Supercars are the ultimate celebration of automotive freedom. These pure expressions of high performance are the cars of our childhood bedroom posters, stars of Instagram, and prized possession of those lucky enough to own them. However, not all supercars are remembered… Dutch manufacturer Spyker has since faded into the pages of history.
This week’s Petrolicious film tells the story of James Chen, a kid fascinated by cars who grew up to own a 2006 Spyker C8 Spyder. In true cinematic fashion, this forgotten supercar again becomes the center of attention with its unique aeronautical design.
Spyker originally created coachbuilt cars back in the 1890s and would go on to pioneered new drivetrain variants. Its cars were often remarked upon for their quality and durability. In 1914 the marque was merged with Dutch Aircraft Factory N.V. to produce planes and engines for the First World War. It returned to building cars again in 1919 with the C1 Aerocoque which utilised aircraft aerodynamic know-how for its bodywork. However, in 1926 the company ran out of money and shut its doors.
In the early 2000s an entrepreneur bought the rights to the name and began creating quirky aircraft inspired supercars. The Spyker C8 Spyder became a reality, a supercar born 75 years after the original company dissolved. It’s a beautiful design that’s elegant, yet powerful at the same time. Its intricacies, both inside and out, are more akin to a fine watch than an automobile.
On driving his Spyker James said, "It changes direction very quickly. It’s a little bit daunting at times, but the handling is superb. It feels like a large Lotus instead of a Ferrari or Audi R8." Speaking of Audi, the car’s engine is a twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 from Audi that produces 195hp. Its lightweight construction means that this power goes a long way, enabling the car to punch above its weight.
Spykers are very rare cars as James notes, "Spyker made around 240 cars, that’s it. Then they went bankrupt in 2010, and again in 2015. So, of the 240 cars built there’s about 120 C8 Spyders, of that, about 70-77 came into the US."
Mr Chen ends by saying, "I believe all great machinery should be exercised and used. So, I drive all my cars, and this is the reason why I have so many. Each car serves a specific purpose."
The future of Spyker is a bit of an unknown at the moment, but we hope the characterful company sticks to its slogan: “Nulla Tenaci invia est via” or in English, for the tenacious no road is impassable.
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