Daffodil 32 restoration

Auto Motor Klassiek » Restoration » Daffodil 32 restoration

Frank van der Sanden has spent years restoring his Daffodil 32 LE from 1965. Now the car is finally ready and he likes to share his experiences. 

By: Hans Rodenburg

Besides the known reasons for one DAF as a classic, his wife was decisive: "Such a Dafje is fun!" Bought in January 2004, immediately became a member of the DAF Club Nederland for the parts and technical knowledge and 15 years later the restoration was completed. There was a lot of work and time was limited.

Welding and blasting

First, the welding work was carried out on the body. Two stands have been made to weld on all sides of the DAF. By inserting a steel tube lengthwise through the body and the trestles, the entire car was suspended from the ground and could be rotated 360 degrees. 

All bad sheet metal parts are ground out with a grinder and new sheet parts are made to fit exactly. The hood has been replaced by one with the original emblem with the written letters “Daf” that was missing from the previous one: the Daffodil should be as original as possible. More and more parts were removed, after which the completely bare bodywork could be sent to a blasting company. There, all edges of the body were blasted and scraped. 


Then the car went to a painter who sprayed it both inside and out. The floor and wheel arches with an anti-stone chip coating and then also in the body color. The DAF first had the color Tanita (light beige) completely, but a two-tone with a Rubina (aubergine / dark red) roof color was found and chosen after some research in old DAF documents and books. When the body was back, all hollow parts were first provided with ML-tectyl: parts remain clean and all parts are easily accessible.

Parts and engine

All parts have been cleaned, rusted and given a new coat of paint. During that period, the Variomatic went to the DAF Club for overhaul and balancing. The engine leaked a lot of oil and was therefore equipped with new crankshaft seals, cylinder base gaskets, valve tappet tubes including rubber rings and some other rings and hoses that caused leakage. The intake manifold and starter motor were renewed and the alternator repaired. The shoes and springs of the centrifugal clutch renewed, as well as the bearings in the clutch housing. Finally, a 10.000 km service set so that the spark plugs, spark plug cables, bird beak, rotor, distributor cap, valve cover gaskets, etc. were all in order again.


Finally the building could begin! First, the car was made rolling again by reinstalling the axles, wheels and steering column. Then followed the dashboard and the wiring harness, the lighting and then the interior. After the revamped sky was replaced, the front and rear window could also be replaced. Then a new carpet set from the club was glued in. 

Gluing the new trunk and door rubbers was not easy. Ultimately, everything was glued with Loctite 454 instant glue gel. Then the doors were assembled, the loose window frame back in, the window and the window mechanism. The corners of the hardboard door panels were curled: the panels laid flat on the floor and left a large pile of paving stones on them for six months, after which they could be reassembled. Indispensable parts are also the new pipes. It is a nice sight to see the shiny fuel line, vacuum line and brake lines under the Tanita bottom. Finally, the engine and primary part of the Variomatic were replaced.

Therefore a DAF!

The most exciting moment after the restoration is starting the engine for the first time: a great moment! The engine ran like a charm. The first trip to the MOT station followed; and yes: worth it! During a ride afterwards, the car moved very slowly and the accelerator had to be pressed quite far. The rod of the rotating vacuum valve should be the solution by turning the screw thread a bit shorter or longer. Only after a few turns, the Daffodil drove completely differently: faster from its position and much quieter. Then switched from euro 95 to super 98 and also the ignition readjusted. “Now I am very satisfied,” says Frank.

"After this long and extensive restoration, I have come to the conclusion that this is the last car that I fully restore."

DAF Club Netherlands

As an owner, a club membership is of course very useful. The club has registered about 1900 members with a combined 2600 DAFs. This is an indispensable source of technical and practical knowledge. In addition, around 13.000 parts are available through the club shop, events and tours are organized and the magazine 'Variomatic' is published four times a year. You do not have to leave it for the annual contribution. More information via www.dafclub.nl.

Also read:
- The last passenger car with the DAF brand name: the 46
- The Kalmar Daf. A purposeful Daf
- Dutch glory. The DAF 55.
- Daf 66 Marathon. A sporty Daf
- Daf, a day out with a smile

Daffodil 32


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  1. Beautifully done. The DAF32 daffodil was my first car, registration number 49-97-AS from 1965. We enjoyed touring it with 6 children and a German shepherd. Especially driving backwards to and through the village which gave a lot of attention. The front fenders were soldered with copper and it was a job to replace them because they rusted through at the mud rubbers. Lovely little car. It is a pity that a lot has been lost while reversing at Zandvoort. Have fun with it!

  2. Beautifully done, very nice car.
    I do not have any criticism with my next question, but why Tectyl in the hollow spaces and not a greasy Wax-oil or Dinitrol?

  3. What a Gem !! My father was ultimately responsible for the control of production in Eindhoven and often came home for lunch. As a child we were allowed to take a tour. When I see this, that feeling and also the factory smell of the nail new Dafjes is completely revived.

  4. To be proud of! And you are sure of that.
    How beautiful, all those positive reactions from real connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Enjoy it, brother.

  5. Beautiful ! Every DAF is worthy of a restoration. Unique technology, the Daffodil has put the necessary advantages (CVT) into practice with the technical idea of ​​the clever stick. Beside:
    Those DAFs are also special in terms of design. Practical, strong, graceful, without fuss and friendly on the road. Nowadays come about that…. 😉

  6. It's also nice that the car was mounted on stands and was rotatable 360 ​​degrees to give all the sheet metal proper attention. Then you can deliver a nice piece of work. Great restoration.

    • Agree with your comment. A picture and probably better than when he left the factory, but I think it was still built in Eindhoven, Born only opened its doors in 1967.

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