Early Motoring

Childhood > Playing Out


Early Motoring
Early Motoring
Year: 1958
Views: 16,420
Item #: 1533
A young David Pilkington test drives an old Austin.
Source: Personal Collection of David Devine, Wigan

Comment by: Greg2 on 12th December 2023 at 16:36

It's now 3 years since you added your comment, Michael, but what a nice story. What a lovely thing to do for a little one by your local friendly mechanics.

My first car was a Triang, also red. I can still see the square red pedals in my mind's eye, into which I would place my feet at the age of 3 to peddle away, but only up and down the garden path. I certainly would have loved a car like the one in the photo, which I think is an Austin J40. They had a lifting bonnet and boot, with a 'real engine' under the bonnet... at least it would have been real to the little boy in the driver's seat.

Comment by: Michael on 8th December 2020 at 15:41

The boy in the photograph was lucky to have such an elaborate pedal car. Mine was a simpler but more modern-looking version in red.

From the beginning I felt very much 'at home' in the driving seat, and with it being the mid-1950s, I was allowed to trundle around the block, sticking to the pavements of course.

My 'commuter route' took me past a busy car repair garage, which I often gazed into as I pedalled by.

On one occasion the mechanics had a quiet spell, so, at my request and entering into the spirit of things, they put my pedal car on their ramp.

They raised it high so as to get a better look at its chassis. As it ascended into the air I looked up, with a quizzical expression on my face, just as I had seen my father do with his real car on previous occasions.

The mechanics were marvellous - giving my little car all their attention, and even applying a squirt of oil to the mechanism here and there.

Of course there was nothing wrong with my car, but it was nice for it to pass its "MOT"!

Comment by: Andrea Smith on 27th December 2013 at 13:45

I remember several of the boys in our street having pedal cars like this in the 1960's. Others had home made 'trucks' consisting of sets of old pram wheels, bits of wood and string.

Comment by: mike gerrard on 12th January 2013 at 20:37

I knew someone named Yvonne Pilkington living in Clayton le moors in the mid 1950s with a car just like this. Isit the same family, I wonder?