DAF 66

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DAF 66
DAF 66 Marathon Coupe
Manufacturer DAF
Production 1972-1975
Assembly Eindhoven, Netherlands
Designer Giovanni Michelotti
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door sedan
3-door estate
2-door coupe
Layout FR layout
Engine 1.1 L (1108 cc) OHV straight-4
1.3 L (1289 cc) OHV straight-4
Transmission Variomatic
Wheelbase 2,250 mm (88.6 in)
Length 3,835 mm (151.0 in)[1]
Width 1,525 mm (60.0 in)[1]
Height 1,448 mm (57.0 in)[1]
Kerb weight 780 kg (1,720 lb)
Predecessor DAF 55
Successor Volvo 66

The DAF 66 is a small family car produced by the Dutch company DAF from September 1972 to 1976. It was the successor of the DAF 55 and was itself superseded by the reworked Volvo 66. The DAF 66 was the last four-cylinder car to feature the DAF name.

The 66 was available as a 2-door saloon, a 2-door coupé and a 3-door estate. It featured the unique Variomatic belt-driven continuously variable transmission.[2] In total 146,297 DAF 66s were built.[3]


The 66 was developed to be an evolution of the 1967 DAF 55. The redesign was mainly cosmetic, and featured the following major changes:

  • Powertrain
    • The 1108 cc Renault Cléon-Fonte engines were reworked to have lower emissions, changing power to 53 bhp (40 kW) for the normal models, and 60 bhp (45 kW) for the 1100 Marathon.
  • Suspension
    • The rear suspension and Variomatic was completely redesigned, learning from DAF's experience in Formula Three racing. The Variomatic was much more robust and now incorporated a differential for smoother low speed maneuvering. The unpredictable swing axle rear suspension of the 44 and 55 was changed to a leaf sprung De Dion tube axle, which greatly improved handling and comfort.[4]
  • Braking
    • Cheaper models now featured drum brakes all around, whilst higher spec models retained the 55's front disk brake setup.
  • Bodywork
    • The complete front clip was restyled, giving a more uniform and boxy appearance. The rear featured narrower rear lights.

Model chronology[edit]

The 66 was launched as a wide model range, incorporating a 2-door saloon, a 3-door estate and a 2-door 2+2 coupe. At introduction the customer could choose from 'De Luxe' (drum brakes and vinyl seats), 'Super Luxe' (Front disks and reclining cloth seats) and 'Marathon' (Extra power and wider wheels) trim levels.[5]

In 1973 the '1300 Marathon' replaced the original Marathon. It featured a 1289cc 57 bhp (43 kW) version of the Renault C-series inline 4 engine used in all 66s. The 1300 Marathon was distinguishable from its lesser brethren by the foglights mounted in the grille. The interior featured a centre console with room for fitting extra gauges and high backed cloth sports seats. The less torquey but more powerful 1108cc Marathon engine remained available as an option on all models.

In 1974 the Dutch Armed Forces commissioned DAF to build a small personnel carrier. This car, the YA 66 was an adaptation of the normal 1108cc 66 sedan, with the most apparent change being a roofless, Jeep like body. Technically it was very similar, and as such had little to no terrain capacity. 1201 DAF YA 66s were built. They were all decommissioned in the early 90's and sold to the public.[5]

DAF's in the media[edit]

A white saloon version of the DAF 66 features in the opening credit sequence of series 2 of the British made ITV detective series Van der Valk which was filmed on location in Amsterdam. Van der Valk is seen as a passenger in this sequence and the car is subsequently seen in a number of episodes.


DAF 66 Saloon 
1975 DAF 66 Super Luxe Coupé front 
1975 DAF 66 Super Luxe Coupé rear 
1974 DAF 66 Estate 
1975 DAF YA 66 front 
1975 DAF YA 66 rear 


  1. ^ a b c "4 way selecting second hand". Autocar. 143. (nbr 4105): page 44. 12 July 1975. 
  2. ^ UK2.NET. "The UK's original and leading source of info about DAF Variomatics". DAF Owners Club. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  3. ^ "Daf". catalogusprijs.nl. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Autotest:DAF 66L: Simply Automatic. Not quite so fast as the 55 but just as nice to drive. De Dion rear end greatly improves road holding. Fuel consumption more than usually dependent on driving technique. Comfortable and quite roomy". Autocar. 138. (nbr 4008): pages 34–41. 22 March 1973. 
  5. ^ a b "Daf Club Nederland 2012". Dafclub-oud.nl. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 

External links[edit]