In the south east of Amsterdam in 1880, two brothers, Jacobus and Hendrik Spijker, set up a coachbuilding shop. By 1899, the brothers had enjoyed moderate success thanks to a strong local reputation for quality craftsmanship. That same year, they drove their first Benz automobile and smartly realized their future was in the automobile. They began by building new and improved bodies for the Benz and their work was widely praised as being superior to that of the factory Benz offerings. Buoyed by their success, the Spijker brothers set out to build a motorcar of their own. The cars were called “Spyker” as to not confound those in non-Dutch speaking export markets, and their cars carried on the tradition of fine quality, and respectable performance. The bothers also produced several models of aircraft which retained the original family name. By 1925, the automobile business had faltered and in spite of their exceptional quality and attention from the Dutch Royal Family, Spyker ceased production.
Seventy-Five years after the last Spyker car left the factory, the name was revived for an all new mid-engine supercar built on a bespoke chassis and powered by an Audi-derived 4.2 liter V8 engine. New bosses Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn borrowed heavily from Spyker’s aviation heritage to detail the stylish new car, with NACA air inlets, propeller motif badges and even a wild propeller inspired steering wheel for the home market. The body styling was very attractive and unlike anything else on the road, making it very appealing to buyers looking for a more individual and exclusive supercar than a Lamborghini Gallardo or Ferrari 360/430. Build quality and engineering excellence rank high at Spyker and the cars are beautifully constructed. Spyker even ventured in to Formula 1 and endurance racing, as a way of solidifying the brand as a genuine supercar maker with real pedigree. Having successfully weathered financial issues, the company continues to produce an evolution of the C8 and enjoys a loyal and enthusiastic following.
The Spyker C8 Spyder offered is a spectacular example, finished in Dark Sapphire Blue with a complementary blue leather interior. It is a very low mileage example and presents in impeccable condition inside and out. The gorgeous dark blue paintwork is accented by polished alloy on the mirrors, fog-light cutouts and “gun turret” body side air intakes. Other aeronautic inspired details include the light-alloy wheels, with their airplane propeller-shaped spokes, and of course the propeller-motif Spyker badging. Simply opening the door of the Spyker C8 is dramatic thanks to its upward-swinging “swan-wing” doors. The front compartment is accessed via a clamshell decklid, while the engine and trunk share a cover in the back. With its cut down windscreen, rollover hoops, and high-mount exhausts, the overall styling of the C8 Spyder is aggressive and sporting, yet the whole package is quite finely finished and beautifully detailed.
The interior is exquisitely finished in diamond-quilted blue leather on the high-back sport seats, door panels, sills and footwells. The material is of the highest quality and finished to a beautiful standard, showing almost no signs of use. The spectacular dash features an engine-turned alloy fascia housing an array of cream-faced instruments and a series of chrome toggle switches, again repeating the vintage aircraft theme. A signature of the C8 is the elegant, finely machined and mirror polished shift-lever mechanism with its exposed shift rod and support. It is beautiful to look at and a joy to operate. Although it has all the trappings of a hardcore sports car, Spyker includes the modern amenities one would expect in a modern luxury car, such as air conditioning, fully adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, tire pressure monitoring, power mirrors, and remote keyless entry.
Behind those beautiful sport seats rests the tried and tested 4.2 liter Audi V8 and a six-speed manual Getrag transaxle. The free-revving 400 horsepower engine appears showroom fresh in the virtually spotless engine bay and it sounds magnificent through the high-mount exhaust. The engine is shared with many Audi products of the period, making servicing and parts availability relatively straightforward. Stopping power comes courtesy of huge, ABS-equipped AP Racing four wheel disc brakes. With just under 1100 miles from new, it is in outstanding mechanical order and still looks and feels absolutely fresh.
Fewer than 300 similar cars were produced worldwide, and the C8 is a very rare sight on American roads. Make no mistake, this is not a hastily assembled component car, the Spyker C8 is thoroughly engineered and artfully crafted. It is an absolute joy to drive as well, thanks to the well-sorted nature, balanced handling, and screaming V8 engine hurtling you toward the horizon like a vintage warbird. The sale includes the original tool kit with alloy case, removable canvas roof and clean Carfax report.