Home  History of the DAF
Club History    The DAF (vanDoornes Automobile Fabriek) has a long history. The company started producing truck trailers in Einhoven, The Netherlands in the early 1930's with the brothers Hub and Wim vanDoorne. The company soon progressed to the next stage and began producing the trucks to pull those trailers around 1949.
   In 1954 Hub and Wim began development of the now infamous CVT Automatic/Variomatic transmission and in 1958 introduced the DAF 600 car with a 600 cc air-cooled motor and the Variomatic transmission.  The DAF 600 was produced from 1958 through 1963.  The car was exported all over Europe and to the United States. Very few examples of the original DAF 600 remain today despite the fact that around 30,591cars were built.
   It was 1960 that DAF first began to export their first cars to the United States. Under the guidance of Mr. Jan Souten the import company called Eastern Cars of Holland based out of Brooklyn, N.Y. (a wholly owned subsidiary of DAF) with a 69 dealer network set up to sell the Dutch DAF to the American public.  In 1964 the responsibility of importation passed on to Ferguson Motors (a multi marque company).
   The 600 cc was followed by the more powerful Model 30 in 1961 which had a 750 cc air-cooled motor.  Body styles remained identical up until the Model 32 in 1965 when the DAF underwent a major restyling. The 32 DAF sported a new front grille, a squared off roof line, less flowing curves and an upgraded interior.  Mechanically it remained the same due to the reliability of the 750 cc motor and Variomatic transmission.
   In 1967, DAF introduced of the new 33, 44 and 55 models. This was also the year that DAF ceased importation to the United States.  With more government safety regulations vanDoornes Automobile Fabriek could not, or would not, upgrade their cars to meet those new specifications. Mr. Jan Souten managed to quickly import six of the new DAF 44's into the country before the cutoff date.
   In 1972 DAF stopped production of the 44 and 55 and introduced the DAF 66 equipted with 1100cc & 1300cc water cooled Renault motors coupled with the Variomatic transmission. The more powerful and totally redesigned DAF was a big hit with the public. Production and sales figures were astounding, approximately 138,840 units were built and sold between 1972 and 1975.
   The DAF 66 was designed with the idea of returning to the United States market and it encompassed all the safety  features required for importation.  Unfortunately, the 1973 gas war put an end to that plan and they never reached our shores.  Also, this year DAF developed the new DAF 77 prototype. The 77 was a radical design, so unlike any other DAF built. Development of this model continued for three years and in 1975 it was ready for production.
   1974 saw the introduction of yet another model to the DAF line-up. This was the Type 46 which featured a single belt Variomatic transmission and a Dion rear independent axle. This model was the only model to feature the single belt, the Dion rear axle was also featured on the DAF 66.
   With the passing of the vanDoorne brothers (Hub and Wim), van Doornes Automobile Fabriek was sold to car manufacturing giant Volvo of Sweden in 1975 so the DAF 77 never made production as a DAF, rather as a re-badged Volvo (The Volvo 300 series).  Volvo continued production of the model 66 and 340/360 with the Variomatic transmission until 1980. The last of the old DAF style cars were now history.  Although DAF continues to produce trucks to this day under the PACCAR Company (a USA based truck manufacturer who also produces the Peterbilt and Freightliner trucks), the cars are a thing of the past.
Club Shop
DAF History
DAF in Miniature
DAF Stories
DAF Club Forum
Interesting Places
Owner's Manuals
Restoration Projects
Shows & Meets

DAF Club of America
46 Mt. Tabor Ave.
Mount Tabor, VT 05739
(802) 293-5541
John deBruin - Director