For the tenacious, no road is impassable. So states Spyker’s Latin company motto (“Nulla tenaci invia est via – in case you’re wondering) and what a fitting battle cry it has proven to be for the troubled Dutch supercar maker.
Since building its first motorised vehicle in 1899, Spyker’s car making career has been a turbulent one to say the very least. Having enjoyed some competition and sales success in the pioneering Edwardian era – including the introduction of the world’s first four-wheel-drive racing car; the 60 HP in 1903 – Spyker was first declared bankrupt in 1922, with its British distributor stepping in to save the company, before the money ran out again and the company doors closed for good in 1926.
Fast forward almost three-quarters of a century to 1999, and the long-forgotten Spyker marque was reborn, founded by Dutch lawyer Victor Muller with Maarten de Bruijn, their aim to produce exclusive supercars with their distinctive styling and luxurious interiors, such as the subsequent Audi V8-powered 4.2-litre C8 Spyder and Laviolette,
From 2002, Spyker expanded its supercar range with the 620 bhp V12 C8 Double 12 S, as well as the Cosworth-developed twin turbo C8 Spyder T and V12 C12 La Turbie, capable of sub-4 seconds 0-60 mph acceleration. In 2006 the ambitious Dutch firm even bought out the Midland F1 team, renaming it Spyker F1 and competing in the final three races of the 2006 season with no notable success, before selling off the team to the ‘Orange India’ consortium, better known today as the Force India.
Following various complex and confusing financial funding deals and acquisitions, Spyker’s huge ambitions finally got the better of it, culminating in Victor Muller’s questionable purchase of SAAB, and the Swedish marque’s long and painful demise in late 2011. The failure of SAAB ultimately led to the demise of Spyker once more in 2012, with the supercar marque ‘deliberately’ being declared bankrupt once more in December 2014.
Following a long legal battle, and eight months since entering in a moratorium of payment (the equivalent of the American Chapter 11 proceedings), Victor Muller announced Spyker’s re-birth today.
Muller says ‘Spyker is back with a vengeance, and we look forward to a bright future for the company I founded 15 years ago and which is now set to build sensationally elegant and classy (electric) motorcars and electric planes for decades to come’. We wish Spyker well, but fear Muller will need all the Dutch courage he can muster.
Photography by Brian Snelson and Darren – Spyker