[Top] [All Lists]

Cars With Suspender Drive (was: Re: 300 miles ..)

Subject: Cars With Suspender Drive (was: Re: 300 miles ..)
From: (Bert Palte)
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 13:38:37 GMT
Simon Matthews wrote, amongst others, about continously 
variable transmissions:

>Overall, it is a great concept, but has bad associations: Daf built cars 
>with CVT transmissions which used rubber bands  (well, perhaps they were
>really steel) to transfer the power. 

Well, Simon, they were rubber, at least for a very long time, not
unlike a large fan belt.
Often you could find broken DAF belts on the roads  here. 
When such a belt broke, mostly the driver  could still get home 
with his car as they had actually two belts (one for each rear wheel
drive, thus eliminating the need for a differential gear).

These cars were also known as 'cars with a suspender drivetrain'.

In fact, there still exist MANY jokes about DAFs and DAF drivers here
in Holland, where they were designed and built until Volvo bought the
ailing company I think somewhere in the 70s.

The reason for these jokes was that one could easily get a drivers license
for such a car with an automatic gearbox.
Unlike e.g. in the USA,  auto 'box cars are not at all that common 
in Europe and certainly not in the 60s or 70s.
(DAF only made automatics and thus were virtually the only automatics 
on the road here).

If you were too stupid to get a 'normal' drivers license (i.e. you could not 
cope with what the Americans call  'stick shift'), you could still qualify 
for a DAF license. 
This fact reflected heavily into the  driving style of
most DAF owners. 

The earlier models were not too powerfull, with an engine
similar to that of a Citroen 2CV, adding further to the dislike for
DAFs by the rest of the traffic participants.

Later models like the '55', however,  had a more powerfull
engine, bought from the French Renault company and ' went ' much better. 

Not too many DAFs are around now. 
One reason is that they could drive as fast in reverse as they could 
in forward direction. In reverse, however, steering at, say, 50 mph is 
MUCH more difficult (I'm speaking from experience!) since, obviously,
the steering geometry has not been optimized for that situation.
This resulted in races in reverse driving  having been held with old
DAFs. These were even televised and very popular.
Many of them have been crashed at the occasion.  

I understand that the MG content of this message is low, but perhaps this
info may still be interesting to the LBC community.

Greetings and a Merry Xmas


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Cars With Suspender Drive (was: Re: 300 miles ..), Bert Palte <=