DAF 55 and 66
1968 saw another new development and departure for DAF; the introduction of a car using a water-cooled as opposed to air-cooled engine.
This was the DAF 55 which used the same bodyshell as the DAF 44. Initially a saloon, followed by an estate, and then even more excitingly, the very attractive coupé.
DAF used the Renault 1108cc engine, which took the car into a new league regarding performance, and perhaps making it attractive to more customers. It also used the same rear swing arm suspension and transmission from the 44.
Other differences to the 44 included a more sporty two-pod speedometer, reclining front seats and slightly later, the use of cloth upholstery on the seats, as opposed to vinyl. This was unusual for small cars then.
The 55 also gave DAF considerable success in the world of motorsport, and helped to move away from the "shopping car" image. Two 55s competed in the 1968 London-Sydney Marathon and as a result, DAF launched its sub-brand "Marathon" models. These had a more highly tuned engine, wider wheels and a wide flash stripe down the side.