AA car badges

A brief history

The earliest AA car badges were issued in April 1906, and were of a uniform pattern

The earliest AA car badges were issued in April 1906, and were of a uniform pattern

Precise details of the earliest AA car badges have not survived, other than they were issued in April 1906, and were of a uniform pattern.

It is likely that the first two or three hundred were made only in brass.

Quite soon 'white metal' (nickel–plated) versions became available, though how many is not known.

Original badge

Original badge

The obverse carried a serial number on the shank. As this increased to five digits and more, it was impressed around the top of the circle.

There was also a facsimile of Stenson Cooke's signature – large to start with; smaller, with the word 'secretary' added later.

On the first badges the reverse was plain. Soon the telephone number and telegraphic address appeared.

Combined AA and MU badge

Combined AA and MU badge

In November 1907 a smaller version was made for motorcycles.

After amalgamation with the Motor Union a combined badge was designed in 1911 incorporating the 'M' and wings from the body's emblem with the intertwined A's.

It was the standard pattern for the next half century, varied only in size type of metal and method of fixing. From about 1925 onwards brass badges gave way almost entirely to nickel or chromium finish.

Domed car badge

Domed car badge

In 1945 the shape was made more compact with a convex bulge.

During the 1930s the wings were made straighter and pinions were given greater definition.

During world war 1, motor cycle badges were given coloured heart–shaped tokens indicating membership expiry dates.

Committee badge

Committee badge

Up to 1967 when the square badge was introduced there were only 2 major variants; the short lived pentagonal light car badge from 1914–1920 only, and the Commercial Vehicle Section badges, brass with red background from 1911 to about 1930.

After this it was made in chrome with an attractive basket–weave design.

From 1907–1967 members of the AA Committee displayed the original circular badge surmounted by a pennant.

This was replaced with a large chrome and yellow rectangular plaque in 1967.

In 1967 the AA introduced the square yellow AA logo still in use today.

Badge Numbering System

(The number was not the membership number)

  • 1 to 999999 1906–30
  • A-P suffixes 1930–45
  • RST suffixes 1946–56 (flat motorcycle badges)
  • WXYZA suffixes 1956–67 (domed motorcycle badges)
  • OA to OZ prefixes 1945–57
  • 1A-9A prefix 1957–59
  • 1B-9B prefix 1960–61
  • 1C-9C prefix     1962–63
  • 1D-9D prefix 1964–65
  • 1E-9E prefix 1966–67

More badges

A Combined AA and MU motor cycle badge with subscription renewal 'token' (1915/16 only)

A Combined AA and MU motor cycle badge with subscription renewal 'token' (1915/16 only)

The first motorcycle badge issued in November 1907

The first motorcycle badge issued in November 1907

Motor Union car badge first issued (without wings) in 1907

Motor Union car badge first issued (without wings) in 1907

Industrial or Commercial Vehicle Section badge 1911 to c.1930

Industrial or Commercial Vehicle Section badge 1911 to c.1930

New design for Industrial or Commercial Vehicle badge c.1930 to 1967

New design for Industrial or Commercial Vehicle badge c.1930 to 1967

Small car radiator badge current from 1930 to 1939

Small car radiator badge current from 1930 to 1939

Light car badge for two or three seater cars up to 11.9 hp. 1914 to 1920 only

Light car badge for two or three seater cars up to 11.9 hp. 1914 to 1920 only

Chromium motor cycle badge first issued in 1929. Replaced c.1952

Chromium motor cycle badge first issued in 1929. Replaced c.1952