Milestones

1903

Automobile Club of Victoria (ACV) is formed on 9 December

1904

First ACV motor gymkhana is held at the Maribyrnong racecourse on 30 April

1904

First ACV hill climb is conducted at Heidelberg in June. The winner is J.W. Moffat

1904

Club occupies rooms in conjunction with the Reform club at 243 Collins Street, Melbourne

1905

First Dunlop Reliability Motor Contest is run from Sydney to Melbourne to demonstrate the reliability of the automobile

1906

Motor Defence fund is set up to finance the legal defence of members and motorists against unjust prosecution

1906

ACV conducts the first motor race meeting in Australia on a special banked motor racing track at Aspendale on 29 January

1908

Club organises the first of many children’s outings to entertain the orphaned and sick children of Melbourne

1908

Club moves to the third floor of the Equitable Life Building, 91 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

1908

Club posts caution and danger signs throughout Victoria as a means of warning motorists of the main danger points

1909

Club provides members with a list of approved hotels in Victoria that provide comfort, safety and cater to the needs of the motorist

1909

First driving certificates in Victoria are issued by the Club in an attempt to reduce reckless and inefficient driving

1909

Women are admitted to membership in September. Nine join by March 1910

1910

Club moves to the basement of the Equitable Life Building, 91 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

1912

First motor show, at the Exhibition Building, is organised by the Club

1912

Direction and distance signs are erected at five main metropolitan streets in Melbourne, as an incentive to the Government and councils

1914

Touring department is established to cope with an expanding interest in roads and touring

1915

Volunteer Transport unit is formed to help returning wounded and invalid soldiers.

1915

Club hosts an outing for returned soldiers at Aspendale Park in October.

1915

Club promotes its first motor insurance scheme

1916

The Royal Charter is bestowed on the Club in recognition of its patriotic service to the Victorian community

1920

RACV Vigilance Corps is inaugurated to control reckless and inconsiderate driving

1921

RACV forms a Technical Sub-Committee to examine the technical aspects of motoring and test devices designed to advance motoring

1921

Club organises first 1000 miles Alpine Reliability Trial in November

1922

The Australian Motorist Special RACV Supplement is published on a monthly basis

1922

The Automobile Insurance Company of Australia is formed under the aegis of the Club, offering a special rate to RACV Club members

1924

Road patrol system commences in November providing mechanical assistance to motorists

1925

First RACV Hotel and Guest House guide is published

1925

RACV publishes its first in-house journal, entitled RACV Club Journal

1925

First Club cabaret ball is held at St Kilda Town Hall

1925

Club moves to purpose built accommodation at 94 Queen Street

1925

RACV provides transport for returned soldiers in the first ANZAC day parade. A service it continues to provide today

1926

Road service membership is introduced

1926

RACV commences Broadcast talks every Friday evening, on radio 3LO to provide motorists with information regarding the state of roads

1928

RACV appoints L.J. Bevan as Technical Adviser, to give technical advice and assistance to members

1928

RACV makes new insurance arrangements with Lloyd's of London, introducing the Lloyd's RACV Policy for members

1929

RACV begins issuing Road Courtesy League certificates to school children across the state to promote and encourage road safety

1929

Pilot Service is introduced to escort country and interstate visitors through the city of Melbourne

1930

First Safety Lane is conducted in Melbourne to examine the efficiency of motor cars on the road

1931

RACV shipping service is inaugurated to transport members cars interstate and overseas

1931

RACV appoints Emergency Free Road Service Station scheme, offering roadside repairs to Club members in regional Victoria

1934

Club seeks more beneficial insurance scheme for members. Club Motor Insurance Agency Pty Ltd commences

1934

RACV’s first Camping Guide is produced and issued free to members

1936

The Radiator, RACV's newspaper style member journal is first published

1937

RACV Caravan Club is formed following a successful campaign promoting public caravan and camping grounds

1938

RACV’s first “little yellow vans” – Austin and Morris single seater coupes, take to the road

1940

Club is appointed an issuing office for petrol rationing tickets

1941

RACV opens new Patrol and Testing station in Little Collins Street, Melbourne

1942

RACV forms Emergency War Transport Corps to operate all road transport in the event of an emergency evacuation

1947

The remaining foundation members are awarded with life membership

1950

Larger premises are secured in Dodds Street, South Melbourne for the sole use of patrols and the maintenance of Club vehicles

1952

Road service fleet is equipped with radio telephones to make the response to calls from stranded motorists more efficient

1952

Healesville Country Club was opened in September by the then Governor, Sir Dallas Brooks. Located on the Yarra Glen and Toolangi roads, the weatherboard club house was set on 120 acres, overlooking the Watts River. It had four lounges, a large dining room and bedrooms for 40 guests. The site had a nine-hole golf course, an en-tout-cas tennis court and a swimming pool.

