The AA continually grew over the years, adding more services as the automobile industry expanded. By , there were more than 80, members in the AA. As of , there were an estimated 12 million members of the club. Every member of the Automobile Association received a car badge that could be attached to their vehicles radiator grill using screws.
There are rumours that at the time Police officers often gave preferential treatment to motorists with AA badges displayed prominently on their cars. The AA Car Badges Numbering System The first badges were issued in April ; these early badges can be easily traced, but later badges are more difficult to track. Initially, badges were made of brass, and over time this metal was replaced with nickel, and then white-metal chrome.
The first secretary of the AA was Stenson Cooke. When numbers grew larger to six digits, the number was moved to the top of the circle. Some have been confused about the serial number listed on the badges, believing that these were membership numbers; but, they are actually specially-assigned issuing numbers.
It had a shorter leg than later versions. From to , there were square badges with a yellow background made; in this square was replaced with a round design. This pattern ran from to There were only 10, copies of the winged long shank version, which was started in After , the style changed with a more oval shape and the addition of a convex bulge replacing the flat surface. Different styles have different locations for the holes for screwing the badges onto the cars: There are a couple of supplementary types of badges that include the to , pentagon-shaped, light-car badge for two or three seaters with only The other rare variety is a Commercial Vehicle Section brass badge that was manufactured from to with a red background in a basket-weave design; after it was chrome.
There are also smaller badges made for motorcycle enthusiasts that had a heart-shaped token on them during World War I. Since these AA badges officially belonged to the membership club, they were supposed to be returned when membership ended. The text on later AA car badges includes the following: Here is a list of the most common AA badges in collections: Web sites also sell these AA car badges.
Try to verify the authenticity of the piece by comparing its issuing number to style for that period. Finding car badges in the original packaging adds value to a piece. Some of the most attractive AA car badges are the chrome-plated metal badges in pristine shape that shimmer in the light.
Accessories include fixing bolts and crossed box keys. Issues that affect an AA car badge price include the following: Condition Unopened, new and unused are more valuable Age Rarity Style The rich history of the Automobile Association makes AA car badges an interesting collection item.
These badges have a number of styles. Use the AA car badge numbering system to verify the authenticity of an item you are considering by matching the issuing date to the style of that period.