RACV’s First Roadside Assistance ‘Little Yellow Van’

Living Well | Helen Stitt | Posted on 03 April 2017

The way we were: a look back at RACV's past.

Austin 7 coupe utility

RACV’s first ‘little yellow van’ was the Austin 7 coupe utility, introduced in 1937 (pictured). It succeeded the first roadside assistance fleet of BSA motorcycles and Ford A Model utilities used since 1924.

Our vehicle was made with a special elongated body to suit patrol requirements. The door to the curved boot could be extended to enable dual use as an ambulance.

In the lead-up to our centenary year, RACV initiated a search for a suitable Austin 7 to add to our heritage fleet.  We were lucky enough to buy back a vehicle from the Riddiford family who had purchased it directly from the RACV in 1950.

Twelve months of meticulous restoration was carried out with the generous support of specialists, including Victoria’s Austin 7 Club. The restored sole known survivor of RACV’s original Austin 7 fleet was unveiled as part of RACV’s centenary celebrations in January 2004.