RACT badges

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Car badges of the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania from my collection are displayed on this page. Founded as The Autocar Club of Tasmania in 1923, the club was granted Royal Patronage in 1927, whereupon its car badges changed to reflect the new title, Royal Autocar Club of Tasmania. In 1954 the present title of Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania was adopted. The RACT was formed in Hobart and initially served motorists in the southern part of Tasmania. The Tasmanian Automobile Club, formed in Launceston, catered for motorists in that northern area of the state.

The Autocar Club of Tasmania issued badges of this design between 1923 and 1927. They were made by Stokes & Sons, Melbourne and are silver plated with this example being badge No. 70. Type 1 in "World of Car Badges". The Tasmanian Automobile Club is believed to have issued a similar enamelled badge, with a central map of Tasmania between the Australian and British flags. The legend "The Tasmanian Automobile Club" was enamelled in blue around the circumference. The TAC badge may have been in existence as early as 1910, as evidenced by contemporary photographs.

 

 

Following granting of Royal Patronage in 1927 the club became known as the Royal Autocar Club of Tasmania. A new style of badge was issued between 1927 and 1952. This example is the first version of the type and was made by Golding and Sons of Hobart. Later versions were made by Angus & Coote and have open spaces between the spokes of the wheel, whereas in this badge the gaps are filled. Badge No. 15. Very few of this first type were issued and are considered quite rare among collectors. Type 2 in "World of Car Badges".

 

 

 

An example of the type with enamel in both the crown and Tasmanian map, with spaces between the spokes. Made by Angus & Coote, Sydney, badge No. 1055. Examples of this badge are known to have been issued without a base, presumably for mounting directly on to the radiator grille. My collection includes an example of the type, badge No.1055.

 

 

 

 

Royal Autocar Club of Tasmania. Issued between 1927 and 1952. Badge No. 1206. No enamel in crown or Tasmanian map. Made by Angus & Coote, Sydney. These were the last numbered badges issued by the RACT.

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Autocar Club of Tasmania Life Member badge, probably issued about 1948, but the RACT have no records of the recipients of these Life Member badges. Badge No. 27. Made by Angus & Coote, Sydney and silver plated. This car badge is in mint condition and has never been mounted on a vehicle.

 

 

 

 

Honorary Life Member badge awarded to H.R. Mitchell on 13th May 1971. Mitchell was a long serving member of the RACT Committee. This heavy enamelled badge is a hand engraved example of the RAC (UK) badge described as Type 6A in "The World of Car Badges", which was available to RACT members in the 1960s. Several of these Life Member badges were awarded between 1971 and 1981, generally to members or ex-members of the RACT Committee.

 

 

In 1952 the RACT ceased to design its own car badges and began adopting a series of designs based on those used by the Royal Automobile Club in the UK. The first of these was the lozenge shaped badge depicted here and made by Stokes & Sons of Melbourne. The RACT also ceased numbering badges from this time and no longer required members to return car badges on cessation of membership. Type 5 in "World of Car Badges".

 

 

In 1962 local manufacture of car badges of the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania ceased and henceforth badges were sourced from the Royal Automobile Club in London where, in 1954 the RAC changed its car badge from the lozenge shape to a new "Elizabethan" design, comprising a circular wreath with a blue and white RAC monogram in the centre, surmounted by a Queens crown. The RACT adopted this design in the late 1950s or early '60s.  The example shown here is of heavy brass with the centre monogram in blue and white enamel and was made by H.B. Sale of Birmingham (see Honorary Life Member badge above) - Type 6A.

 

In the early 1960s a cheaper version of Type 6A was made locally from stamped metal with an acrylic centre, but was short lived as the acrylic quickly yellowed and deteriorated. Also, the centre emblem often became detached. Type 6B.

 

 

 

A two piece pressed aluminium version was sourced from the RAC in the mid 1960s. This badge has a central insert in blue and white plastic covered with a clear convex lens. The inscription "The Property of The R.A.C." is stamped on the reverse. Type 7A.

 

 

 

Around 1970 a further variation was made by the RAC UK. This was similar to Type 7A but the entire badge was covered with clear acrylic, rather than just the central monogram. In this example the inscription "The Property of The R.A.C. Tasmania" appears on the reverse. Other similar badges lacked the "Tasmania". Type 7B.

 

 

 

An illuminated version of Type 7B was introduced as an option during the 1970s. The reverse side of this badge is depicted here.

 

 

 

 

In 1973 the RAC UK introduced a completely new corporate identity program and its car badge was changed to a rectangular design. The RACT adopted the new car badge in the late 1970s, using a version with a heavier red crown than that commonly issued to RAC members in the UK. Type 8.

 

 

 

From 1979 the RACT had its own version of the rectangular badge manufactured in Australia, using the basic RAC design but adding "Tasmania" below the RAC lettering. This badge may still be obtained by members today. Type 9.

 

 

 

The Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1998 by issuing a limited edition gold plated commemorative badge. This example is number 334 of 500 issued. 

 

 

 

 

Text and photographs on this page are copyright.

More information on the RACT may be found at http://www.ract.com.au/about