1953

The Club donated £10.10 for the Chum Creek Fire Brigade.

1953

First RoyalAuto magazine is published

1953

RACV turns 50 – Golden Jubilee celebrations

1955

In November the Country Club purchased its first TV, an Admiral 24”.

1956

RACV opens its first branch offices at St Kilda and Dandenong

1956

Four women are employed to take over the pilot service, escorting interstate and country drivers through Melbourne

1956

RACV introduces highway patrol service on six main highways out of Melbourne

1956

During the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, RACV provided free road service for cars used by competitors, Olympic officials and some of the volunteer drivers.

1957

Tree planting scheme started at the Country Club.

1958

Three new fairways open, completing the Country Club's 18-hole golf course.

1958

Finance Department opens in August to provide members with financial assistance for the purchase of new and used cars. The service proves very popular with members.

1960

Additional land purchased at entrance to Country Club. The RACV Lyrebird Sanctuary Appeal launched, which funded the lyrebird aviary at the Healesville Sanctuary.

1960

RACV Driving School is established

1960

RACV organises first escorted tour of members to the Snowy Mountains.

1961

RACV traffic reports commence on radio 3AK.

1961

Club moves to state of the art Clubrooms at 123 Queen Street, Melbourne.

1962

Highway patrolmen help motorists travelling along the Eyre Highway for the duration of the Commonwealth Games.

1964

RACV organises a Traffic Symposium entitled "Living with the Motor Car" to highlight the need for traffic planning.

1965

Croquet lawn completed at the Country Club. With the Country Club's ongoing inability to meet demand for accommodation, it was agreed to develop a master plan to develop the Club House site in progressive stages.

1966

RACV installs 4 emergency call boxes on the Maltby By-Pass for road safety and member convenience.

1967

RACV establishes its own traffic school at Moorabbin as part of a long term educational plan for children at various levels.

1970

RACV establishes its own insurance company, RACV Insurance Pty Ltd.

1970

A furious debate started about the future of the Healesville site: To sell or to invest? In April, it was decided to fully refurbish the site.

1971

Young Motorists category of membership is introduced to give young drivers an active voice in the operation of RACV.

1971

RACV Credit Union is established.

1973

RACV Insurance Pty Ltd enters Household insurance field.

1973

RACV Insurance Pty Ltd pilots Parts Recovery Centre in Dandenong.

1973

Explorer Tours to the Australian Outback are introduced.

1974

Patrols assist motorists leaving Darwin after Cyclone Tracey.

1974

The first female driving school instructors are employed.

1976

RACV Finance Pty Ltd is formed to provide members with a competitive financial service.

1977

RACV completed 45 new rooms at the Country Club. “Each room has superlative views, ensuite bathroom, radio, television, refrigerator, telephone and tea and coffee service.”

1977

Free Accident Towing Service is introduced.

1978

Road Service headquarters open at Noble Park.

1978

Computerised road service dispatch system is introduced.

1979

RACV commences boat owners insurance.

1982

RACV starts issuing tickets to key tourist attractions, Sea World and Dream world in Queensland and Sovereign Hill in Victoria.

1985

Club Cobram Holiday Centre opens to all members.

1987

RACV opens corporate headquarters at 422 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

Early '90s

A new gazebo was constructed at the Country Club.

1991

RACV starts sponsoring the Energy Breakthrough school program, supporting the development of sustainable motoring in the future.

1992

RACV offers on road battery replacement service.

1994

RACV Financial Services are introduced.

1994

Extra CARE and Total CARE Roadside Assistance products are made available.

Mid '90s

Mini renovation of kitchen and dining room at the Country Club.

