The DAF Daffodil is a small family car that was manufactured by DAF from 1961 until 1967. It replaced the DAF 600. At the same time DAF launched the DAF 750 which was essentially the same car but with less luxurious fittings and less chrome trim on the outside. The Daffodil was conceived as an export version of the 750, market response dictated that the 750 ceased production in 1963 while the Daffodil, benefitting from a succession of mild face lifts, remained in production until 1967. The Daffodil was replaced by the very similar but slightly more powerful DAF 33.
The Daffodil name worked well in some markets, but in the domestic market and in Germany the more luxuriously equipped version of the DAF 750 was known as the DAF 30. Upgrades in 1963 and 1965 were marked by name changes to DAF 31 and DAF 32. In these markets the launch of the DAF 33 in 1967 was merely a continuation of an existing line.
The 746 cc four stroke air cooled 2 cylinder Boxer engine had the same stroke as in the 600, but the bore was increased from 76 mm to 85.5 mm. Claimed power output was also increased from 22 bhp (16 kW) to 30 bhp (22 kW), and a maximum speed of 105 km/h (65 mph) was claimed. 0-50 MPH time was a speedy 29 seconds, as tested by the Consumers Union in the United States.
The DAF 600 was the first car to have a continuously variable transmission (CVT) system - the innovative DAF Variomatic, the same system was carried over to the 750 and its variants. The DAF Variomatic employs centrifugal weights to shift the transmission and is enhanced by an engine manifold vacuum. The DAF Variomatics were thereby the only cars ever produced which went faster by the simple expedient of gently and gradually releasing the accelerator once top engine speed had been reached. The Variomatic also permitted increased engine braking by operating a switch on the dashboard which reversed the action of the vacuum on the pulley's diaphragm, seeking a lower ratio with increased manifold vacuum. Two separate transmissions ran the two driving wheels, eliminating the need for a differential. The two transmissions could provide different gear ratios, permitting the wheels to rotate at different speeds. The duplication also provided redundancy. If one belt broke, the vehicle could still be driven.
Between 1961 and 1967 the mechanical aspects of the car were not significantly changed.
1963 marked the withdrawal of the 750 and 30 badges, and the DAF 30 was replaced by the DAF 31. The exterior of the car was modestly reworked with input from Michelotti which involved sharpened angles and more prominent fins: the interior was also significantly upgraded.
In 1965 the DAF 32 replaced the DAF 31. This upgrade was marked by further limited changes to the body panels, again involving Michelotti whose influence would continue to be seen on DAF passenger cars until the Limburg car assembly business was acquired by Volvo.
The DAF Daffodil gave name to the late 80's/early 90's Manchester Indie band The New Fast Automatic Daffodils, after an advert for the car, which stated "The New, Fast Daffodil - fully Automatic".