Spyker has gone from being a little-known Dutch supercar maker to the saviour of Saab. Autocar’s Steve Cropley recently paid a visit to its Amsterdam base to find out more about the quirky manufacturer…
Spyker was set up a decade ago by Dutch billionaire Victor Muller, a supercar buyer in the 1990s who wasn’t always happy with what he got for his money.
“I owned Astons and Ferraris but was always rather disappointed with the way they were finished,” he said. “They were great driving cars, but seemed cheaply built. I wanted to bring back craftsmanship.”
Muller then acquired the revered Spyker name and launched his first car with the Zeewolde racing team at the British Motor Show in 2000. The hand-made C8 was revered for its design and quality, but Muller’s team found constructing coupe, drop-top and racing variants a painstaking process that wasn’t profitable. The cars were also plagued with handling issues brought on by its short wheelbase.
Work on its successor, the all-new C8 Aileron, began in 2008 and Lotus became involved as an engineering partner, while supplier Coventry Prototype Panels became responsible for producing some chassis and bodywork parts.
As more and more British-based suppliers became involved with Spyker, the firm revealed last year it would be construct the C8 Aileron in Coventry. The first model will be delivered next month and the firm plans to build five per week. Spyker also intends on having a FIA GT1-spec racing variant ready later this year. However, marketing, engineering, sales and aftersales will all still be based in Amsterdam.