1994 Vauxhall Brava van

The first specially designed AA breakdown vehicle

In 1994, the first of a fleet of specially designed standard-issue patrol vehicles came into service.

The Vauxhall Brava had a unique body pod specially made for the AA by Island Plastics on the Isle of Wight. The original design brief was to produce a vehicle as unique as the London taxi.

Originally conceived as an alternative to car derived vans, the Brava pick-up was chosen because of its combined carrying capacity – essential for the AA's increasing load of tools, equipment and spare parts – and towing capability.

Later Brava vehicles were double cab versions with seating for up to 4 passengers in addition to the driver. These vehicles retained the original pick-up body but were fitted with a specialist conversion by Island Plastics.

The vehicles were originally equipped with a specialist collapsible recovery unit to enable broken down vehicles to be recovered without the need for a steersman.

This particular vehicle was the first Brava taken into service by the AA. It was preserved when its time expired and put on display at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke.

The Vauxhall Brava is now being looked after by AA patrol Brian Evans in Wales.

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6 October 2008