DAF Museum in Eindhoven

DAF logo.

In July 2021, I met up with the Flavourez crew for the first time. Flavourez is a new Dutch and Flemish gay lifestyle platform. Founder Luuk hosted a birthday party / crew meet-up in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. So I booked a room at Hotel Mariënhage in the centre of town.

Before going to the party, I visited the DAF Museum

DAF Trucks is a Dutch lorrie manufacturer. Nowadays it’s part of the American Paccar company. But DAF also used to make cars. It is or was known for the Variomatic

The Variomatic is the continuously variable transmission (CVT) originally developed by Hubert Jozef (Hub) van Doorne. It is a stepless, fully-automatic transmission, consisting of a V-shaped drive-belt, and two pulleys, each of two cones, whose effective diameter can be changed so that the ‘V’ belt runs nearer the spindle or nearer the rim, depending on the separation of the cones. These are synchronized so that the belt always remains at the same optimal tension.

DAF stands for Van Doorne’s Aanhangwagenfabriek N.V.. Hub van Doorne started in 1928.

Museum building

The DAF Museum is located in a former brewery De Valk. For many years this was the largest brewery in Eindhoven. In 1893 a plastered extension with office space was added on the left. Around 1920 a silo with lifting device was built on the right side.

After a period of housing IJsfabriek Ant. Coolen & Co., the building was used, among other things, as a practice room for a rugby club, but in 1993 the DAF Museum was established in this building, which is closely linked to DAF history. It is classified as a national monument.

Behind the building, Hub van Doorne started his trailer factory in 1928 as a kind of blacksmith shop. The company DAF later emerged from this. Brewer Huengens initially provided Hub with the first credit. In 1931 the company moved to another building.

Collection

The museum mainly features many DAF vehicles, including sports cars and prototypes. Many of these prototypes are cars that never went into production. An example is the royal beach car, which was designed by Giovanni Michelotti on the basis of a DAF Daffodil 31 and served as a beach car in Porto Ercole in Italy.

Part of the museum has also been set up for the large collection of trucks. Central to this part of the museum are the trucks from past times, including trucks, buses and special vehicles such as army trucks, fire trucks, a concrete mixer and a tow truck. 

A number of racing and rally trucks are also on display, including the Turbo-Twin, Jan de Rooy‘s Paris-Dakar winning rally truck from 1987. 

One of the latest acquisitions is the royal bus of the Dutch royal family.

Upstairs you find DAF passenger cars. There are almost a hundred different DAF cars and vehicles derived from it.

Experience

The collection is large. Almost all vehicles are in crisp condition. The set is well-thought, with a garage, a fire station, a pub … I personally enjoyed the Williams-Renault FW15C Formula 1 car.

It’s perhaps a bit messy and explanation cards need a better, up to date design. But overall it’s a nice museum to visit. I’d give it some two hours. 

Epilogue

In July 2021, face masks weren’t compulsory anymore in the Netherlands in museums, shops, hotels, bars and restaurants. That felt very odd and disconcerting. 

Luckily there wasn’t a crowd and social distancing was possible. 

Passengers truck.

The Netherlands, July 2021

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