression. A strong and light Moto-Lita wooden steering wheel provides greater support for the driver when accessing the cabin and presents a striking visual addition too. Smiths electronic gauges sit ahead of the driver, displaying real GPS-measured speed, a working clock and a fuel gauge which displays the charge left in the battery – rechargeable and used to power lights and newly re-engineered horn. A beautiful, handmade leather seat completes the look, along with a new handbrake lever and mechanism, and a key-operated ignition – used to turn on the battery-powered functions.
While the first impression is one of classic familiarity the drivetrain brings the Austin J40 into the modern age. The painstakingly crafted pedal-system has been through years of development testing, and many iterations, to create a perfectly balanced, easy to pedal, lightweight yet strong pedaling experience, designed for the optimum mix of performance, and required effort of the driver.
A work of art in naked form, the J40 Continuation drivetrain is packed with new features, from the bespoke rack and pinion steering to the strong disc brake, it is the most advanced pedalling system ever fitted to an Austin J40. Constructed almost entirely from CNC-machined billet aluminium it was first designed in Solidworks CAD with hundreds of virtual development miles beneath its pedals in search of perfection.
Christophe Pennequin, Engineering Manager at Austin Pedal Cars said, “Every element of this car has been over-engineered, taking a current automotive design and development approach to create the finest pedal car in the world. Using all the latest advanced engineering capability we have at our fingertips, such as 3D design, additive manufacture, and virtual analysis, we have been able to recreate the humble Austin J40 in a totally modern way whilst retaining all the charm of the original car. We feel the original car was engineered to perfection with all that was available in 1949 and now, to do this justice, we are engineering to perfection once more with all that is available to us today.
All young drivers will find the J40 Continuation easier to pedal, easier to control and easier to stop than a classic model. While its dimensions remain the same, its lighter weight body makes for easier maneuvering and transportation.”
The first run of J40 Continuation cars will be a limited-edition version called The Legacy Edition, a beautifully specified car with a number of exclusive elements including gleaming Ensign Red paintwork, an exact match to the original colour offered in period.
Just 49 Legacy Edition cars will be created, a number chosen to celebrate the opening of the original Austin Pedal Cars factory in 1949, a landmark moment in automotive and cultural history. A unique chassis plate displays the Legacy name, and chassis number, each following on from the original cars chassis numbers adding further exclusivity and ensuring the J40 Continuation will be a great investment piece for collectors and families alike.
Mark Burnett, Managing Director of Austin Pedal Cars said, “the Austin team were proud to launch the J40 Continuation at the 2023 Goodwood Revival, following the showing of our chassis concept at the 2022 event. The car attracted the attention of the crowds for all three days and we were delighted to take deposits to secure some of the very first J40 Continuations to be built. The J40 Continuation not only marks a new era for pedal cars, but it is also the start of a new chapter of the Austin story.”
Austin Pedal Cars opened a brand-new showroom at Bicester Heritage in April of this year, a space designed to showcase the finest classic J40s for sale, a full range of Austin parts and accessories and to be the home of the J40 Continuation. The J40 Continuation Legacy Edition was unveiled in final development form at the October Scramble and is now available to view on site by appointment.
Mark Burnett concluded, “The Austin Pedal Cars J40 Continuation is the result of years of work by the Austin team. The workers at Austin in the late 1940s did an amazing job with the original car and the fact they are still being used and enjoyed today is testament to that. We spent a huge amount of time and effort to ensure the new car took the J40 to the next level, while still remaining true to the original. The result is a feat of engineering and a beautifully made pedal car ready to be used by young drivers, or enjoyed as piece of automotive art. We look forward to its second unveil at our Bicester Heritage showroom very soon and welcome any interested parties to contact us to arrange a personal viewing.”
Austin J40 Continuation Legacy specification:
– Strong, smooth, and adjustable Rack and Pinion steering system
– Robust, adjustable pedal gear
– Free running bearings for effortless pedaling
– Aluminium artillery style wheels with chromed hub caps
– Sculpted aluminium bodywork finished with Ensign Red paintwork
– Ignition key operated electrics with working headlights, horn, and instrument panel
– Functioning Smiths GPS speedo, clock, and ‘fuel’ gauge
– Austin branded tan leather seating and handbrake gaiter
– Cable operated rear disc handbrake system
– Opening bonnet with rocker cover and spark plugs
– Opening boot with battery access and storage
– Austin Cord tyres
– Comfortable three-spoke, wood rim Moto-Lita steering wheel
– Legacy edition, soft embroidered indoor car cover
– Leather Austin ‘sandwich satchel’
– Factory certificate of authenticity
– Unique leather document folder with Austin pen
– Austin tool kit
Legacy Edition priced at £25,000
More details on the Austin J40 Continuation can be found here: https://www.austinpedalcars.com/j40-continuation
The Austin J40
Now famous for the children’s Settrington Cup at Goodwood Revival, the Austin J40 pedal car was originally made in England by the Austin Motor Company Limited, based on the 1948 A40 Devon and Dorset.
Each car was manufactured in South Wales at a specially constructed factory, opened in 1949 under the name of the Austin Junior Car Factory. The business operated on a not-for-profit basis, existing purely for the employment of disabled coal miners who sought a new vocation after injury.
Pedal cars were made from scrap metal taken from the Longbridge Austin factory, each built and painted in the same way as the actual cars would have been. Standard features included working headlights and horn, detachable wheels with Dunlop tyres, a realistic facia panel and leather or cloth seating. In addition, each car had an opening bonnet and boot, chrome bumpers, hub caps, grille, and boot handle.
A total of 32,098 Austin J40 pedal cars were made before production ceased in September 1971 with cars being shipped around the world. Many featured in films for road safety or were used as fairground rides, but most were sold to families to be enjoyed by children, despite the purchase price equating to 2 weeks of the average salary at the time.
For more information: www.austinpedalcars.com