John Valentine Carden was an inventor who was interested in ultra-light aircraft and cross-country vehicles as well as cars. He built his first cyclecars at his own workshop in Farnham. He had various designs that included a tandem 2-seater, but the first model he offered for sale was a single seater. It made its first public appearance at Brooklands in 1913, it had a low-slung monocoque body of ash planks and was powered by a 418cc 4hp single-cylinder J.A.P. engine mounted at the rear and driving forward by roller chain to a cone clutch on the rear axle. There was only one forward speed and no reverse. Carden offered replicas at £55, forming Carden Engineering for manufacture with backing from G.C. Holzapfel.
By 1916 Carden had sold his monocar design to War & Avey Ltd., who took over the Teddington works. It was still listed as a Carden in Light Cars & Cycles of 1916, but in 1919 it reappeared as the A.V. Carden designed another cyclecar which he sold to Edward A. Tamplin who marketed it under his own name.
In 1919 at the new premises at Ascot, Carden launched another design this time a side by side 2-seater with rear mounted horizontal twin 2-stroke engine of 707cc. The price was originally about £100, but rose to £134 in 1921. Carden left the firm that year to pursue an engineering career including the Carden-Loyd tracked load carrier which was built by Vickers. He inherited a baronetcy in 1932, and died in an air crash in 1935.
The Carden company was bought by Arnott & Harrison, who marked the change of ownership by renaming the car New Carden.