This little-known Dutch rally car could be a star in your local automotive scene
Legendary Italian stylist Giovanni Michelotti designed sports cars for well-known European marques like Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Triumph during his prolific career. Although he is best known for rides like the Ferrari 166, Ferrari 375MM, Maserati 5000 GT, BMW 700, Triumph GT6, Triumph Spitfire, and Alfa Romeo 2600, Michelotti also penned a small family car built by a lesser-known Dutch automaker.
The DAF 66 Marathon Coupe, technically the 6646 (the sedan was the 6645 and the combi was the 6647), was built from 1972–75 and is rarely seen outside Europe. So when this 1975 DAF 66 Marathon 2+2 Coupe Rally Car appeared on Bring a Trailer last week, it stood out. It still resides in the Netherlands, but if you’re looking for something different—completely different—from the Mustangs, Corvettes, and Camaros you normally see at American car shows, this could be worth the cost of shipping.
“It’s not particularly sporty or well known, but it appears to be a very well-sorted and proven vintage rally car,” says Hagerty senior auction editor Andrew Newton. “DAF pioneered the CVT (continuously variable transmission) way back in the 1950s, so that’s a neat connection.”
The 66 Marathon coupe was reportedly sold new in France and modified by the previous owner—in collaboration with Altena Classic & Rally Service of the Netherlands—for use in long-distance rally competitions about 10 years ago.
Finished in blue with silver side stripes over a black interior, it is powered by a Renault-sourced inline-four engine that was reportedly bored to 1.4-liters during the build and features a two-barrel Weber carb. Additional equipment includes an upgraded alternator along with dual fuel tanks with individual fuel pumps. The seller, who acquired the car in 2020, notes that the distributor was replaced in February 2021.
Other features include an AM/FM stereo, roll bar, Cobra bucket seats with LTEC harnesses, a leather-wrapped three-spoke Luisi steering wheel, aftermarket bumpers, front driving lights and a rear fog lamp, and digital rally timers and trip computers. It also has a sunroof, aftermarket black-finished bumpers, front driving lights, a rear fog lamp, and chrome side-view mirrors.
The car’s 13-inch alloy wheels feature DAF-branded center caps and are wrapped in Vredestein Snow Trac tires sized 155/80. Stopping power is provided by front discs and rear drums, and the car rides on Koni shock absorbers. Areas of chipped and peeling paint can be seen on the wheels and the paintwork. Four spare steel wheels with studded snow tires accompany the car.
The five-digit odometer shows just over 31,000 kilometers (about 19,000 miles), but only 800 or so have been added by its current owner. Total mileage is unknown.
The DAF is said to have participated in several transcontinental rallies, including the 2016 Tulpen Rallye and 2014 Winter Trial. It has a Dutch registration, and the sale includes spare parts.
With four days remaining in the auction, bidding has reached $1975.
Approximately 124,000 DAF 66 models were built over four model years, but Newton notes that few have made their way to the U.S. “These aren’t all that rare or valuable in Europe, but if an American buyer springs for it, they’ll probably never run into another DAF anywhere.”