n 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 ofmotorcars. The business name was changed to Spyker, for easier recognition in foreign markets.
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 grueling Peking to Paris raid, taking 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, both of its own design. In 1915 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 (chassisnumber 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 and was later bought by the Dutch nobleman Hugo Baron van Pallandt who won the first prize in the hill climb of the Mont de la Turbie near Monte Carlo in March 1922 with it. 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 73 mph.
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.