Royal Automobile Club Badge

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Size (WxDxH): 3 x 2.5 x 7.75 inches
Material: Chromed Brass and Enamel
Period: Early 1900s


The RAC - Royal Automobile Club car grille badge from the early 1900s is an absolute collector’s delight. The royal crown sits delicately on the top, and at the base of the wheel is a winged Hermes, an Olympian deity in Greek mythology (also called Mercury in Roman mythology). Hermes was able to move quickly and freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine aided by his winged sandals, and hence, was considered the God of speed, roads and travelers. On the front of the badge is an enamel Union Jack flag, while the back has “The Royal Automobile Club” engraved around an image of King Edward II. The base reads “DG327” on the front and “Elkington & Co Ltd” on the back. The acrylic stand was newly made to display the collectible. The size of the badge is 3 x 6 inches. With the stand, the dimensions are 3 x 2.5 x 7.75 inches.
The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897, as a British private social and athletic club. It was initially called the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland. King Edward VII's interest in motoring led to the command in 1907, for it to be renamed as The Royal Automobile Club. Back in 1901, the RAC introduced uniformed mobile patrolmen mounted on Matchless motorbikes with sidecars, at laybys and major road junctions. Members' cars were identified by a metal club badge usually affixed to the radiator grille and the patrolmen would come to attention and salute as a member drove past. Allegedly, sometimes the patrolmen would not salute when driving past, to warn the member that they were about to encounter a police speed trap.