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Aa minivan 1963 heritage patrol vehicle 1920x 640
Aa minivan 1963 heritage patrol vehicle 640x 800

The AA heritage fleet

Our historic fleet

Aa bsa m 20 heritage patrol vehicle 855x 535
In the beginning...

From 4 wheels to 2 wheels and even 3, our fleet has certainly evolved over the years. More than 30 of these vintage vehicles are still in great shape today – most are in private storage but a handful can be found in various museums up and down the country.

Back in 1905, our very first patrols rode bicycles and warned motorists about upcoming speed traps, and by 1919 our fleet had grown to include motorcycles with sidecars. Known as Road Service Outfits (RSOs), they were made by the likes of Chater Lea, Triumph and BSA.

Aa land rover series 1 heritage patrol vehicle 855x 535
Vans of all shapes and sizes

The first 4-wheeled patrol vehicles were Series One Land Rovers – bought in 1948, these sturdy off-roaders soon proved their worth in some of the most remote parts of the UK, including the Scottish Highlands. Patrols had their own toolkits, generally carried in old ammunition boxes.

The 1960s and 1970s saw a wide range of AA vans come into service. A 1963 AA Minivan (pictured, top) still exists as part of our heritage fleet, as well as a 3-wheeled Reliant Regal Supervan from 1965, a 1969 Austin Minor van and a 1979 Ford Escort van.

Aa bedford j 3 transporter heritage patrol vehicle 855x 535
Relay to the rescue

We began our ground-breaking Relay recovery service in 1973 (recently renamed National Recovery) and the biggest vehicle in the heritage fleet is an original 1974 Bedford J3 Transporter (pictured, left).

Another key landmark came in 1994, when we added the Vauxhall Brava – the first van designed as a standard-issue patrol vehicle. The Brava had a unique body pod specially made for us, and the very first model is still in our ownership today.

Aa harley davidson electra glide 1992 heritage patrol vehicle 855x 534
The last of the bike brigade

As British manufacturers fell by the wayside in the early 1980s, we continued to keep a small number of motorcycles in our fleet – mainly BMW R80s for urban use, although a one-off Harley Davidson Electra Glide (pictured) did join the fleet in 1992.

Bought initially for PR purposes, this hefty bike was also used by Essex-based patrol Alex Bell. And he had to be careful – at 340kg, the AA-liveried Harley was one of the heaviest choppers on the road.

Pride van 855x 535
Our modern fleet

We currently have over 2,000 vehicles in our breakdown and recovery fleet, from Ford Transit Customs to VW Transporters. And they’re all equipped with state-of-the-art Bosch diagnostics technology, so you can be sure we’ve got the best tools to get you back on the road every time you call out one of our iconic yellow vans.

 

See more of our classic AA vehicles in the gallery below.