Spyker C8 Aileron

The name Spyker has the same resonance for the Dutch as Rolls-Royce has for the British — synonymous with the pursuit of quality before profit.

The Spyker coachbuilding company, founded in 1880, built the 1898 Golden Coach that is still used by the Dutch Royal Family on State occasions. In the same year, it pioneered Benz-engined automobiles and later branched out into aircraft manufacture. Spyker finally went bankrupt in 1926, leaving as its legacy some of the most beautiful cars of the early 20th century.

The company was resuscitated in 2000 by Maarten de Bruijn, an enterprising young designer who built his own sports car and then had the sense to obtain the rights to the defunct Spyker name and propeller logo. Armed with these, he had no problem finding financial backing to put his car into production as the Spyker C8, a name that harked back to the C4, the most famous Spyker car of the past.

The Aileron is the second generation of the C8 limited-production series. Like the earlier Laviolette and Spyder C8, it is built of aluminium panels on an aluminium space frame but to a longer-wheelbase design that succeeds in giving much greater rigidity with no extra weight. It is powered by the same Audi 4.2 litre V8 mid-engine and has a six-speed transaxle, offered either as a manual or as an automatic with manual override and steering wheel controls.

When this quirky scissor-doored coupe was unveiled at Geneva in 2008, the press release stressed Spyker’s (dubious) aircraft heritage and gave a tenuous explanation of the new C8’s name: ‘ailerons’ are the hinged flaps on aeroplane wings that control turning manoeuvres, and it is the company’s hope that the Aileron will be the car that at last turns Spyker into a profit-making concern.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

The Netherlands (partly built in the UK)

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

2009

ENGINE:

4,163 cc V8

PERFORMANCE:

Top speed of 187 mph (300 km/h); 0-60 mph (97km/h) in less than 4.5 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

The Spyker Company motto is the Latin Nulla tenaci invia est via which translates as: ‘No road is blocked for those who persevere’. In 1907, a Spyker car was one of only four to complete the Peking to Paris Rally and a Spyker co-starred in the classic 1953 film Genevieve about the London to Brighton Veteran Car.

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