2006 Spyker C8 Spyder GT2-R Pilots: J. Bleekemolen, J. Kane, M. Hezemans Team: Spyder Squadron b. v. Race: DNF (GT2 class) at Le Mans in 2006 Ixo - LMM225P (diecast)
Blacksmiths by profession, Dutch brothers Hendrik Jan and Jacobus Spijker founded Spyker in 1880. Initially the company was a carriage manufacturer, but with time they became an automobile and aircraft manufacturer. Though they produced some interesting cars (even including a LSR car!), by 1926 it was out of business. However, that was not the end of Spyker, or at least of the name. Founded in 19999 in Zeewolde, Netherlands, Spyker Cars had no relation to the previous company other than the same logo and motto. The C8 Spyder was the first model of the new company, and was produced from 2000 to 2007. