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Motoring Enthusiasts Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

national motoring museumMotoring enthusiasts in South Australia can take a trip down memory lane at Birdswood National Motoring Museum where an exhibition celebrating the past 110 years of RAA is featured.

RAA Senior Manager Mobility and Automotive Policy, Mark Borlace has been employed at RAA for over 30 years and said it’s great to be able to share RAA’s long and proud history with the public.

“The exhibition has a little bit of something for everyone, including old uniforms, road maps, samotor magazines, car badges and of course the biggest feature, three of our most iconic road service vehicles from the past 110 years,” said Mr Borlace.

As well as the historic cars, a bicycle that the original “Guides,” now known as Patrols, rode on in the 1920’s is also on display.

“RAA didn’t actually begin as a road service organisation. The bikes were originally used by the Guides to help with city parking and to warn members of police speed traps,” said Mr Borlace. “Over time, our Guides were being stopped more and more often to help people with mechanical problems, and this is when road service began.”

The exhibition features three cars from RAA’s history – the oldest car in the exhibition, an Austin A40 from the 1950s, a Ford Thames from the late 1950s, and a Mitsubishi Colt from the 1980s.

“The 1950’s was an era of lots of change for RAA as 24 hour road service and radio controlled operations began, so gone were the days of Patrols needing to ring headquarters from a telephone box for the next job,” said Mr Borlace. “In 1957, the Ford Thames came into action and was the first yellow road service vehicle. They were initially painted khaki which was the traditional colour of road service at the time, but part way through their service they were changed to the now well-known ‘RAA-yellow’ of today.

“The most recent car in the exhibition, the Mitsubishi Colt from the 1980’s is also quite interesting because it was a lot smaller than its predecessors. “The rear seats were actually removed to make way for a custom-built frame and safety cage where the tools could be stored.”

National Motor Museum Director, Marianne Norman said we are delighted to host the exhibition which tells the story of RAA’s past.

“It?s such an important part of South Australia’s motoring history, and it’s a story that will continue to evolve over the coming years,” said Ms Norman.

The National Motor Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm (closed Christmas Day). The exhibition will run until the end of January 2014.

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Alana Lowes

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