DAF 1958-1963

DAF 1958-1963

1958 DAF 600

1958 DAF 600

1958 DAF 600

1958 DAF 600

photo 5 persons in DAF

.. and it seats 5 easily

Usually in car advertizing, they selected small people and exagerated proportions to make the car look larger and grander that it actualy was. Here we see quite the opposite: a small car depicted as it actually was. The no-nonsense Dutch squeezed well-fed hat-bearing grandparents in with that poor little boy, while Mum and Dad chat amongst themselves up front.

The feature that made DAF famous (and popular) was the infinitely variable automatic transmission. This was in a time that automatic transmission was practically unheared of in Europe, and largely regarded as an inferior gadget only Americans liked. All this changed thanks to the clever invention of the Van Doorne brothers. Instead of a gearbox, the system used rubber belts on spring-loaded pulleys at the rear of the car. The pulleys were v-shaped and were adjustable in width. By pulling the front pulleys apart and squeezing the rear ones together, you got a ratio for starting off in (like 1st gear). It was similar in a way to the way a bicycle derailler gears work: small cog at the front and large at the back = 1st gear. The pulleys were operated by vacuum from the inlet manifold: the further you depressed the accelerator the less vacuum there was and the springs forced the rear pulleys together. The closer together the two halves were, the lower the gear. The only controls the driver had were 'forward' and 'reverse'. Easy!. After DAF were taken over by Volvo, the Van Doorne brothers retained ownership of their Variomatic invention and developed it further into the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) we know today.

DAF Variomatic belt transmission

DAF Variomatic belt transmission
Amsterdam RAI 1958Amsterdam RAI 1958