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1961 Austin J40 

After an eBay impulse buy, the new owner of this sad J40 was faced with how to restore this "little car" back to its original glory.  Described as a 'Barn Find', it had languished in a barn for over 50 years.  A rather dare devil stunt by two brothers had taken the pedal car down a steep hill which ended with the car embedded in a tree.  The boys were thankfully OK, but the car was not and sadly was pushed into the barn never to be ridden or enjoyed again. 

The crash had caused significant damage and would require an expert to restore the "little car."  RETROSPECTIVE was contacted and even though this was a much smaller project than others, it was enthusiastically taken on as a special project.  

A small remnant of original paint was found under the dummy rocker in order to colour match the car into final colour.  The wheels were also realigned for the smoothest ride. The bodywork and running gear were fully restored and new leather seat covers were handmade.  

Body shell prior to restoration
Inspecting the damage
Poor sad little car.
Rear view - prior to restoration
Body shell
Body shell
Under the bonnet
Under the bonnet
Body shell repairs following soda blasting
Repairs complete
Primed and ready for paint
Seat back in real leather
Painted body shell
Reassembly progress
Restoration complete, reassembly complete
Ready for the starting line
Beautiful and Race ready!
Race prepped for Goodwood Revival

After a speculative letter to the Goodwood competitions department's, the 'Little Car" was invited to race in the Settrington Cup pedal car race at the Goodwood Revival.  The owner's daughter raced for four years and managed two fifth place finishes from a field of over fifty cars.

Click the button below to see a video of the car in action at the Goodwood Revival.


Mike's attention to detail throughout the restoration was outstanding.  Without Mike's skills, the car would not have been as competitive and without being too biased, one of the most attractive cars on the track.  An impulse buy not only brought a little car to life but created amazing memories for my daughter and my family.  With enormous thanks to Mike at RETROSPECTIVE.

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