Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Daf

OSI Daf city car

by Peter
Categories: Cars, Corgi, Daf, Diecast models
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Small cars have always been around and some of the modern one’s such as the Smart car and the Ford KA are very popular, our previous article on the BMC Minissima also by Corgi can be found Here.

Back in the sixties Daf produced a concept small city car and Corgi reproduced the small Daf that never actually made it into production but did the vehicle proud with opening doors, bonnet and tailgate, what made this unusual is the drivers door is a single sliding door while the passenger side has dual suicide doors, Corgi faithfully carried out all the minute details, such as authentic DAF and City logos, the twin-cylinder engine, the Variomatic transmission and even interior detailing, not to mention the doors.

This is Corgi Number 283 and as far as I know is the only colour it was produced in.

The real car

DAF, despite its solo success, was often looking to form partnerships with experts in other fields. For example, the Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti, created the body of DAF 44, 46, 55 and 66s (which explains the similarity to Michelotti-styled Triumph cars of the same era). DAF also teamed up with the Italian OSI company to create a city car of the future.

The brief was simple, and many cars today fulfil the requirements: small, economical and practical. But in 1966, when the OSI DAF was displayed, such features were relatively unheard of. It was shorter than a Mini, but boasted as much passenger space. It had a hatchback and folding rear seats. The doors were interesting, too, not just because there were three; the front passenger door was conventional but the rear nearside passenger door was rear-hinged, a la London taxi. This was to improve access and ingress for such a small car.

The driver’s side was different again – the door slid open front to back, leaving no room for a rear passenger door on that side. The reasoning was quite logical: how many times have we parked at a busy roadside and had to carefully pick the moment to open the door after a stream of traffic has rushed by? With a sliding door, this inconvenience is reduced. Rationally, the engine and city-suited transmission had been lifted directly from the DAF 33 – 746cc, twin cylinders and air-cooling mated to the DAF Variomatic.

Alas, for various reasons, the car did not proceed beyond the one-off prototype stage.