In 1981 a DAF 4×4 military truck made its entrance in the truck class of the (in)famous Paris to Dakar rally raid. Without success, as the truck didn’t finish due to a crew member suffering an arm injury. Back then the extreme endurance rally lasted a full three weeks, exhausting man and machine.
A year later Jan de Rooy made his debut in this DAF NAT 2800 Turbo Intercooling and promptly won the +10 ton truck class. He was the owner of a big hauling company and a former motocross rider and rallycross driver.
The DAF N2800-series was only available as a 6×4 chassis, either as truck or as tractor unit. It was developed for the African market, so winning the Paris to Dakar rally raid, straight through the Sahara desert, couldn’t be more apt.
Nothing has ever finished Le Dakar without getting battle scars.
Fast forward 35 years. This is pretty much how all rally raid trucks look like these days, all of them are based on a 4×2 or 4×4 truck chassis, yet heavily modified and strengthened.
So far I can’t find any specific information about this one. According to its plate the starting point was a 2002 DAF CF85 4×2 truck. Most likely the engine is a DAF 12.6 or more recent 12.9 liter (factory displacement) inline-six engine, maximum power output somewhere around 750 to 800 hp (certainly not factory power).
Two shock absorbers per wheel.
The front axle and suspension.
And the rear axle and suspension. Although I couldn’t check, I’d say these are Finnish Sisu drive axles.
Some more king-size sandbox toys.
And a collection of assistance vehicles.
Ever seen a heavy rally raid truck takeoff? A Ginaf with Jan Lammers behind the wheel. Everything is OK, although this jump might as well have ended in a horrible high speed crash.
Let’s calm down a bit. I like this one because of the typical DAF roar.
The upcoming Le Dakar starts on January 6, 2018. In South America, that is.
I love that truck! Makes my morning much more enjoyable….
Love the 35 y.o. one. Seems pretty close to a (no doubt) high-powered version of a normal model doing the run. Unimaginable discomfort. Granite Man behind the wheel, surely.
And love the sound of the current one in the 2nd vid, not to mention the snorting stamping bullfighting rhino effect it gives. Sounds a lot like a vintage Bentley to me.
Here’s the same Granite Man behind the wheel in the 2003 Dakar. Kind of angry, with a southern Dutch accent.
Johannes, you did it again! I love these over-sized sandbox trucks. It takes a lot of balls to do what these men do. The underpinnings are very interesting. Seeing those trucks fly off the ground cured my constipation! I found this video on the internet of Jan de Rooy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmWMAYLcIro. As you know, unfortunately these fine sturdy trucks are not sold in The U.S. Thanks for sending more of your country’s products for us to view. Tom
The 1987 TurboTwin II, as seen in the video you posted, is in the DAF Museum. On the left in the picture below.
Equipped with two 11.6 liter engines, so an engine per axle.
Thanks for posting that, I was going ask if the Turbo Twin was present. I actually saw it on TV in the 80s trailing black smoke as it felw over the dunes.
Something about doing that and panning for gold just intrigues me
I used to love watching that rally. Some time ago they stopped covering it here, at least on the channels I get. Anyone remember the channel speed or the better one that preceded it? Since it switched to South America it just doesn’t seem as risky or extreme.
I really like the service trucks and the occasional buggy, not to mention the motorcyclists. I have seen one or 2 in camper form. This summer with European plates probably going from Alaska to parts south, as they trundle through my small town on Vancouver Island.
Speedvision used to show the daily reports, then they switched to OLN, but not in Canada (pity!). I used to watch it as well. My favourite memory was the video of a BMW team trying to mend their X5’s bent front suspension wishbone using a hammer and a very large rock…they managed a repair and limped into the bivouac several hours late, but were racing again the next day!
South America is certainly less extreme, but then they are less likely to stumble into a war, as happened in Mauritania a few years ago. Still, seems odd for the Dakar rally to be an ocean away from Dakar…
And, Jan de Rooy of course was very, very succesfull in rallycross with the DAF 55 mentioned in your last article.
I find rally-raid trucks to be the most extreme expression of what is surely the most extreme form of motorsport. The bikes, quads and cars are fun, sure, but I can’t get enough of watching these monsters storming across the desert (or whatever).
Seems to me the trucks were originally just support vehicles, whose drivers started racing each other. Or is that just my imagination?
IIRC since the first Paris to Dakar (1979?) there’s a class for -10 ton and for +10 ton trucks. In the first years the trucks certainly looked like support vehicles, with a full cargo bed or box (like the 1982 DAF in the article) and standard engines.
After that they became -and looked- more “purpose built”. The top competition trucks range from 700 to 1,000 hp.
Thanks Johannes – these heavy off-road rally trucks are really impressive – Hino here in Japan takes this racing quite seriously.
Thanks from me too. When watching Dakar coverage I make sure not to miss the truck class. One of the good things is the camaraderie between the teams, eg they will stop to pull another truck back onto its wheels whereas the car/auto class would not be so friendly.