Van Doorne’s Automobiel Fabriek is typically known as DAF. The company has been founded in 1928 in Eindhoven. While the company has its roots in manufacturing trailers and later was also rather strong in cars, it is nowadays one of the most present European companies providing trucks. The home city of DAF hosts the DAF Museum. Even though I visited this place quite a while ago, I now finally made it and share my experience with you.
DAF Museum – Location & Admission
The DAF Museum is beautifully located at the Kanaaldijk, which is located Southeast of the city center of the Dutch city. I had a some 15 minute walk from the hotel I stayed in, the lovely NH Collection Eindhoven Centre. There is also a bus stop right in front of the museum, serving bus line 5 (the stop is called DAF Museum as well). You may also use one of the car parks around – generally, public transport in the Netherlands is very hand, though.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Adult admission is 11 Euro. The museum is accepting the Dutch Museumkaart.
DAF Museum – The Visit
The museum contains a lot of information and documentation about the exhibits. However, quite a significant part of the museum is only documented in Dutch, there are neither English nor German or French signs mostly. This is a pity, as it would ease some parts of the visit significantly. Furthermore, there is no real route through the museum. You likely start at the forge and the very beginning of the company, but then might get confused during your visit. The museum has a lot of interactive screens, the majority being limited or disabled due to Covid-19 restrictions during my visit.
As said, you start in the late 1920’s when Hub van Doorne started with a machine and maintenance workshop. In 1932, the company re-branded to trailers and changed into a stock company. In the forge and workshop, you learn about these steps and also about the spirit of the franchise at that time. The DAF Museum features a lot of historic vehicles of that time – trailer, but majorly cars. Thereby, the museum also features the role of DAF in WWII and then the raise of trucks and cars in the post-war period. You typically cannot enter the exhibits, of course.
Rallye Trucks, Scale Models and Tableware
I tried to do my visit in a chronological way, which did not always work out. For example, there is a special section about Rallye trucks, while you later have large glass cabinet with scale model cars illustrating the history of the Dutch company. However, you also run into very different items telling you a stories about the company, like typical Dutch porcelain. You also run into very different commercial vehicles like buses.
After that, I completely did not manage to keep my visit alongside the history of DAF and ran into a section of rather modern trucks and their technologies I really liked to see the huge engines of a modern DAF trucks. However, this part of the museum also feels most like marketing, almost like a showroom. It weakens the museum character of the place significantly. Another class of powerful vehicles which are in display in the two-level museum are racing cars produced by the company. I closed my visit with another section about DAF cars. The era of DAF passenger cars ended in the mid-1970’s already.
DAF Museum – Services
The museum features a cafe / self-service restaurant, which felt to be very popular, especially during lunch time. There is, of course, also a souvenir shop you pass before leaving the museum. The staff did not feel very helpful.
DAF Museum – My View
The DAF Museum is a really good place. However, it wastes a lot of potential. Their collection of items is fantastic, the documentation is at most average – not only because English documentation is missing. I also struggled to define a reasonable way through their exhibition. Still a good places, but too many issues to be on the very top.
Museums in the Netherlands
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