From our Goodwood(ish) office, to Rotterdam, to my back garden… all in three easy steps!
Digging deeper, I learned that the little pedal cars were built at the Bargoed factory between 1949 and 1971, out of off cuts and scrap materials from the main Austin plant in Longbridge. In fact, the Bargoed factory was specifically set up to rehabilitate disabled Welsh miners.
Over 32,000 of the little cars were built over the 22 years of trading, with three models being created;
The Auston Junior 40, The Austin Joy 1 and the super sporty Austin Pathfinder Special.
Oh, and the Rotterdam connection? A Dutch street photographer, Humberto Randalfi, used to use an Austin J40 as a prop when photographing children at the Blijdorp Zoo in the 1950s and 1960s. The shop I had passed was actually an exhibition on urban culture.