Brothers Hubert Joseph and Bill Anthony Vincent Van Do-Orne, better known as HubiVim opened a mechanical work-shop in a former brewery in Eindhoven in April 1, 1928 where they assembled metal cabinets, windows and stairs. They soon began making horse drawn trailers, tractor and, finally, car trailers.
Since 1932, the firm became known as trailer factory of van Doorne brothers - «Van Doorne" s Aanhangwagenfabriek », abbreviated« Daf », and since 1934 has specialized in automobile trailers with four rear wheels mounted in pairs on transverse springs.
In 1936, the Daf company began to modify cars and two-axle trucks into versions with 6x4 wheel, replacing the conventional rear axle with 2-axle drive truck of Trado, receiving its name by the combination of the first letters of the names of engineer Von der Trapp brothers and van Doorn . Same year there appeared the first car brand Daf - Army amphibious MS139 with a completely symmetrical form of the front and rear, mid-engine, all-wheel drive and steer.
The developing of the project of the first truck of Daf was started in 1940, and eight years later it was incarnated in the two experimental cabover trucks of DT5 and DT10 with load-capacity of 5 and 10 tons with front-wheel drive, drop frame and streamlined cab with 4-section windshield.
Production of trucks with more modest cab over engine of Rosett began in 1949. After a couple of years, all the family is composed of four basic models with capacities from 6.3 tons American made 4 - and 6-cylinder petrol and diesel engines of Hercules having displacement of 4.0-4.9 liters and engine power of 83-102 hp or English diesel Perkins with power of 70-83 hp. The success of these trucks in the Netherlands and neighboring countries increased the volume of their production from 150 in 1949 to 3,100 units in 1954, and introducing special bus chassis enabled to significantly expand production areas of the factory in 1953.
The only fully developed bonnet series of Daf trucks appeared in 1957. Initially, it consisted of two basic models, the A12 and A15 with load capacity of 4.5-7.0 MT. Later, this family, manufactured until 1970, joined the new options - A13, A16 and A18. It is believed that this range of vehicles has created a characteristic appearance of early Daf trucks with rounded sidewalls and a unique hood canopy over the radiator grille.
In 1958, the abbreviation Daf received a new meaning: the firm was renamed into the car manufacturing one and was given the name of «Van Doorne" s Automobile Fabriek ». During a year the company set up a small car model of Daf-600. Besides the two-cylinder air cooled boxer engine (590 cm3, 22 hp), it differed by unusual automatic Variomatic belt-transmission. During the following years, this car has been continuously improved.
In 1967 with the use of units of the car Daf-33 with a 2-cylinder engine (850 cm3., 40 hp .) and the Variomatic transmission they started producing miniature truck Daf Pony of 1.6 tons GVW. It could carry cargo of 750 kg. and had a top speed of 70 km/h. It has been manufactured for three years only.
Aggravation of environmental problems caused Daf to enter the so-called Club of the four in 1971, which also includes the «Magirus-Deutz» company, «SAVIEM» and «Volvo». So in 1975-76 the production program of Daf included light series F500, F700, F900 and F1100.
Trucks Daf F2300 of full weight of 16 tons debuted in 1976.
To expand the program and reach new markets the Daf company signed an agreement with «International Harvester» company in November 1971. As a result, in 1973, the program included the bonnet heavy construction truck NAT 2505 (6x4) being a replica of an American Paystar with Dutch diesel DKA1160 and a capacity of 230 hp.
The 1980s started with the modernization of all the previously created vehicles. Since the mid 80's they launched a new flagship series of F3600 with diesel DKZ 1160ATi power 373 hp. By this time, the Daf company created unique full wheel drive trucks to participate in the "Paris-Dakar" rally-marathon.
The second half of the 80s was marked with the largest acquisition: in April 1987 the contract to buy the UK's largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles came into force. Thus was founded the British branch of Daf, and in December 1986 it presented a series of delivery van Daf V400, GVW 2.8-3.5 tons, which were copies of the English models. Production of a new heavy series 95, which was awarded the title of Truck 1988 started at the main plant in Eindhoven in August 1987.
Despite huge advances position of Daf since the late 80's began deteriorating. In 1993, the British branch Daf collapsed. In Leilande Englishmen began to assemble their previous truck, and an office in Birmingham turned into an independent company - LDV. In autumn 1996, the U.S. engineering company Paccar bought 100% of Daf, becoming its rightful owner.
Now the Daf Company is producing an average of 25 000 cars a year and remains one of the world's largest manufacturers of medium and heavy trucks.