If you live in this part of the world, you must have seen many DAFs on the roads. I am talking about DAF trucks!
DAF is a Dutch truck manufacturing company (DAF Trucks NV) and a division of Paccar* with its headquarters and main plant located in Eindhoven, Noord Brabant province.
Its history goes back to 1928, when Hubert “Hub” van Doorne founded the company, ‘Commanditaire Vennootschap Hub van Doorne’s Machine en Reparatie Inrichting’. All that mouthful transcribes into Hub van Doorne’s limited partnership machine and repair shop.
The company was a small engineering business with a blacksmith workshop, financed by A.H.Huenges, owner of De Valk Brewery. The business operation was located next to the brewery at number 27 Tongelresestraat in Eindhoven.
In 1932, Hub teamed up with his brother, Wim van Doorne, and changed the company’s name to “van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek” (Van Doorne’s Trailer Factory). By 1948, the name was officially changed to “Van Doorne’s Automobiel Fabriek”, otherwise known as DAF for short. Today, it has become the fastest-growing truck manufacturing business in Europe.
Naturally, there is a museum dedicated to DAF in the city of its birthplace. Appropriately, it is located right where it all started. At Tongelresestraat 27 where DAF was born!!
DAF Museum was established in 1993. The old factory has been converted into a museum showcasing more than 60 cars, 10 trailers and semi-trailers and 40 trucks. These include lorries, buses, passenger cars, sports cars, prototypes, racing and rally trucks, army vehicles, fire trucks, a concrete mixer, a tow truck and a Dutch royal family bus.
Just to list a few highlights:
- Tiny blue car DAF Mobile Raincoat prototype designed in 1943 by Hub van Doorne on display near the entrance. It measures only 80 cm (31.5 inch) wide.
- A royal beach car designed by Giovanni Michelotti.
- Formula 1 racing car test driven by David Coulthard in 1993, whose gearbox was manufactured by DAF themselves.
- DAFs 55 in which Rob Slotemaker and David van Lennep completed the grueling London-to-Sydney Marathon.
All the giant and heavy-duty vehicles are located on the ground floor of the DAF Museum. There are sections on engines, DAF history and displays full of impressive related collectibles. There is even a section transformed into a town square atmosphere, including 1930s retail shops, a garage and a café. The original van Doorne’s workshop has been restored too. Walk in and have a sniff around the blacksmith and check out some of the old tools. The rest of the DAF passenger cars are located on the upper floor. It is an overwhelmingly huge collection!
DAF Museum is located a little out of the city center. It is definitely worth a visit for those who love or understand cars, engines, trucks and the brand DAF. It is certainly kids-friendly. You get to view almost all the exhibits up-close. There are plenty of interactive multimedia games and trucks to climb. The museum ‘treasure hunt’ is available, but rather confusing and difficult for kids under 8 years old without guidance. Do expect your visit to last at least a couple of hours.
Address: Tongelresestraat 27. 5613 DA Eindhoven.
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun from 10am to 5pm.
Entrance Fees: €9.00 for adults, €4.00 for kids age 5 to 15 years old and free for kids under 5 years old. Free entry for Museumkaart holders.
Getting There: About 15-min walk from Eindhoven train station. Just follow the signpost you see around the city center. Click link for more info – http://www.dafmuseum.nl/en/info#route
*PACCAR Inc is an American Fortune 500 company and counts among the largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles in the world.