Spyker’s Interesting History

Spyker C8 Aileron Logo

I ran across this the other day on the Spyker Press Site and thought it was pretty interesting. It’s a rundown of the history of Spyker.

I still remember the first time I saw a Spyker first hand. I couldn’t figure out what it was, and why it was well into the $200k price range. It’s definitely an odd creation, with an even odder interior, but there is something mystical and drawing about these cars. The more you take them in, the more you gain an appreciation and love for the design and general feel of the car.

Spyker is an interesting little company, with ambitious designs, and reportedly a Porsche 911 competitor coming at the Geneva Auto Show (Is Spyker Getting Into the Porsche 911 “Game”?).

Here’s the summary history of the company:

1880 – The Spyker company is founded by two Dutch brothers, Hendrik Jan and Jacobus Spijker, who are blacksmiths by profession. At first, the ambitious brothers concentrate on building and maintaining carriages in Hilversum, The Netherlands.

1898 – The Spijker brothers build their first Benz-engined motorcar with which they win immediate acclaim for the craftsmanship of its bodywork.

1901 – Spyker regularly competes in reliability and time trials. In 1901 Spyker enters a car in the „Toer door Nederland?. Instead of starting with the rest of the field in this four-day, 556 km long race, they start 2 days later and win the race in just 23 hours.
Spyker experiences its first major highlight when the opulent “Golden State Coach” is delivered to Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands. It is still used for ceremonial Dutch events in the 21st century.

1903 – The company introduces the Spyker 60HP Grand Prix racer, the world?s first six- cylinder four-wheel drive car.

1904 – The Spyker 60 HP Grand Prix racer competes in the Blackpool speed trials and finishes third.

1904-1905 – The second generation Spykers compete well in the English trials and are awarded for their ability to climb hills and for their attention to detail.

1905 – The latest cars feature a new round signature grille and four-wheel drive is available on the four-cylinder cars.

1906 – Spyker competes with a customer?s 28 PK in the „Scottish Reliability Trials?. The company announces: “Our cars are so good that we do not have to prove that in competition.”

1907 – In February, Frenchman M. Goddard enters a Spyker 14/18 PK into the most gruelling race of all time: the Peking to Paris Raid. Six months later, in August, the Spyker finishes second in the 15,000 km monster race.

1910 – Spyker introduces a new type of engine, a mono-bloc four-cylinder unit with remarkable transverse camshafts, designed by engineer Joseph Laviolette. The 12hp engine has one camshaft placed between the two pairs of cylinders; bigger engines of the era have two, each servicing two cylinders.

1914 – Spyker merges with Dutch Aircraft Factory N.V. and the company motto becomes: “Nulla Tenaci invia est via”: for the tenacious no road is impassable. During the First World War, 100 Spyker fighter planes and 200 aircraft engines are produced.

1919 – After the First World War a two-seater car, the C1 “Aerocoque”, is shown for the ?first time. It is intended as a show car but is also produced on a very limited scale. It features extrovert streamlined bodywork inspired by aircraft design.

1920 – On 27 November, the first „Spyker 30/40 PK? leaves the factory. The so called „Tenax? or C4 breaks the Rolls Royce endurance record by 6,000 km. The C4 completes 30,360 km in the Dutch winter weather in just over a month. Over the following years, the standard C4 – not exactly a race car – claims many iconic victories including the La Turbie (Monte Carlo) hill climb.

1922 – Renowned racing driver Selwyn Edge believes that technology has progressed enough to attempt to break the average speed record set in 1907. He chooses a Spyker C4 fitted with streamlined racing bodywork for the challenge, succeeding by driving at an average of 120kph (74.5 mph) during two 12-hour periods.

1925 – 45 years after it was first formed, the original Spyker Company ceases to exist.

Spyker reborn

2000 – Seventy-five years after the original company disappeared, the brand is resurrected.
On 17 October, the new Spyker Cars N.V. unveils the Spyker C8 Spyder at the Birmingham Motor Show.

2001 – The Spyker C8 Laviolette is launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show. The Spyker C8 Double 12 R is launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

2002 – A street-legal version of the C8 Double 12 R is introduced: the C8 Double 12 S.

2004 – Spyker makes an initial public offering (IPO) and the company is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on 27 May.

2006 – The Spyker C8 Spyder is chosen by the luxury lifestyle magazine, Robb Report, as one of its ultimate gift recommendations.
The Spyker D12 (since renamed the D8) Peking-to-Paris, a Super-SUV concept, makes its worldwide debut at the 75th Geneva International Motor Show.
Spyker acquires the Midland Formula One team and competes for a season in the pinnacle of motorsport: FIA Formula One.

2008 – Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars, and Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato, unveil the Spyker C12 Zagato concept at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show.
The C8 Laviolette LM85 makes its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November.

2009 – The production version of the Spyker C8 Aileron, the second generation Spyker supercar featuring a longer wheelbase than its predecessors, makes its debut at 78th Geneva International Motor Show.
In August, the Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder concept is unveiled at the globally celebrated Pebble Beach Concours D?Elegance in Monterey, California.

?2010 – Manufacture of pre-production models of the Aileron starts at CPP in Coventry, UK, signalling the beginning of the transfer of all production and assembly of Spyker models to the UK.
On 23 February, Spyker Cars N.V. completes the acquisition of Saab Automobile AB from General Motors, just three months after announcing its interest in the Swedish brand.

2011 – The CPP production facility ramps up series production of the Spyker C8 Aileron. On 25 February, CPP Global Holdings Ltd signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Spyker Cars N.V. to acquire the Spyker sportscar business.

[Source & Image: Spyker Press Site]