Rare Rides: The 2008 Spyker C8 Spyder, Dramatically Dutch

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 2008 spyker c8 spyder dramatically dutch

Today’s Rare Ride is the premier offering from Spyker Cars, a deceased Dutch firm that was reborn at the turn of the century. Spyker made sure not to cut any corners with their all-new car.

The original Spyker was founded in 1880, as a builder of coaches, cars, and aircraft. Founded by two blacksmiths, the firm came to prominence in 1898 when it built the Golden Coach used for state ceremonies of the Dutch royal family. Impressively, said coach is still in use today. Spyker made news again in 1903 when it built the 60 HP race car, which was the world’s first front-engine, four-wheel-drive car, and the first car ever to feature a six-cylinder engine and four-wheel braking. That car just might be worth its own Rare Rides entry. Eventually, the original Spyker fell on hard times and went bankrupt in 1926.

The brand lie dormant until 1999 when it was rebirthed as Spyker Cars, with the company using the brand’s original 1800s logo. The first prototype built by Spyker was the Silvestris V8 in 1999, which carried many styling ideas that were developed and put into production on the C8 in 2000.

Spyker chose the Birmingham Motor Show in 2000 to debut the C8, which was only available in Spyder guise at launch. Rear-drive and with the engine in the middle, the C8 used Spyker’s own platform had ever-impressive scissor doors. The company did not make its own engine though and chose to buy Audi’s 4.2-liter V8. Depending on how sporty a customer wanted their C8, horsepower ranged from 400 to 620. Power increased in stages from I (400) to V (620). Transmissions on offer were a six-speed manual from Getrag or a six-speed auto from ZF. The C8 was a lightweight car at around 2,900 pounds, which made for an impressive power to weight ratio. Equally impressive was the 0 to 60 time, which in base specification was 4.5 seconds. For a stage V car, that figure dropped to 3.8. Top speed in base convertible guise was 186 miles per hour.

Though it had blistering performance, the C8 was not a stripped-out track conveyance. Interiors were fully carpeted, and otherwise covered in milled aluminum and fine quilted leather (in this instance, in an eye-searing orange). Spyker didn’t borrow its interior parts from other companies, it was all bespoke to Spyker. In 2005 customers paid $269,000 to have a C8 in their drive. The C8 lasted in its original guise from 2000 to 2012 and was supplemented by a coupe version called Laviolette in 2001. Various other versions were introduced along the way, including a long-wheelbase Laviolette in 2008. Spyker still exists today and builds the third-generation C8 Preliator since 2016.

Today’s Rare Ride is a lovely graphite over orange example from 2008. It’s priced upon request in England.

[Images: Spyker]

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2 of 6 comments
  • Kkop Kkop on Mar 02, 2021

    The transmission linkage is a unique thing of beauty. Just for that feature I'd like to own one.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Mar 02, 2021

    This is the only exotic that gets my head turned every single time.

  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.
  • Stuart de Baker I didn't bother to read this article. I'll wait until a definitive headline comes out, and I'll be surprised if Tesla actually produces the Cybertruck. It certainly looks impractical for both snowy and hot sunny weather.
  • Stuart de Baker This is very interesting information. I was in no danger of buying a Tesla. I love my '08 Civic (stick), and it feels just as responsive as when I bought it 11 years ago with 35k on the clock (now 151k), and barring mishaps, I plan to keep it for the next 25 years or so, which would put me into my mid-90s, assuming I live that long. On your information, I will avoid renting Teslas.
  • RHD The only people who would buy this would be those convinced by a website that they are great, and order one sight-unseen. They would have to have be completely out of touch with every form of media for the last year. There might actually be a few of these people, but not very many. They would also have to be completely ignorant of the Hyundai Excel. (Vinfast seems to make the original Excel look like a Camry in comparison.)