RAA SA Badges

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The first car badge issued by the Automobile Club of South Australia in 1909 was a crudely cast, flat brass badge with the initials ACSA fretted out. According to the official RAA history of its badges, only 50 car and 12 motor cycle badges were purchased and not all of these were actually issued. It is believed that probably only three car and no motor cycle examples survive. When the club celebrated 75 years in 1978 a limited edition replica of the car badge was made and issued to members who introduced two new members to the club. Apparently 544 of these were issued and my badge is No. 164. Type 1 - replica in "World of Car Badges".


Coinciding with a name change to The Automobile Association of South Australia Inc., a new design of car badge was issued in 1911. Two separate versions of this badge are known, one measuring 108mm in diameter and the later one 105mm. The earlier badge is also slighly thicker. Both versions were nominally 4 inches wide and are represented in my collection by badges No. 1047 and No. 1962. This style of badge remained on issue until 1923. Type 2. It is possible that the two versions came from different manufacturers as this design was used for about 12 years.

Type 2 108mm diameter badge






Type 2 105mm diameter badge


In 1923 the badge had to be redesigned because of legal difficulties in copyrighting the 1911 badge. The new badge was available in both bronze and aluminium versions. My collection includes examples of both types. The bronze badge is No.18530 and was issued to F.W.G. Clarke in March 1928, not long before the Automobile Association of South Australia gained Royal Patronage on 29th September 1928. My aluminium version is No. 15575. Type 3.


Type 3 Bronze version







Type 3 Aluminium version


Following the granting of Royal Patronage the club changed its name to the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia Inc., and in 1929 issued a completely new style of car badge which was to remain basically unchanged for 30 years. The first issue, shown here, measured 94mm diameter and came with a yellow backing plate stapled to the fretted out letters of the badge. Presumable yellow was chosen because it was the colour used by the AA in UK. The backing plates and method of fixing were rather fragile and it is difficult to find a badge from this era with the plate attached and in good condition. My example, No R3675, is in almost mint condition. Type 4.



Concurrent with the issue of Type 4 a smaller badge was available for use on motor cycles and light cars. This measured 68mm in diameter and used the prefix "S". My example is No. S6069. Type 5. 





Later car badges of the Type 4 design were slightly smaller at 88mm diameter. My example is No. R22226. A further example is shown at the foot of the page attached to a late 1920s South Australian licence plate (the plate pre-dates the badge, which is No. R22729). Type 6.




In 1950 the RAA ceased issuing numbered car badges and introduced a smaller version of the 1929 style, which was not fretted out but pressed from sheet brass. The background to the letters AASA was coloured yellow directly on to the badge, at first in enamel then in paint. Type 7B.

A second version of Type 7 had a knurled outer edge to the badge. The official RAA history of its badges states there is uncertainty about which variant was issued first. Most collectors believe the knurled version was introduced later, possibly in 1955. Type 8.

This badge was issued from 1955 to 1959 and my example has the member's name, R.E. Hann and his membership number, 134889, engraved on the reverse side. Type 8.

More badges still to come!

Text and photographs on this page are copyright.

More information on the history of RAA badges may be found at www.raa.com.au/download.asp?file=documents\document_2228.pdf