2018 marked 90 years in business for DAF, which prompted the company to begin its search for the oldest DAF truck still in commercial use.
The search was launched with a video on social media earlier this year that features a cattle trader who has been operating his DAF truck across Ireland since the early 1980s. The video has been viewed almost half a million times, attracting an avalanche of contenders for the title.
DAF was inundated with reports of vehicles that had been in use since the late 1950s and early 1960s. But not all of these great trucks met the criteria; as mentioned, the winner had to be a truck that is still in regular use for commercial transport on public roads.
Responses poured in from all over the world, but the oldest truck was found virtually in the back garden of the DAF factory in Eindhoven, in the village of Bakel.
The truck in question – an A1600 owned by Frits and Nicky Hoefnagels – who use it to transport a nostalgia-filled fairground attraction all over the Netherlands.
The photo that was submitted to DAF via Facebook by father and son Frits and Nicky Hoefnagels, showcases no fewer than four classic DAF trucks, all in top condition thanks to the constant care and attention they are given.
Frits Hoefnagels explains: “Our attraction is a cake walk. We use our DAF trucks to transport our ‘Lunapark’ attraction, and the trucks were new when we added them to our fleet. The Lunapark goes into storage over the winter, but other than that we are on the move from early spring until late autumn, taking this huge building set from fairground to fairground.”
“In addition to a 2800 from 1975 and a 1600 from 1971, we have two A1600s. One of our DAF ‘kikkers’ — so called due to their ‘frog-like’ appearance — is from 1968, and the other from 1969. And we don’t take it easy on them.”
Hoefnagels added: “We are delighted to own and drive the oldest DAF still in commercial use: a A1600 from 1968!”
DAF Trucks has made a short documentary about Hoefnagels’ A1600, the oldest DAF truck still in commercial use.