DAF VARIOMATIC REVIEW

The Daf car was introduced at the Amsterdam motor show in 1958. It was the brainchild of Dr Hub Van Doorne. Hence its name - Van Doorne Automobiel Fabrik. It had a 600 c.c. aircooled flat twin engine of Daf design, very rugged.

 

This drove the rear wheels via a very special automatic and infinitely iable transmissin system involving belt drive. There was no gearbox as such and no differential either. The system proved very successful and provided true two pedal motoring. Originally the public was suspicious of the novel system, expecting the ious components to be fragile, especially the rubber compound belts. The fears proved to be completely unfounded as the cars gave exceptionally good service even when neglected. The first cars were offed for sale in 1959 and the cars remained in production with improvements and new models from time to time until 1975 when manufacturing rights were transferred to Volvo. The Volvo 343 of 1976 had been intended to be the next model of Daf and the "Variomatic" transmission as it was called was continued in this car. The system was optionally available in some Volvo models until 1991. The CVT system now used by some manufacturers is essentially a modern development of the Daf system which proved so foolproof for over thirty years. There is a flourishing owner club with enthusiastic membership and a very good website.

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