Monday, 09 January 2023 09:56
DAF Museum in the NetherlandsWritten by Guus Docen
DAF is the abbreviation of Van Doorne’s Automobiel Fabriek (Van Doorne Car Factory). DAF’s history goes back to 1928 when the brothers Hub and Wim van Doorne formed the basis of their car factory in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. What started as a small engineering and forging workshop developed itself the production of trailers in 1932 and the production of trucks in 1949. The production of passenger cars started with the model 600 in 1958. It was a small family car and the first production car to have a continuously variable transmission (CVT) - the innovative DAF Variomatic. The 600 was presented at the Amsterdam Motor Show in February 1958 and was in production by 1959.
- The museum, which opened its doors in 1993, is located on the spot where Hub and Wim van Doorne started their business in 1928, in the workshop of a brewery from 1884, in the entre of city Eindhoven. In 2019 the DAF museum has undergone an eighteen months renovation and modernization. There’s a completely new entrance area, a nice restaurant and a gift shop. However, the biggest change becomes obvious once you enter the exhibition space — a completely new wing has been added, providing no less than 1,100 m2 of extra space. With almost 60,000 recorded visitors per year, the DAF Museum is one of the most popular museums in the Eindhoven region.
- The ground floor accommodates a pleasant village square, with shops from the 1930s, a welcoming pub, a period garage and a replica of the Van Doornes' office. From here you can start your tour through the museum to discover the many aspects of the DAF product.
The so-called Trucknasium teaches children about vehicles, road safety, and the environment with interactive exhibits. Older children can even take classes on traffic safety or learn about how automobiles are designed and manufactured.
The trucks are displayed downstairs and special attention is paid to busses, firetrucks and militairy vehicles. The upstairs gallery holds an extraordinary collection of cars including some interesting prototypes that were not taken into production.
The history of DAF’s cars takes you past a diverse range of historic cars, with a strong focus on DAF’s revolutionary Variomatic continuously variable transmission. Exploded models in the components gallery show the many possibilities of the stepless transmission. From the Variomatic to the ultramodern Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that is today seen and used worldwide. DAF’s excellent performance in the world of racing and rallying is demonstrated by the unique cars on display, from the DAF 55 that took part in the London-Sydney rally to Formula 3 racing cars. The unique Williams Formula 1 racing car with CVT can also be seen here.
- Until the end of March 2023 there’s a unique exhibition in the DAF Museum, historic trucks and passenger cars from the Czech car brand TATRA. In 2022 TATRA celebrated it’s 125 years anniversary. TATRA is currently a producer of special trucks that are known for their special drive technology with unique off-road qualities. DAF has been cooperating with TATRA for years and supplies engines and cabins to TATRA. DAF and TATRA also work together in the field of drive technology.
In addition to trucks Tatra also produced very special passenger cars until the 90s. These luxurious cars were famous for their air-cooled V8 engines. Some of these models can be seen in Eindhoven and come from the Technicke Muzeum Tatra in Kopřivnice, where the current Tatra factories are located. The exhibition also shows a very special collection of scale models, some of which are handmade.
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