“Daft Daf”inspires Group O to join Eureka! parade

Daf Variomatic Image source: Wikimedia commons

Anyone who follows the Brabantsedag knows that for years sixteen float-building groups have participated in the biggest theatre parade of the year. But… this year there is a seventeenth participant? That’s right. This year, yet another group was triggered by the theme of Eureka!

The little club – together accounting for over 75 years of active Brabantsedag participation – are joining as Group O ( for Opening) but are not competing for any of the three prizes.

Group O call themselves ‘VEUROP l.p.g.’ and they do love a bit of whimsey. ‘Veurop’ is Brabants for ‘in front’, as they will be heading the parade. L.p.g. does not refer to the liquid gas, but stands for ‘Ludiek Parade Gezelschap’, ‘Playful Parade Company’. Their ideas started to froth over a beer in their ‘clubhouse’ on Kapelstraat and developed into an actual plan.

Comedy

These gentlemen have 75 years of combined involvement in the Brabantsedag under their belts, in a variety of constellations. After years of absence, they decided to rejoin and go for the fun.

The idea of VEUROP l.p.g., besides the well-known theatres on wheels, is to open the parade with a humorous street theatre act related to the main theme. They will not build a float, but use playacting and theatre decor to create their act.

A tribute to Variomatic

The title of their act is some indication of the level of comedy they like: they are using the epithet ‘A biddy jiggler with suspenders’ used for the ‘Daft Daf’ at the time it was still driving around. The Variomatic got this irreverent title because it was largely driven by elderly ladies.

The Variomatic was developed by DAF manufacturer Hub van Doorne and introduced in 1958, an automatic gearbox used in car manufacture in the Netherlands for the first time. Because shifting gears was supposed to be manly and women liked the Variomatic because they did not have to change gears, the DAfs were seen as cars for timid lady drivers.

Driving backwards

Because the system does not have separate gears, but one (continuously shifting) gear and a separate ‘reverse mode’ (as opposed to reverse gear), the transmission works in reverse as well, giving it the side effect that one can drive backwards as fast as forwards. As a result, in the former Dutch annual backward driving world championship, the DAFs had to be put in a separate competition because no other car could keep up. Thus, these very cheap and simple cars were the ‘formula one’ in this competition.

The group is not competing for a prize. Their ‘prize’ is in entertaining and captivating their audience.¬†This year, as Group O, they will open the parade for the first time, directly behind the headboard. Based on a successful debut, this initiative will certainly be followed up next year and they will again be VEUROP!

Source: brabantsedag.nl and Wikipedia

Translator: Martijn

Edited by Greta

 

 

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