The Australian & New Zealand Scene
by John Fennell, with supplementary information by Derek Leach.

Badges of the Automobile Associations of South Africa.

This page lists some of the badges issued to the Automobile Association (AA) and Royal Automobile Club (RAC) of South Africa.  Any links on this page will take you to a photograph of the badge.  Linked photograph pages may contain additional information.


The Automobile Association

Late in 1928, 20 pioneer motorists met in Kroonstad to form the Automobile Association of Orange Free State.  Badges from a fully national association were issued from 1934.  In 1936 the Association moved to Johannesburg where it has remained.

Standard Member Badges:

1928-1930:
AA of Orange Free State.  Diamond shaped badge fretted out from flat brass, nickel plated.  Often referred to as the Christmas Tree badge.  There is debate whether this badge is AA or not.  The address on the badge is the same as the current AA address.  The number prefixes of O, T and C that have been recorded may well refer to Orange Free State, Transvaal and Cape Province respectively, suggesting that the badge was national.

1930-1934:
Divisional badges.  Issued for the CAPE/KAAP, OFS/OVS, TRANSVAAL and NATAL.  Flat brass, nickel-plated skeleton type AA badges with the Province name in the top tablet.  Long shank, short shank and small size badges are reported to exist for each type.

1932-1935:
Air Division AA badge.  Brass badge, chrome plated in the design of a Springbok head with wings either side.  Intertwined AA's between the horns.

1934-1939 (approx):
Flat brass chrome plated skeleton type with South Africa in top tablet and South Africa - Suid Afrika below the AA's.  Long shank, short shank and small size badges are reported to exist.

1939 (approx)-1948:
Flat brass chrome plated skeleton type with South Africa in top tablet and Suid Afrika below the AA's.  Short shank.  A motorcycle badge was issued which had MC stamped on it.

1948-1952:
Flat brass chrome plated skeleton type with South Africa in top tablet on one side and Suid Afrika in top tablet on the other side.  Short shank.

1952-1960:
First convex (domed) badge issued with separate yellow back plate that was screwed on either side.  Top tablet double-sided.  Separate badges issued in English and Afrikaans.

1960-1964:
Convex badge with yellow back plate riveted on either side.  English and Afrikaans versions.  Top tablet one-sided.  Size of numbers vary between badges.

1964-1967 (approx):
One piece convex badge.  Chrome plated and painted yellow between the AA's.  Top tablet double sided.  English and Afrikaans versions.

1967 (approx)-1972:
One piece convex badge.  Un-numbered.

1972-1974:
Plastic convex one piece badge with RSA in top tablet.  AA in black on yellow background.  Un-numbered.

1975-1990:
Pentagonal badge.  Die-cast zinc alloy.  Yellow infill with AA and RSA in black.  Chrome rim.

Committee Member Badges:

First Series:
These were based on either the 1934-1939 flat badge with South Africa in the top tablet and South Africa - Suid Afrika below, or the 1939-1948 badge with South Africa in the top tablet and Suid Afrika below.  The badge was fitted with a metal pole and flag having a leaping Springbok.  Two designs of Springbok are known.  These badges were issued from 1955 to 1974.

All subsequent Committee Member badges were based upon the 1975 type die-cast pentagonal badges.

Second Series:
Pentagonal with a grey-green insert having a star design behind the AA.  Chrome rim.

Third Series:
Pentagonal with a grey-green insert having a star design behind the AA.  Gold rim.

Fourth Series:
The same as the Standard Member pentagonal badge.  Yellow infill with AA and RSA in black.  Gold rim.


The Royal Automobile Club

The Automobile Club of South Africa was founded in October 1901 and received Royal Charter in 1911.  It operated until 1966 when it was amalgamated into the Automobile Association of South Africa.  The dates for badge issues are approximate.

1911-1920's(?):
The first full member badges were made of brass.  They consisted of a wheel supported by the figure of Mercury and surmounted by a King's crown.  They had enamels on both sides.  A Union flag (Union Jack) was on one side and the female figure of Hope was on the other side.  It is reported that the badge existed in two sizes, the smaller size being for light cars and motorcycles.  The badges were bolt mounted.

1920's(?)-1936:
A similar badge to the above was die-cast in magnesium/zinc alloy and chrome plated.  The enamel of Hope is on one side and the other side has either a Union flag or the flag of South Africa.  It is not known if these badges were issued concurrently or if the South Africa flag badges postdate the Union flag badges.

1936-1940:
A one-sided badge of similar design to the above, pressed brass and chrome plated.  They were made for flush mounting onto radiator cores and did not have bolt mounting bases.  The centre enamel was a blue lozenge with RAC in large white letters and SA below in small white letters.  Some badges had painted centres instead of enamel.  They were made by the SA Mint or by Zylo.

1940-1945:
A one-piece hexagonal badge with tang at bottom.  No crown.  Painted blue with RAC and SA in white and a white line border.  Manufacturer unknown.

1945-1953:
A diamond shaped bade similar to other UK and Commonwealth issues.  King's crown.  The front plate was chromed and had the letters RAC fretted out.  SA was stamped into a cross bar below the RAC.  The back plate was blue.

1953-1961:
Elizabethan badge, with a narrow Queen's crown above and long tang below.  Blue enamel centrepiece with RAC and SA below, both in white.  A Motor Sport Member version was made with the addition of the words Motor Sport in red above the RAC.

1961-1966(?):
Type 2 Elizabethan badge was similar to the above but the RAC and SA were in chrome instead of white.  Type 2 Motor Sport Member was as above but the words Motor Sport were in chrome instead of red.