Volvo DAF Profile

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Volvo DAF General Information

First of all, DAF used to be an independent car manufacturer rather than a model of the Volvo range. However Volvo bought DAF and continued producing their cars. Well, first pure DAF cars were the 600, then the Dafodil, that was renamed DAF 30, 31, 32 or 33, a classic DAF design. It followed the 44 & 46, which looked a bit like the unique Autobianchi Primula, though not a copy, a mix of small estate and short saloon boot. All these cars had tiny 2 cylinder engines. With the 55 DAF returned to their more typical design and started using Renault 4-cylinder engines. The 55 was still an independent DAF car. The 66 was launched already under part-Volvo ownership and the 66 was only a minor, straightened facelift to the 55. There also was a rally prototype based on the 55, called the 555, but as this was homologated in group5 it was not seen at WRC level.

The more important fact is how or why DAF was founded as this is part of the reason why DAFs were very interesting rally cars. DAF was founded by Dr. Hub van Doorne and the DAF name is an abbreviation of "van Doorne's Automobiel Fabrieken" - not "Dutch....", a general misconception as Dutch is where they are from. While you can't argue that the D in DAF stands for van Doorne rather than Dutch, it also is claimed that the name means van Doorne's Aanhangwagen Fabrieken. Aanhangwagen = trailors for lorries was DAF's bigger arm from the beginning.

Dr. van Doorne had an unusual idea and engineered the variomatic transmission or CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Having engineered this, he had to find a car producer to cooperate with him. Well, it is not quite known to me if he failed to find a partner or if he never wanted to give his invention away in the first place. In any case, first was the revolutionary transmission and then was a car manufacturer created to produce the cars to use these transmissions.

The variomatic system consisted of variable pulleys and rubber compound belts. Such the gearing ratio continuously changed without changing gear. It was like an automatic transmission, but even the automatic has to change gears, while DAFs didn't! It was as if the car had a hundred gears. This obviously meant as well that the engine was always revving at the perfect revs as the transmission could adapt. On the stages or the road side the cars sounded strange as you could hear only one rev tone without gearchanges, like an inactive engine.

While all DAF cars had this transmission, it seems obvious why these ultra-efficient cars were attractive for rallying. Unfortunately DAF always was a tiny manufacturer and could not get involved in works rally programs. Surely this genious piece of engineering would have deserved more, but as it was they fell under complete Volvo ownership in 1975 after Volvo already invested and owned shares for many years before.

Volvo DAF Related Content

Volvo DAF Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Volvo DAF 55 (0-0) 50/5000 84/3000 3880.1540.1308 845 (16.9) RWD (2255)
Volvo DAF 66 (0-0) 57/5200 96/2800 3905.1540.1308 867 (15.2) RWD (2255)

Random Volvo DAF Photos

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Volvo DAF Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
16th. 1974 WRC Tour de Corse C. Laurent J. Marché #20 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
30th. 1973 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo C. Laurent J. Marché #32 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1973 WRC Rallye de Portugal C. Laurent C. Delferrier #12 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Volvo DAF Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1977 WRC Swedish Rally P. Walfridsson K. Nilsson #64 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Swedish Rally P. Walfridsson K. Nilsson #18 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1973 WRC Swedish Rally C. Laurent J. Marché #74 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1973 WRC Tour de Corse C. Laurent J. Marché #17 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?