Thursday 4 July 2013

Local Vehicles and the RAC Motor Guide and Year Books

2016 Update:

We have published an online index of all Motor Vehicle Registrations in Western Australia for a number of years between 1917-18 and 1927-28. For more on the index click here or to begin searching go to 

2013 Original Post:

The State Library of Western Australia have digitised and made available online eight R.A.C. Motor Guide and Year Books. They range in date from 1917-18 to 1929-30. Most of them include a list of all vehicle number-plate registrations in WA, the name of each owner, the town/suburb of the owner and the make of vehicle.

Initially Coorow and Three Springs were part of the Carnamah District Road Board. In 1924-25 there were just 26 vehicles registered for all three districts combined:

click on the image to enlarge

By 1927-28 the number of vehicles registered at Carnamah had risen to 269, which is an almost 300% increase from three years earlier. We'll be incorporating local info from all eight books into the Coorow-Waddy, Carnamah-Winchester and Three Springs databases on our website.

If you wanted to take a look at the RAC Motor Guide and Year Books please click here to browse them on the State Library's website. Once you've selected a book there's also the option to download it as a PDF which can be text-searched. If you're wanting to download they range in size from 40 to 165 MB (the books got a lot longer as more people in WA got cars and trucks).

Our thanks to Jim Gordon for bringing this useful resource to our attention and to the State Library of Western Australia for preserving and making them available online. Jim also provided images of Carnamah number-plates over the years - which we're looking forward to sharing in the future.

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