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DAF collectors launch renting service for nostalgic day outings

Heritage car back on the road

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SLIJKENBURG, the Netherlands – A remote hamlet on the northern border of Overijssel in Friesland is home to one of the country’s most unique car rental service. Two DAF car buffs acquired models of the old timers of the 1960s Dutch sedans which in the Netherlands gained a reputation as the ideal car for the average driver with limited means. The only mass-produced Dutch designed car, among other names, was dubbed ‘oude wijvenbakkie.’

Enthusiast Damiaan Huizinga, who lives in the southwestern Frisian community of Slijkenburg, near Kuinre and Lemmer, and his fellow DAF collector Piet Kruijer restored all the cars they could find for their rare collection.

The pair recently launched a website, to market their heritage car rental service. People with a sense of nostalgia and immigrants who missed out on the DAF era now can rent the rare car for a day’s outing in the vicinity.

Huizinga staked out routes around his home base which is near the large nature Weerribben park. People could opt for a leisurely drive through the Weerribben, scenic Gaasterland or the IJsselmeer coast, all routes little known to most of the Dutch abroad. Huizinga has also created a three-night Elfstedentocht outing.

Kruijer, who resides in distant Alkmaar, set out routes around his home base in North Holland.

Pioneered by the Van Doornes in Eindhoven, the DAF sedan created a sensation when its prototype was presented in 1958. The car featured unitary steel construction, with a front mounted, air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine driving the rear wheels through a centrifugal clutch and the variomatic transmission. The way this was constructed it eliminated the need for a differential, with the drive belts taking up the difference of speed in the corners. This acted as a limited slip differential. The car had independent suspension all round, with McPherson struts and a transverse leaf spring at the front, and a coil sprung swing axle design at the rear. The car maker introduced several upgraded models before its Born, Limburg factory was taken over by Volvo in 1975.