Car Show Classics: 2017 DAF Museum Days – Variomatics With A Twist

(first posted 10/31/2017)        Sport & Specials was this year’s theme of the annually held DAF Museum Days in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In other words, DAF cars beyond grocery getter level. And some souped-up big brothers to boot.

1972 DAF 55 coupe. The 55, introduced in 1968, was powered by a 1.1 liter Renault engine. It was DAF’s first car model with a water-cooled four-cylinder engine.

In the early seventies, Mr. Harrie Geeris built a few of these convertibles. As far as is known this is the only one left.

The unique convertible (Buggy? Daffy?) is based on the DAF 66. The 66 was introduced in 1972, it had a De Dion axle instead of the swing axle the previous DAF models had.

In 1968 two DAF 55 rally cars drove the 16,500 km long London to Sydney Marathon. Above a 1993 replica, based on a 1970 DAF 55 Marathon sedan. Under its hood a tuned 1.4 liter Renault engine.

The DAF 55 certainly wasn’t fast. But throughout the years they did very well in endurance rallies all over the world, with great performance in the mountains and on muddy and slippery roads. On top of that, the simple Renault engines didn’t miss a beat.

Another 1.4 liter engine, good for 90 hp, in a 1975 DAF 66 sedan.

1975 DAF 66 1300 Marathon coupe, powered by a 1.3 liter Renault engine. A typical factory specs sporty DAF.

1971 DAF 55, Rallye du Maroc replica.

1966 DAF Daffodil (Type 32 S) with a 746 cc air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine, a Group N rally car homologation model.

1969 DAF 55 Rally sedan.

1970 DAF 55 Marathon coupe.

Living rallycross and rally raid legend Jan de Rooy owns this DAF 66 coupe with “a lot of horsepower”. Two of these were built, both in Sweden.

A 1960 DAF 600 that has been around. It drove the Amsterdam to Moscow rally, Route 66 in the US, and the 1997 Peking to Paris endurance rally. The two-tone 600 got a full restoration a few years ago.

Here’s its 590 cc DAF engine.

1970 DAF 55 sedan with a Renault-Alpine turbo engine, maximum power output somewhere around 160 hp. It can only be a blast to drive.

1974 DAF 33 Rally.

A supporting role for this 1964 DAF Daffodil with the 746 cc engine.

And now for something completely different, let’s call it a DAF 33-hardly-a-V8.

From 2006 to 2015 rockband Peter Pan Speedrock organized rock festival Speedfest. Does the band’s logo look somewhat familiar?

Of course it does. Both the band and the multinational hail from Eindhoven, just like DAF.

This 1976 DAF FT2800 became a race truck after its career as a workhorse. The 2800 was well-known for its simplicity and longevity, many of them were exported to Africa or the Middle-East after their European job was done.

The most brutal of them all was a DAF CF race truck with a 980 hp 11.7 liter inline-six engine and water cooled brakes.

Since the early eighties numerous heavy-duty DAF trucks have participated in the Dakar Rally and other rally raids, both as rally trucks and as assistance vehicles. We’ll have a look at some of these all wheel drive diesel monsters in a next article.

Related reading:

CC Global: DAF 66: Four Decades Of Dutch Continuous Variability

Museum Classics: DAF Museum Eindhoven, Part Three – The Cars