Museum Classics: DAF Museum Eindhoven, Part Four – The Specialties


In this fourth episode of the DAF Museum tour we walk by a comprehensive collection of specialties. The one-offs, prototypes, concepts, toys for the rich and famous, locally used custom-built commercial vehicles and some fast machinery. In short, the vehicles you never see on the road or at the local car show.


The first vehicle you see once you’ve entered the museum is this DAF Mobile Raincoat prototype. Hub van Doorne designed it in 1943, it’s unknown when it was built. Since it’s only 80 cm (31.5 inch) wide, you can drive it right through your front door. The DAF has a 150 cc ILO four-stroke engine, giving it a top speed of 45 km/h. The hydraulic torque convertor is a DAF design. The engine and front wheel can turn 180 degrees in order to reverse the vehicle.


The canvas top is an emergency exit in case the mobile raincoat turns over and lands on its (single) door. After the Second World War it was used by two clowns in an amateur circus. How about that.


This pickup should have been in Part One, about the trucks. I wasn’t satisfied with the picture’s quality though, so I took a few new ones more recently.


The completely rebuilt and restored pickup truck in the museum is a 1955 DAF A 117. The model was introduced in 1951 and it’s powered by a Hercules JXE-3 gasoline engine, good for 91 hp. This neat truck model is clearly inspired by contemporary US Ford pickups.


This little 4×4 flatbed truck is a military DAF Pony, a 1963 design. The (American) Army Mobility Command ordered DAF to develop a small and easy to operate offroader. Something that could carry military equipment and was able to cope with the roughest terrain. The military Pony is powered by a 500 cc DAF boxer engine and a half Variomatic.


The lady is riding her pony. Actually, she’s operating a DAF Pony while walking behind it. You can see where the steering wheel went.


The 1964 ARKLA Handywagon from the USA has the complete powertrain of a DAF 750. Around 100 of them were built. Read all about it in The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.


Another military design is the DAF Porter from the mid-sixties. Partly derived from the DAF Pony above.


The DAF Porter is clearly an amphibious vehicle.


This is the 1966 DAF O.S.I.-City, built in Turin, Italy. With a 750 cc engine and a Variomatic. On the left side it has a big sliding door.


The Swedish Postal Service ordered 1,000 of these 1967 Kalmar-DAFs, based on the platform and powertrain of the DAF 44. Later they were also sold through the DAF-dealerships in Western Europe, the Kalmar-DAF in the museum is one of them.


A 1967-1968 DAF Pony truck, towing a drawbar trailer. Technically it’s based on the DAF 44.


It was also available as a tractor unit, towing a semi-trailer.


The 1972 BATU project truck, BATU stands for Basic Automotive Transport Unit. A very simple, cheap and easy to assemble light truck with an air cooled DAF boxer engine and a Variomatic, meant for Asia and Africa.


The second BATU-project prototype was a 6×4 chassis. Unfortunately, due to the economic crisis at the time the project was discontinued.


A very wealthy Swiss lady was the proud owner of a DAF 55. Still, she thought it was a bit too small, and she also preferred four doors. She turned to coachbuilder Moretti from Turin. Moretti built this one-off four door sedan based on her DAF 55 in 1972. Many years later a DAF-enthusiast found it at a junkyard. After its restoration it’s now parked next to the Handywagon.


A homemade one-off 1996 DAF Automaat motorcycle, built by Mr. H.S. Bruine. Parts from a Honda 900 Bol d’Or, 1000 Gold Wing and 1100 Gold Wing. Plus the engine from a DAF 46, which means it’s an air cooled two-cylinder 844 cc boxer engine.


Giovanni Michelotti designed the DAF 44. But there’s much more, like this 1965 Michelotti DAF Coupe prototype.


It certainly would have been an enrichment, but DAF needed all the production capacity they had at that moment and it would have been too expensive, given the expected sales numbers.


In 1966 Michelotti designed this beach buggy, the Alassio, based on the DAF Daffodil Type 32.


On the occasion of the birth of Prince (now King) Willem Alexander in 1967 it was donated to the Dutch Royal Family.


The Royal Family renamed the beach buggy “Kini”.


The 1968 DAF-Michelotti-Shelette, based on the DAF 33. Former owners: Aristoteles Onassis and Jackie Kennedy.


This very sharp coupe is the DAF Siluro, a 1968 Michelotti design. His vision on a “dream coupe”.


Fully based on the contemporary DAF 55 platform and powertrain. Which means it has a 1.1 liter Renault engine and, of course, a Variomatic.


Now let’s pick up some speed, of course you can race with a DAF Variomatic transmission. Above a 1965 Alexis Mk5 Formula 3 single seater.


And a 1966 Brabham BT18.


The Huron 4A track- and hillclimb race car from the early seventies, designed by Swiss engineer Jo Marquart. Power from a 2.0 liter Cosworth BDA, the transmission is a DAF Variomatic as used in the Formula 3 single seaters from the sixties.


And then there’s this: a Formula 1 race car, the Williams FW15C CVT with a 760 hp Renault V10 3.0 liter engine, built in 1992. From 0 to 300 km/h in 12 seconds, top speed 369 km/h. Thanks to its CVT it was several seconds faster per lap than any other contemporary Formula 1 car. Too good to be true…


Thus, officially and specifically banned by the FIA: this Williams-Van Doorne CVT. As an aside, the CVT was used in road cars before it was used in a Formula 1 car. And that’s a unique aspect too.

This was the last article in this DAF Museum series, I truly enjoyed writing them. This museum is absolutely worthwhile a visit. And remember: once you’re in my country, nothing in the Netherlands is far away anymore…

Part One – The Trucks

Part Two – The Military Vehicles

Part Three – The Cars