Spyker HistorySource: SpykerPassion for Heritage
At the dawn of motoring, a Dutch car company was building cars that became a benchmark for their foreign counterparts. Combining technological innovation with a drive for engineering perfection and superb quality, Spyker cars won grueling races, speed records and became known as the most prestigious cars of their time. In 1898 two brothers, Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, coachbuilders in Amsterdam, built their first Benz-engined motorcars that won immediate acclaim for the craftsmanship of their bodywork.
In the same year Spijker built the famous golden state coach, still in use today, to commemorate the forthcoming coronation of the Dutch queen, Wilhelmina. This was the turning point in their business career; from that moment on the Spijker brothers dedicated their company entirely to the manufacture of motorcars. The business name was changed to Spyker, for easier recognition in foreign markets. In 1903 Spyker introduced the extremely advanced 60/80 HP. It was the first car with a six-cylinder engine as well as permanent four-wheel drive and four-wheel brakes.
In the same period Spyker introduced it's patented 'dust shield chassis,' a chassis fitted with a streamlined under tray that prevented the car from making dust on unpaved roads. It was innovations such as these that characterized the Spyker cars that quickly became famous for their quality and the ruggedness of their engineering. The Spyker models, with their characteristic circular radiators were especially successful in the Dutch East Indies and in Britain, where Spyker became known as 'the Rolls Royce of the continent.'
Spykers reputation reached further heights when in 1907 a privately entered standard model Spyker 14/18 Tourer became legendary after successfully competing in the famous grueling Peking to Paris raid, taking second place.
In the years prior to World War 1, a worldwide slump in the luxury car market meant that Spyker had to diversify its production. The company started developing and building aircraft. During the war, Spyker built around 100 fighter aircraft and 200 aircraft engines, both of its own design.
In 1915 the company introduced the slogan that is still used today. 'Nulla tenaci invia est via; For the tenacious no road is impassible.' Along with the slogan came a new logo, featuring a spoke wheel with a horizontal propeller across.
After the war Spyker resumed its car production. True to its motto, Spyker continued building record breaking cars. Most famous of these is the Spyker C4. It had a special engine, built by the famous German engineer Wilhelm Maybach.
It had a double ignition system with Bosch high-tension magneto and battery-coil ignition with two spark plugs per cylinder. The C4 was a powerful, dependable and luxurious car; in 1921, a standard C4 a new endurance record, driving continuously for 36 days and covering a distance of 30,000 kilometers. A year later, the famous British driver Selwyn Edge broke the Brooklands double-twelve speed record, clocking an average speed of 119 km/h.
In 1925, the Spyker Company ceased trading, but its name was never forgotten. Spyker became an icon, a brand name that stands for technologically advanced, exotic and dependable cars.
That heritage has been passed on to the new Spyker and its cars.
In an effort to stimulate international sales of the C4, Spyker set out to break the endurance record, previously set by a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. To prove the reliability of the car, Spyker used a standard C4 and set out a route between the Dutch towns of Nijmegen and Sittard. On that track a team of drivers continuously drove the Spyker for 36 days, covering a distance of 30,000 kilometers. No major repairs were needed to the Spyker C4 during the record drive.
The Spyker Company ceased trading, but the name has never been forgotten. Spyker became an icon, a brand name that stands for technologically advanced, exotic and dependable cars. The heritage has been passed over to the new Spyker and its cars.
The Spyker Company ceased trading, but the name has never been forgotten. Spyker became an icon, a brand name that stands for technologically advanced, exotic and dependable cars. That heritage has been passed over to the new Spyker and its cars.
At the Birmingham Motor Show of 2000, the new Spyker company introduced the Spyker C8 Spyder. The lightweight, mid-engined sports car won immediate acclaim from the international press and public alike.
The effort Spyker put in to build a unique car with a name that has become an automotive icon, was well rewarded. On 18 October 2000, Spyker was awarded the prestigious 'Corus Award for engineering excellence for specialist low volume manufacturers.'
At the Dutch AutoRAI 2001 Spyker introduced its second model: the C8 Laviolette. This beautiful coupe based on the Spyder features a glass roof, reminiscent of a jet fighter.
Spyker also announced that it would participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2002. On September 11, at the IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Spyker unveiled the C8 Double 12R, the race car that was going to compete at Le Mans. The model also featured a road going S-version.
In 2002, Spyker raced the 12 Hours of Sebring and entered a car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ultimate test for man and machine. At Le Mans, the car ran flawlessly for 14 hours and 23 minutes until an inlet trumpet broke and the pieces fell into the cylinders.
Also, Spyker developed the road going version of the Double 12 R, the Double 12 S. The car was officially unveiled at the Birmingham International Motor Show in October 2002.
In June, at the 2003 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Spyker won its greatest victory so far; finishing 10th in class and 30th overall with the totally in-house prepared Spyker C8 Double 12 R chassis number 009.
In September 2003, at the International Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt Spyker unveiled the Spyker C8 Spyder T, a twin turbo variant of its C8 Spyder.