In 1898 two brothers, Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, coachbuilders in Amsterdam, built their first Benz-engined motorcar with which they 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 committed their company fully to the production 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 its patented ‘dust shield chassis,’ a chassis fitted with a streamlined under tray that prevented the car from making dust on unpaved roads.
Spyker’s image was further enhanced when in 1907 a privately entered standard model Spyker 14/18HP Tourer became legendary after successfully competing in the famous gruelling Peking to Paris raid, arriving in second place. It was innovations 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’.
In the period preceding World War 1, a worldwide slump in the luxury car market meant that Spyker had to diversify its production and merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory N.V. the company started developing and building fighter aircraft.
During the war, Spyker built around 100 fighter aircraft and 200 aircraft engines.
In 1914 the company introduced the slogan still being used today: ‘Nulla tenaci invia est via: For the tenacious no road is impassable’. Along with the slogan came a new logo, featuring a spoke wheel with a horizontal propeller across.
After the war Spyker resumed 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 Spyker C4 was a powerful, dependable and luxurious car. In 1921, a standard C4 (chassis number C41, engine number 3201) established a new endurance record, driving continuously for 36 days and covering a distance of 30,000 kilometers. This car was called the “Tenax”. Later on it was bought by the Dutch nobleman Hugo Baron van Pallandt who, with this car, won the first prize in the hill climb of the Mont de la Turbie near Monte Carlo in March 1922. The Spyker C12 LaTurbie owes its name to this sporting success. Also in 1922, the famous British driver Selwyn Edge broke the Brookland’s Double-Twelve speed record, clocking an average speed of 119 km/h.
In 1925, the Spyker Company ceased trading, but its 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 company and its cars.
Since October 2000 when the Spyker C8 Spyder was unveiled at the Birmingham Motor Show, Spyker has established a strong foothold in the super car market niche. Hand-built in the best tradition of the traditional Spykers by the most dedicated craftsmen of our time using the very best materials available. Created with passion for the most passionate of drivers.
The Spyker C8 Spyder won instant acclaim and was awarded the 2000 Institute of Vehicle Engineers Design Award on 18 October 2000. The Spyker C8 Laviolette, a coupe reminiscent of modern jet fighters, made its debut during the Amsterdam Motor Show in February 2001.
Subsequently the Spyker C8 Double12 R, Spyker’s Le Mans endurance racer, was launched during the IAA in Frankfurt in September 2001 with which Spyker participated in the 2002 and 2003 edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans. The street version of the Spyker C8 Double12, the so called ‘S’, was unveiled at the Birmingham Motor Show in October 2002.
In the meantime countless other concourses d’elegance and events were attended in Europe and the USA. The Spyker C8 Spyder T, a twin turbo variant of its C8 Spyder was presented at the IAA in Frankfurt in September 2003.
In the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2003 Spyker won its first victory: finishing 10th in class and 30th overall.
In May 2004 Spyker went public by means of an initial public offering (IPO): on 27 May 2004 the company was listed at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (ticker symbol SPYKR) Euronext Amsterdam.
Spyker was recognized as a National and Mobile Heritage by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science on 23 September 2004.
On March 1, 2005 Spyker announced that it had obtained approval for its C8 models in the USA by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Subsequently, on June 30, 2005, Spyker announced that it had obtained the necessary waivers by NHTSA for the last waiver applications. With this final approval, these models are now fully US road legal.
The Spyker C12 LaTurbie made its worldwide debut during the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005. It will be the first Spyker powered by the 6.0 litre W12 Audi engine.
On 24 March 2005 Spyker announced its production agreement with Wilhelm Karmann GmbH of Osnabruck, Germany for the production of chassis and bodies in white.
A Spyker C8 Laviolette (chassis number 015) obtained a leading role in the major motion picture Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction. Filming started in May 2005. The release is scheduled for 15 March 2006 in London and 27 March in New York.
On September 4, 2005, the Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R (chassis number 046) won a major victory and a podium place, finishing second in its class (LMGT) during the LMES 1000km of Nürburgring, Germany. On November 18, 2005, the same Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R won its second podium place, finishing second in its class (GT2) in Dubai during a FIA GT race.
In September 2005 the Spyker C8 Spyder was voted ’Best New Exotic Car 2006’ by duPont Registry’s Exotic Car Buyers Guide 2006, chosen from well over 100 cars.
On November 13, 2005, Spyker Cars and Mubadala Development Company (a principal investment company wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi) announced their strategic alliance. The signing of the alliance was attended by HE Dr Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch Prime Minister.
In January 2006 Spyker was awarded ‘Luxury Sports Car of the Year’ by the members of China’s 3rd largest portal and Asia’s leading instant messenger QQ.com. The leading Chinese publication Hurun Report awarded Spyker with a second place on its list of ‘Favourite Sport Cars’ in Beijing.
Spyker Squadron entered two Spyker C8 Spyder GT2Rs in GT2 class for the entire 2006 European Le Mans Endurance Race (LMS) series, including the 24 hours of Le Mans; several FIA GT races and the 12 Hours of Sebring (American Le Mans Series).
In February 2006 the Le Mans organisation Automobile Club de L’Ouest (AC0) already accepted the two Spyker race cars for the 74th “24-hours du Mans” on 17-18 June 2006.
The Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris, made its worldwide debut during the Geneva Motor Show on 28 February 2006. It is Spyker’s first Super Sports Utility Vehicle and marks the second product line. The car is a four-wheel drive, four-door, four-seater luxury super sports car powered by a 6.0 litre W12 engine.
Spyker was chosen for another major movie production: the film 'War' with Jet Li and Jason Statham as lead actors. In the movie Jet Li’s character drives a Spyker C8 Spyder. Two Spyker C8 Spyders and one Spyker C12 LaTurbie were delivered to the movie set in Canada where filming took place in May 2006. The movie is scheduled for a 2007 release.
On June 17th 2006 Spyker participates for the first time with a two car line-up during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
On 16 July 2006 Spyker finished 3rd in the 1000 km of Nürburgring.
On 30 July 2006 Spyker finished in 4th place during the 24hours of Spa-Francorchamps
On September 10th 2006, Spyker today announced that acquired Midland F1 Racing Limited (“MF1 Racing”) of Silverstone, United Kingdom from Midland Resources Holding Ltd. The Formula 1 team is to be called Spyker MF1 Racing and will be a 100% subsidiary of Spyker.
On March 6 2007, Victor Muller, Andrea Zagato and Adrian Sutil unveiled the Spyker C12 Zagato at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show. Designed and to be built in association with Italian couch builder Zagato, the new sports car is called Spyker C12 Zagato. It is an all aluminium rear wheel drive sports car, rigged out with Formula One race car details suchs as an F1 nose, scoop, chimneys, fuel flap and diffuser and a five-speed automatic gear box with F1 style shifting.