The National Roads and Motorists’ Association, better known as the NRMA, is celebrating its 90th birthday in 2014 with a look back at how the Association and motoring has changed over nine decades.
The NRMA has come a long way from its 1920 beginnings as the NRA, focused primarily on shifting customer’s cars around to avoid parking tickets.
NRA became NRMA in 1924, and today it is the largest customer organisation of its type in Australia.
This week, the NRMA has established an exhibition at the Australian Motorlife Museum in Wollongong, NSW, to mark its 90th year.
Members, dignitaries and employees past and present gathered at the grand opening this week, with Group CEO Tony Stuart saying the NRMA is a great ‘family’ organisation.
“You can’t go forward unless you know where you’ve come from,” Mr Stuart said.
“Today it’s another step in our journey, allowing NRMA members and staff to see properly displayed exhibits along with some great video from our past.”
Among the museum pieces is a copy of The Open Road from 1955, a 1924 Douglas twin-cylinder motorcycle and a replica bicycle; as used by patrolmen in the Association’s earliest days.
In its modern form, the NRMA deals with 1.4 million call-outs every year, with over 1000 people on the road and another 250 operating behind the scenes.
With cars becoming more reliable over the years and owners upgrading to new models more frequently (thus requiring fewer call-outs), the Association has branched out to cover driver training, car servicing, travel and more.
Australian Motorlife Museum President Bob Williams said the exhibition complimented the facility’s existing collection of interesting, rare and classic vehicles.
“To us, the exhibit means a great deal - it adds to our collection policy of memorabilia going back over the history of the motor vehicle, and it will be a significant drawcard for people coming into the museum,” Mr Williams said.
“We have a lot of NRMA members already coming in, and now we’re confident that more will be conscious of the exhibit and say ‘let’s go and have a look at that’.”
The NRMA Heritage Exhibition is located in the Australian Motorlife Museum, Darkes Road, Kembla Grange NSW - around 15 minutes south of Wollongong’s CBD.
Phone: (02) 4261 4100 during office hours.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday excluding public holidays, 9:30am to 4:30pm.
Online: www.motorlifemuseum.com.au (website opens in new window.)
NRMA members who show their membership card at the museum will pay a discounted entry fee.
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