RACQ badges

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Car badges of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland from my collection are displayed on this page. A full description of these badges, their history and place in the RACQ's first 100 years may be obtained in the book Car Badges of the RACQ. Please refer to the page RACQ Badge Book.

The Automobile Club of Queensland was founded in 1905 but it was not until 1911 that the first car badge was issued. This followed acceptance by the RAC in London of the ACQ's application for associate membership. The RAC had established a system of associate membership to enable regional clubs in the UK and colonial clubs to obtain many of the benefits of the parent club. In 1908 it approved a design of car badge which allowed the incorporation of the associate club's emblem. The first issue of the ACQ badges was made by Elkinton & Co. of London and the example shown here is one of the first group of badges to be imported. The general design was continued until 1916 but this particular badge, No.B24, is of the earliest RAC associate type. Later examples have differences in the figure of Mercury, the crown and the wings. "World of Car Badges" Type 1.

 

In 1916 the ACQ awarded the contract for production of its car badges to Stokes & Sons of Melbourne, due to the difficulty in sourcing sufficient badges from the UK. This example is badge No. X300. Type 2.

 

 

 

 
 

Royal patronage was awarded to the RACQ in 1921 and the central emblem of the car badge was altered to reflect the new name. Stokes & Sons made these badges for about a year. This is badge No. X913. Type 2 Royal.

 

 

 

 

The Stokes "Royal" badge had only been in circulation for about a year when the RACQ awarded the contract for badges to Angus & Coote of Sydney. A new badge was introduced with a light blue cross in the central emblem and badge numbers were prefixed "A". This example is badge No. A4859. Type 3.

 

 

 

In 1924 the badge was changed again with manufacture being done in Brisbane by two local firms, Amor and Wallace Bishop. This style of badge was to remain in use until 1947 with numerous slight variations in design occurring during that long period. Badge numbers continued to be prefixed "A" until the end of the war, although examples are known with "T" and "AT" prefixes, which are attributed to issues by the Toowoomba branch of the RACQ, known locally as the Toowoomba Automobile Club. The issue of badges was suspended during the war and when they were reintroduced in late 1947 a small number of badges with a "Q" prefix were issued before a new design (Type 5) was introduced. This badge is a Wallace Bishop version No. A7275. Types 4A and 4B have slight differences in the design of the crown and figure of Mercury. The badge above is Type 4A.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

These badges are examples of Types 4A & 4B and bear numbers AT0760, T72, Q209 and, on the right, No. A11244. This badge was made by Amor; notice the difference in the crown and figure of Mercury compared to the Wallace Bishop badge No.A7525.

 

     

 

1947 saw the new post-war badge launched with the inscription "Royal Automobile Club of Queensland" around the rim rather than the traditional RAC Associate. These badges were the last of the numbered badges to be issued by the RACQ and remained on issue until early 1951. This example is No. Q 1803. Type 5.

 

 

A new style of badge copied from a design adopted by the RAC, UK was introduced in April 1951. These were un-numbered, as were all subsequent RACQ car badges. The design remained in use until 1960. Type 6.

 

 

 

In 1955 the RACQ celebrated its 50th anniversary and produced an attachment for the Type 6 car badge, to be sold to members with at least 5 years membership. These were available for members who achieved between 5 and 40 years membership and the badge inserts were in 5 year intervals. This is a 15 year example.  

 

 

 

In 1960 this oval shaped badge was adopted in line with a new corporate identity program for the club. The badge remained on issue until 1965. Type 7.

 

 

 

In 1965 the centre of the design was changed to RACQ from RAC and this badge has continued to be available until the present time. Type 8.

 

 

 

This version was introduced to reflect a change in corporate identity in about 2006. Type 9.

 

 

 

 

This badge issued in 2010 depicts the newest style of RACQ logo. Type 10.

 

 

 In 1980 the RACQ celebrated its 75th anniversary and a special car badge was produced for the occasion. Unlike the Golden Jubilee badge of 1955, which was available to all members of 5 or more years, this badge required the member to introduce one new member to the club.

 

 

 

From the very early days of the RACQ the club encouraged members to recruit new members to the organisation. Various schemes were implemented but it was not until 1936 that a car badge was awarded to members who successfully persuaded at least two new members to join the club. The kookaburra Honour Badge was continued until 1950, but the introduction of three new members rather than two was required after the war. This badge No.1093 is a perfect, unused example of its type. 

 

 

The recruitment program was extended with a further incentive for members who had introduced two or more members in 1936, by the awarding of a this kookaburra badge with wreath for those who introduced a further two or more members in 1937. This example is in perfect condition and is No.30.

 

 

In 1938 the kookaburra with wreath badge was replaced by a club badge mounted on a base and bearing the word "Honour" in place of a membership number. Unlike the standard membership badge there was no requirement for the Honour badge to be returned to the club on cessation of membership, and hence the usual inscription is absent from the rear of the badge. This mint condition example is No.199.

 

 

 

50 Year membership badges were first introduced in 1985. Several versions of this badge have been issued in light, mid and dark blue. A selection from my collection is shown below.      

                      

 

 

 

 

This last type has a silvered background compared to the gold finish of the other four versions.

 

 

 

 

From as early as 1918 the RACQ awarded Honorary Life Membership to those who had given outstanding service to the club. However, it was not until 1975 that recipients of this honour were issued with a car badge. An initial order of 40 Honorary Life Member badges was obtained and this example is badge No.017, which was awarded to G.E.Thomas of Surfers Paradise in 1975. The RACQ maintains a register of all Honorary Life Member badges and some unauthorised reproductions are offered for sale from time to time; so collectors beware!

 

 

The Honorary Life Member badge was redesigned in 1983 when a further quantity of 40 was acquired. These were numbered from 41 - 80 and are still the current design for those receiving this award. This example is No.64.

 

 

 

 

Honorary Life Members also receive a lapel badge, of which these are two examples. The upper one is an early type in enamel and 9ct gold and the other a later one in sterling silver. These lapel badges measure 13mm wide x 16mm high.

 

 

 

 

The RACQ celebrated its centenary year in 2005 and two car badges were issued for the occasion. A limited edition prestige badge was sold to members, accompanied by a copy of my book Car Badges of the RACQ. The badge is a high quality production and this badge is No.54.

 

 

 

 

A cheaper, smaller version of the centenary badge was also made available to members at a modest price.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2005 centenary was also the 80th anniversary of the introduction of road patrols by the RACQ. To celebrate this milestone a strictly limited edition badge was produced which was available only to members of road service patrols.

 

Text and photographs on this page are copyright.

More information on the history of the RACQ may be found at http://www.racq.com.au/about_us/corporate_information/racq/club_history