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Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek

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, changing its name to Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek (Van Doorne's Automobile Factory). In 1958, DAF produced its first passenger car, fitted with continuously variable automatic transmission (VARIOMATIC).

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


All cars of DAF where fitted with their variomatic. The first DAF passenger car was the 600, introduced at the 1958 RAI, it was a sensation! In 1959 the first production DAF rolled of the factory line. The next DAF had a bigger engine, so it became the 750. Next DAF was the Daffodil, divided into 3 types, the 30, 31 and 32. DAF introduced their middle-class car, the 44, so they changed the 32 into 33. The 55 had a bigger 1100CC Renault engine. Next was the 46, with just one belt drive and the last DAF was the 66.

Prototypes and special cars

For a small company as DAF, they made a huge amount of protypes. Also famous coach builders like Michelotti and OSI made cars based on DAF technique. DAF last prototype became the Volvo 343, which sold about 1,4 million.


DAF produced their first truck in 1949, the A30. This truck was upgraded in the next years. Their first attempt into the international market was a failure, the 2000DO. Their next truck was the 2600, what became a big seller. In between they also produced a so-called torpedo-front tractor. In the '70's a new bodystyle was introduced, which was upgraded into the late eighties. DAF was one of the first to introduce a Turbo into their trucks, which in these years became very evident with their 3600. In the eighties, DAF competed in the Paris-Dakar rally, winning with Jan de Rooy in 1982, 85 and 87. In 1988 the teammate of Jan de Rooy crashed in a horrific crash, killing the driver. DAF withdrew. Also in 1988, their succesfull 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.


DAF cars had the image of being slow. The company tried to change this image with entires 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 forbidden to race, because it had the DAF variomatic. If that car would have 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 80's with Paris-Dakar rallies, winning in 1982, 85 and 87. In the later years, they had a twin engine, with more then 1000HP. In 1996 they started competing in the European Truck Race series, first not very succesful, 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. It was a learning year. In 2003 they went back, winning numerous stages, but Gerard crashed out and Jan had a lot of problems. This year (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.

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