DAF TRUCKS: INTRODUCTION
DAF Trucks started production in 1949 with the model A-30 which was build
in small numbers. When the DAF factory received a a huge order from the Dutch government
to built military vehicles in 1952, accompanied by sufficient funding from the
Marshallplan, business picked up. DAF built a new factory just for truck production that
opened in 1953.
The first trucks were assembled from parts from other manufacturers: engines came from Hercules or Perkins, axles from Timken and gearboxes from Fuller. This was very common in those days. DAF sticked to the production of chassis and cabins, were the cabs were placed over the engine and the engine over the front axle. It gave the DAF trucks a very modern look compared to the traditional "nosed" truck designs of most other truck builders.
In 1955 the Perkins R6 diesel or the Leyland 0.350 engines became the standard motorization, where the old and trusted Hercules petrol engines (called the "Van Doorne Special", named after the founders of the company, the Van Doorne brothers) disappeared into the background. In 1957 DAF got the license rights of the Leyland 0.350 engine and started to built that engine in their own new engine factory. In the same year DAF started to built its own rear axles too and switched to German ZF transmissions. The in-company development of transmissions was considered too costly.
By then DAF was a fully fledged truck builder that offered a wide range of models. In the late fifties a more conventional "nosed" model was introduced (called the Torpedofront model or 10-series) to complement the original cab-over designs and attract the conservative truck buyers.
In 1959 the cab designs were restyled and modernized. Also a new model for international transports was introduced, the 2000 series, that wasn't a big success. Due to European rule changes on vehicle weight and axle pressures production of this truck ceased in 1961, leaving DAF without a contender for the international market for some time.
A 1800-series combination after the restyling of 1959. This is an long-range
model with an 165 HP engine.
The 2000-series was DAF's first attempt at building a truck for international
transport and was built for just two years, starting in 1959. The cab was an modified
A1300/1600/1800-series cab with an added extension in front to give room to the bigger
10-series model was introduced in 1957 to cater to the more conservative buyers. It was
technically identical to the 1000-series, but had so-called normal steering instead of
front steering which meant that the driver sat behind the engine and not above it.
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