• 40-year-old J40 business sold to Burlen Ltd
  • Burlen known for manufacture of Amal, SU and Zenith carburetters
  • Online store opens immediately at www.j40motorco.com 
  • Full product line available at launch
  • Future developments of product lines planned
  • J40 pedal car best known for Settrington Cup at Goodwood Revival

Salisbury: 20th April 2020

Burlen Ltd, known around the globe as manufacturers of the world’s finest carburetters from Amal, SU and Zenith, is delighted to announce the purchase of the Austin J40 pedal car spares business from industry expert and engineer Roy Halford.

From today Burlen can supply a range of J40 pedal car parts and spares, manufactured in-house using traditional and modern manufacturing methods to ensure exceptional quality and fitment, along with immediate availability from stock.

Now famous for the children’s Settrington Cup at Goodwood Revival, the Austin J40 pedal car was originally made in England by the Austin Motor Company Limited, based on the 1948 A40 Devon and Dorset.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.

Today the J40 pedal cars are as sought after as a full-sized classic car with restoration ready examples, continuing to be discovered in sheds around the world, now fetching thousands of pounds. Concours examples, as seen on the grid at Goodwood Revival, can fetch much more.

Prior to Burlen acquiring the business, Roy Halford had supplied J40 parts and spares for almost 40 years, a business he started in 1983 after purchasing a J40 for his children only to discover a lack of spare parts availability

Roy said “Since 1983 I have supplied spares parts for the Austin J40 pedal car, but the time is right to ensure a bright future for J40 spares whilst the full-size classics in my garage beckon. It has taken a long time to find the right company to take over the business, as it was vital to ensure continuous manufacturing, quality production, good customer service and an understanding of the importance of the J40. Burlen are best placed to develop the business for another generation”

Demand for parts and spares comes from around the globe with an appetite for personalisation, as well as restoration and general upkeep. Burlen can supply a full range of spares and parts and has plans to extend the range in the future.

Specialists in precision engineering to specific tolerances, Burlen engineers will use a combination of traditional methods and modern machinery to manufacture J40 parts at their Salisbury HQ. Available products range from metal bumpers and panels, to facias and interior trim and also includes mechanical parts such as drum brakes and wheel bearings.

A new development for the J40 business is the ability to browse and purchase parts and spares online at www.j40motorco.com. Previously online shopping was not available, the launch of a dedicated website lowers barriers to entry and allows for oversees customers to purchase with ease. Online customers can also view a selection of high-resolution images of each product and can take advantage of a dedicated customer services team.

Mark Burnett, Managing Director of Burlen Ltd, said “Burlen is delighted with the purchase of the J40 business as it fits our business ethos of supplying handmade products to the classic car and motorsport communities. We are passionate about traditional and modern manufacturing, quality production, ease of purchasing and the highest levels of customer care and look forward to welcoming customers old and new”