1995

RACV introduces automated ticket system for members to purchase tickets to a range of attractions.

1995

Home Loans are added to RACV's range of products and services.

1996

First RACV Accident Repair Centre opens in Cheltenham North.

1997

RACV Foundation is established to manage RACV's support for charities and community causes.

1997

Motorcycle roadside care products are introduced.

1997

Emergency wheelchair breakdown service begins.

1997

Superannuation products are introduced.

1997

RACV implements new roadside assistance system, allowing ETA to be given to members.

1997

RACV launches Years Ahead – Road Safety for Seniors program, providing practical information and advice to older road users.

1997

AirCare Victoria launched by RACV and the EPA to encourage motorists to keep their vehicles maintained to reduce pollution and improve air quality.

1998

RACV launches website.

1998

RACV launches Home Security.

1998

RACV launches Fleet Care packages.

1999

Intelematics Australia, in car assistance network is launched.

1999

NRMA and RACV strategic insurance alliance is signed.

1999

RACV launches Show and Save member benefits program.

2000

RACV launches new traffic safety education programs, Street Scene for primary schools and Transmission for secondary schools.

2000

Finance launches RACV Home Saver loans.

2000

Veteran, vintage and classic car insurance is introduced.

2001

Work begins on new Club premises at 501 Bourke Street.

2001

RACV launches Farm and Business insurance.

2002

RACV Parts, alternator and starter motor replacement service is launched.

2002

RACV joins EcoRecycle Victoria’s Waste Wise program, committing to reducing waste and improving environmental performance.

2002

Petrol prices go online.

2003

Financial Services offers free seminars.

2003

RACV Ticketing covers over 43 attractions and includes event and theatre ticket purchase.

2003

Home Security launches portable alarm.

2003

The RACV Rural Road Safety program is launched, offering grants to rural Victorian community groups to develop local road safety projects and initiatives.

2003

RACV turns 100.

2003

Mobile phone text messaging service for deaf, speech impaired or hearing impaired members requiring roadside assistance is introduced in December.

2004

The RACV/Devine Home package is launched in February, giving home buyers peace of mind with a monitored alarm system and building and contents insurance for a year.

2004

RACV launches a new plastic service membership card system.

2004

Show Your Card and Save member benefits program is launched in August.

2005

The time capsule buried in 123 Queen Street building is opened.

2005

After much anticipation, the Club opens its new city home at 501 Bourke Street on 4 July.

2005

RACV purchases a novated leasing and fleet management company, Direct Salary Packaging Group (DSP) in July.

2005

RACV purchases a new resort at Cape Schanck in December for all members to enjoy.

2005

RACV becomes a founding partner of Zoos Victoria’s new Australian Wildlife Health Centre at Healesville.

2006

Healesville redevelopment commences.

2006

Wildlife Connect, a partnership initiative between RACV and Zoos Victoria, is launched in February. It is a 24 hour a day telephone service via RACV’s 13 1111 number, for Victorian motorists who encounter injured wildlife.

2006

The RACV Salary Packaging office opens in Traralgon2006 RACV Insurance and CFA form a new partnership to promote fire safety.

2006

RACV staff assisted Games volunteers at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, providing transport, accommodation and sightseeing advice.

2006

RACV announces a new membership architecture and corporate identity in November.

2007

RACV introduces Free2go – a motoring assistance program for young Victorians who are new to the road.

2007

RACV Inverloch resort opens in September.

2007

The ongoing contribution of the Country Club to community organisations continues through RACV's Good Citizen Program.

2010

In June, former Victorian Governor and RACV Patron Professor David de Krester opened the newly refurbished Healesville Country Club. At the opening he said: “The Healesville Club adds to an impressive armada of RACV Club and Resort facilities and is a wonderful way of servicing your members”. The occasion was also marked with the installation of the stunning new forecourt sculpture Blue Tree in a Red Landscape by sculptor Konstatin Dimopoulos.

2012

Healesville Country Club continues its evolution restyling the Members’ Dining Room to create a new grill-style restaurant, the Blue Tree Grill.

2013

RACV Torquay resort opens in September.

2013

RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel opens in September.

2015

RACV Goldfields resort opens in November.

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