RACA badges

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The Royal Automobile Club of Australia was founded in Sydney, New South Wales, in March 1903 as The Automobile Club of Australia. In common with other early automobile clubs, members took part in outings and motor sports, with the club also making representations to the government of the day regarding such matters as speed limits, road signs and conditions, car taxation and other proposed laws regulating motoring activities. The first car badges were issued around 1908 and were a simple metal badge with the letters ACA fretted out in a similar manner to early RAA of South Australia badges.

In 1910 the club introduced a double sided enamelled badge based on the standard RAC Associate design, the club having at that time been accepted as an associate of the RAC. Badges were available in either nickel plated or brass finish and both types are represented in this collection. "World of Car Badges" Type 2.

The two left images show both sides of nickel plated badge No.315 and the right image badge No.501 in brass. Both types were made by Stokes & Sons of Melbourne.


In 1919 the club was granted Royal Patronage and became the Royal Automobile Club of Australia, and the wording on car badges was altered accordingly. Early "Royal" badges continued to be made by Stokes & Sons but the club subsequently awarded the contract to Angus & Coote of Sydney. The following examples from my collection are badge No.779 by Stokes and two examples from Angus & Coote, badges No.1664 with a wide base and No.3563 with a narrower base.  "World of Car Badges" Type 3.








From early days the RACA offered roadside service to its members and in the 1920s it introduced a new category of Associate Member, as distinct from full members. Associates were entitled to access road service, insurance and touring information but not participate in the use of the club's Macquarie Street premises and other facilities. A new style of car badge was introduced to identify these Associate Members to road patrols, several examples of which are shown below. Following the end of the Second World War the RACA ceased providing road service and reached agreement with the NRMA for the latter to provide its members with this facility. RACA Associate Membership ceased and those members were encouraged to join the NRMA.  Sydney manufacturers Amor and Angus & Coote both produced Associate Member badges for the club. The badges illustrated are No.3544 by Amor; No.2145 by Angus & Coote with wide spokes in the wheel, and No.6952, a narrow spoked version by Angus & Coote mounted on a handsome "dog bone" radiator cap. "World of Car Badges" Type 5.


In the early 1930s the double sided full member badge was replaced by a single sided version as an economy measure during the depression. The example shown is No.1841 by Angus & Coote.  "World of Car Badges" Type 4.







Following the outbreak of the Second World War the full members badge was redesigned and reduced in size, and for the first time bore an inscription on the rear requiring that the badge be returned to the club on cessation of membership, similar to the inscription which had been used on Associate Member badges since their inception. Badge No.462 by Amor is illustrated. "World of Car Badges" Type 6.







About 1946 the club adopted the new lozenge-shaped badge introduced by the RAC UK and like most other Australian clubs, discontinued the numbering of badges. In 1954, following the death of George VI, the King's crown on the badge was replaced by a Queens crown. Later, about 1980, plastic replaced metal in production of the badges. All three types are shown below. "World of Car Badges" Type 7.







Text and photographs on this page are copyright.

More information on the history of the RACA may be found at http://www.raca.com.au/web/page/History_more#bottomsection