Set to produce what would become the much-loved J40, the manufacturing line dubbed the Austin Junior Car Factory opened its doors on July 5, 1949. Although the model was labelled ‘Junior’ in sales catalogs they were better known as ‘Joycars’ by the Austin factory and came equipped with a dummy engine, complete with spark plugs and leads, battery-operated headlamps, a horn and chrome trim.
Production started with the Pathfinder model but in 1950, the factory shifted its focus on to the J40. The cars were produced with the surplus sheet metal from the Austin plant in Longbridge and their bodies were painted with the same paints as the 1: 1 scale models.
At the time, this was probably the most complete toy on the market. It was equipped with Dunlop rubber tyres and the interior was generously furnished with leather. In a push for compete for realism, the bonnet opened, as did the boot.
The J40’s chrome trim was strategically placed on the bumpers, front grille, wheel covers and door handles, among other parts.
The factory is thought to have produced around 32,000 copies of this popular pedal car.