Eccentric Dutch firm Spyker is formally out of business after a court lifted bankruptcy protection measures. The company joins Weismann, Gumpert and TVR on the roster of failed modern supercar makers.
Victor Muller, the former lawyer who re-established the company from nothing in 2000, has nevertheless insisted that he still has ambitions in the automotive world, adding that some ‘daring ventures’ – primarily the company’s acquisition of Saab in 2010 – were largely to blame for Spyker’s downfall. The bankruptcy of a tier-one supplier integral to production of the £194,000 C8 Aileron was another painful blow to the business.
Subscribe to evo magazine
The last time Spyker made news was after a Porsche 911-rivalling B6 Venator was revealed at the 2013 Geneva motor show, complete with a 375bhp V6 engine and a projected £95,000 price tag. The optimistic concept was intended to reinvigorate the company, but it only shielded a harsher reality. It’s alleged that only three cars, with a combined value of 700,000 euros, were sold in 2012.
Despite a convoluted and ultimately unsuccessful corporate history, however, to evo Spyker has always been purely about the cars. Realising complex aviation-inspired designs and opulent interiors that would impress even Horatio Pagani, the supercar landscape will be a less interesting place without it.
In its short life Spyker raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, teamed up with Zagato and, in lieu of dynamic prowess, commanded respect through sheer force of personality. This gallery shows the cars that put the brand on the map.
Genesis, however, for modern day Spyker is the C8 Spyder. It’s the car on which every subsequent model has been based and packed an Audi-sourced atmospheric 4.2-litre V8 with 395bhp when it made its world debut at the Birmingham motor show in 2000.
A Getrag six-speed manual sending power to the rear wheels and a claimed kerb weight of a ton made it an exciting proposition (it was, and remains, a tricky car to drive fast, with no traction control or brake servo) even before you considered the design.
And what a design. With marine and aviation cues all over the bodywork, the C8 wasn’t conventionally pretty, but quilted leather, a milled aluminium dashboard and an exposed gear linkage akin to the street legal Porsche GT1’s (but far more pleasing to the eye) gave it cult status. Tooling costs must have been horrendous, but the result is a cabin that truly makes a Veyron seem a little commonplace.
Flick through the gallery to meet the rest of our Spyker selection. Click Read More to read the captions.
Watch our video of the Spyker C8 from 2007 below: