|Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, founders|
|Products||hand-built coaches, carriages, cars and airplanes|
Spyker or Spijker was a Dutch carriage, automobile and aircraft manufacturer, started in 1880 by blacksmiths Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker. Originally located in Hilversum, the company relocated to Trompenburg, Amsterdam in 1898.
In 1898 Spyker built the Golden Coach for state ceremonial use by the Dutch house of royals. in 1903 the Spyker 60 HP was the world's first four-wheel drive race-car, featuring the first application of a six-cylinder engine, as well as the first four-wheel braking system. The 1919 C1 “Aerocoque” was one of the world's first cars with aerodynamically streamlined bodywork.
In 1899 they started building automobiles and in 1900 put their first models on display, two-cylinder 3 hp and 5 hp similar to the Benz. Four-cylinder models were introduced in 1903, along with the six-cylinder Spyker 60 HP, a racer with the world's first ever four-wheel drive car with a single engine and four-wheel brakes. An engine with six cylinders was also a world's first.
The 1905 cars featured a round radiator grille which became a feature of many of the pre war cars. In 1913 the company was having financial problems again and in 1915 was taken over by new owners and renamed Nederlandsche Automobiel en Vliegtuigfabriek Trompenburg (Dutch Car and Aircraft company). Under the new owners, the previous complex model range was simplified and a new car, the 13/30 C1, introduced; sales were disappointing.
Hendrik-Jan Spijker died in 1907 on his return journey from England when the ferry he was on, the SS Berlin sank, and this loss led to the bankruptcy of the original company. A group of investors bought the company and restarted production, but Jacobus Spijker was no longer involved.
During World War I, in which the Netherlands were neutral, the company manufactured modest numbers of aeroplanes and aircraft engines.
In 1919, after World War I, a two-seater car, the C1 “Aerocoque”, featuring aerodynamically streamlined bodywork influenced by aircraft design, is shown for the first time. It is intended as a show car but is also produced on a very limited scale. The car's bodywork, featuring swooping fenders and an aircraft-like tail, infused by the company's knowledge of aerodynamics, was mainly designed by Jaap Tjaarda van Sterkenburg, brother of John Tjaarda and uncle of Tom Tjaarda, both also car designers.
On November 27, 1920 the first Spyker 30/40HP C4 was completed, sporting a 6-cylinder Maybach engine of 5,742 cc (350.4 cu in). The car is nicknamed "Tenax" (latin for tenacious) and breaks the Rolls-Royce held long-distance endurance record by 6,000 km. The C4 completes 30,360 km in the Dutch winter weather in just over a month.
In 1922 the company went bankrupt again and was acquired by Spyker's distributor in Britain who renamed the company Spyker Automobielfabriek. Production continued and prices dropped but the company continued to decline. Final production was of the C2 two-ton truck and the C4 car which lasted until 1926 when funds finally ran out.
It is estimated total Spyker car production was at most 2000 cars.
In 1999, a new company, Spyker Cars was founded, unrelated to the original company but for the brand name.
License production and auto rental
Before Hendrik-Jan Spijker's death, he and his brother had developed a special relationship with Dutch electrical pioneer, Rento Hofstede Crull. The Spijker brothers had known Hofstede Crull already when he was a young man racing on the velocipede circuits in the Netherlands and in Germany while he was an engineering student first in Mittweida and later in Hannover at the Technische Hochschule in the 1880s. Hofstede Crull had already owned his first automobile in the 1890s. In the first decade, he had accumulated a collection of automobiles which included a number of the Spijker racing models. He housed the collection in one of the wings of the N.V.Heemaf, one of the companies he had founded. Although this was all a hobby for him initially, he began assembling Spijkers at Heemaf with the approval of the Spijker brothers and subsequently with that of those who had taken over Spijker. He provided them with improvements on the automobiles. Heemaf's board of directors complained that Hofstede Crull was using a part of the factory as his personal garage and auto park. To circumvent the criticism, he established the Spijker Automobiel Verhuur Maatschappij which along with Amsterdam's Trompenburg Bedrijf became the first auto rental companies in the Netherlands. One of his other companies was the American Refined Motor Company which helped improve mechanical motor parts. This all stemmed from an automobile accident that he, Hofstede Crull, and his chauffeur, a man named Poorthuis, had in 1909 when he subsequently discovered a defect in the Spijker's steering mechanism which he improved.
|Spijker 3 hp||1900–1902||2-cylinder|
|Spijker 5 hp||1900-1900|
|Spijker 5 hp||1900-1900||boxer engine|
|Spijker 6 hp||1902-1902||water-cooled engine.|
|Spijker 36/50||1903-1903||6-cylinder 5,073 cc (309.6 cu in)|
|Spyker 60/80||1903–1907||6-cylinder 8,821 cc (538.3 cu in)|
|Spyker 14/18||1904–1907||4-cylinder 2,544 cc (155.2 cu in)|
|Spyker 25/36||1904–1905||4-cylinder 7,964 cc (486.0 cu in). Fourwheel drive option.|
|Spyker 32/40||1904–1905||4-cylinder. Fourwheel drive option.|
|Spyker 15/22||1905–1907||4-cylinder 3,456 cc (210.9 cu in).|
|Spyker 15/22||1907-1907||4-cylinder 2,799 cc (170.8 cu in).|
|Spyker 20/30||1907-1907||4-cylinder 4,562 cc (278.4 cu in).|
|Spyker 30/42||1907-1907||4-cylinder 6,902 cc (421.2 cu in).|
|Spyker 40/80||1907-1907||4-cylinder 10,603 cc (647.0 cu in).|
|Spyker 15/22||1907–1910||4-cylinder 2,799 cc (170.8 cu in).|
|Spyker 10/15||1910–1912||4-cylinder. Delivery van.|
|Spyker 15/25||1910–1912||4-cylinder. Delivery van.|
|Spyker 25||1910–1912||4-cylinder. 4,589 cc (280.0 cu in).|
|Spyker 20||1912–1916||4-cylinder. 3,435 cc (209.6 cu in).|
|Spyker 30||1912–1916||4-cylinder. 6,082 cc (371.1 cu in).|
|Spyker 40||1912–1916||6-cylinder. 7,238 cc (441.7 cu in).|
|Spyker 12||1914–1916||4-cylinder. 1,795 cc (109.5 cu in).|
|Spyker 13/30 C1||1916–1921||4-cylinder. 3,560 cc (217 cu in).|
|Spyker 14/34 C1||1920–1921||4-cylinder. 3,562 cc (217.4 cu in).|
|Spyker C2||1916–1926||4-cylinder. 4,607 cc (281.1 cu in). Two ton truck.|
|Spyker 30/40 C4||1920–1926||6-cylinder Maybach engine. 5,742 cc (350.4 cu in).|
Spyker on stamps and in film
- Malcolm McKay (March 2008). "Four-wheel drive – The Knowledge". Octane magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- Georgano, G. N. Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886-1930. (London: Grange-Universal, 1985)
- Henry, A. The 4-Wheel Drives : Racing's Formula for Failure?. (London: Macmillan, 1975)
- Heritage – Spykercars
- "Spyker schilderijen van Araun Gordijn onthuld" [Spyker paintings by Araun Gordijn unveiled]. AutoZine (in Dutch). 2012-06-25. Archived from the original on 2017-11-26. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
- Spyker's Interesting History
- nl:Rento Hofstede Crull
- Heemaf was a public-traded company
- Jaap Tuik. Een bijzonder energiek ondernemer - Rento Wolter Hendrik Hofstede Crull (1863-1938): pioneer van de elekriciteits voorziening in Nederland- #3: Ontspanning: fiets en auto als liefhebberij. Zutphen, Nederland: Historischcentrumoverijssel & Walburg Pers., 2009. pp.: 25-31 ISBN 90-5730-640-9