Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek

From Academic Kids

DAF is a Dutch automobile company, with its main offices in Eindhoven.

The DAF company was founded in 1932, when a machine construction company led by Hub and Wim van Doorne, changed name to Van Doorne's Aanhangwagen Fabriek (Van Doorne's Trailer Factory), abbreviated DAF.

In 1949, the company started producing trucks and buses, changing its name to Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek (Van Doorne's Automobile Factory). In 1958, DAF produced its first passenger car with a continuously variable automatic transmission, the Variomatic.

The division of DAF producing passenger cars was sold to the Swedish company Volvo Cars in 1975, leaving DAF to concentrate on its successful line of trucks.



All of DAF's early cars were fitted with the company's Variomatic transmission. The first passenger car, assigned the model number 600, created a sensation when a prototype was presented in 1958. The first 600s rolled off the production line in the following year. The next model was the 750, featuring a larger engine.

Subsequently, DAF produced a type called the Daffodil, divided into three models assigned the numbers 30, 31 and 32. The latter designation was changed to 33 upon the release of the 44, a middle-class vehicle. Model 55 carried a bigger 1100cc engine made by Renault. The last two passenger cars released by DAF before the division's sale to Volvo were the 46 and 66 (although these continued being sold as Volvo 66). The Volvo 300 series, introduced in 1976 was in fact DAF-based and used the Variomatic transmission.

Prototypes and special cars

For a small company, DAF made a huge amount of protypes. Also, famous coach builders like Michelotti and OSI made cars based on the DAF technique. DAF's last prototype became the Volvo 343, which sold about 1.4 million units.


Missing image
DAF Truck

DAF produced their first truck in 1949, the A30. This truck was upgraded in the following years. Their first attempt into the international market was a failure, the 2000DO. Their next truck was the 2600, which became a big seller. They also produced a so-called torpedo-front tractor. In the 1970s a new body style was introduced, which was upgraded into the late 1980s. DAF was also one of the first to introduce a Turbocharged Diesel engine into their trucks, which in these years became very evident with their 3600. In the 1980s, DAF competed in the Paris-Dakar rally, winning with Jan de Rooy in 1982, 1985 and 1987. In 1988, Jan de Rooy's truck was involved in a crash in which his navigator Van Loevezijn died. DAF withdrew. Also in 1988, their successful 95 series was introduced, bringing DAF their first "truck of the year" title. This series of trucks was expanded, with the 85, 75, 65, 45 and later the 55. In 1993 DAF went bankrupt, but could restart and was taken over by PACCAR in 1997. By then they introduced the succeeder to the 95, the 95XF, which became truck of the year. This series was expanded. In 2002 their entire range was renewed, with the LF, CF and XF range. The LF was the truck of the year 2002. British market DAFs were badged as Leyland-DAFs until the late 1990s.


DAF cars had the image of being slow. The company tried to change this image with entries in rallies and races, such as their entry in the London-Sydney Marathon. This did not lead to an increase in sales. They also made a F3 car. In 1993, a Williams was not allowed to race, because it had the DAF variomatic. If that car had raced, it would have been the first time a development in a car introduced on a roadcar before a racecar. DAF trucks started in the 1980s with the Paris-Dakar rally, winning in 1982, 85 and 87. In the later years, they had a twin engine, with more than 1000 hp. In 1996 they started competing in the European Truck Race series, first not very successful, but by 1999 almost champion. To everyone's surprise, they withdrew.

In 2002, DAF returned to the Paris-Dakar rally. With Jan de Rooy and his son Gerard. It was a learning year. In 2003 they went back, winning numerous stages, but Gerard crashed out and Jan had a lot of problems. In 2004 DAF is back, powering six racetrucks. Jan en Gerard de Rooy, the team Tridec, The team Hans Bekx with 2 teams and the GINAF Rally Power team.

External links

See also

nl:DAF no:DAF pl:Van Doorne Automobile Fabrieken sv:DAF


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