Artist Marjoram designs concepts for reborn J40 pedal cars

British company producing restoration parts and plans to introduce new but retro-style children’s vehicles

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The racing type design | J40 Motor Company illustrations

From 1949 until the late summer of 1971, more than 32,000 Austin J40 pedal cars were produced by a non-profit organization based in Bargoed, South Wales. Those cars now are sought-after among collectors. Sellers demand thousands of pounds for each of them and the cars also have become popular for use in the Settrington Cup pedal car race for children that is part of the annual Goodwood Revival.

Earlier this year, the J40 Motor Company launched in Salisbury, UK, to produce spare parts for those restoring J40 pedal cars and to revitalize the brand with new product. This week, it revealed two new concept pedal cars designed by automotive artist Stefan Marjoram.

J40 said the concepts were designed to share insight into planned future product development. 

“The collaborative design has produced a car which remains true to the original and retains core J40 DNA,” J40 Motor Company said of its work with the artist. “Despite every panel of the new car being different the concept will be instantly recognizable to owners and enthusiasts as a J40 derivative. 

“Larger wheels and tires tuck tightly into free-flowing arches, wings have been lowered and extended to give an impression of speed and an aero screen adds a sense of purpose. The overall lines of the car have been smoothed and exaggerated adding elegance, curvature and pace. A new grille, bumpers and headlights add brightness and give an updated look. 

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“The ‘racing’ version adds a side exit exhaust and double stripes along the top side of the car adding aggression and purpose.”

Non-racing design

“This concept starts a new chapter of the J40 story and gives a glimpse into what a new model could look like,” added company director Jamie Burnett. “The J40 pedal car is a well-loved classic, and one that has remained largely unchanged since launched. To take charge of a new-look concept was an honor, but also quite daunting and was a task which needed respect. 

“What we present is a true evolution of the world’s famous pedal car and is a concept that shows our future ambition for the brand.”

The J40 Motor Company is owned by Burlen Ltd, the world’s only manufacturer of genuine Skinner’s Union (SU), AMAL and Zenith carburetors, fuel pumps and spares. The company, then known as Burlen Services, was founded in 1971 by Burnett and Mike Cullen.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the company manufactured equipment for oxygen systems at British hospitals in Birmingham and London.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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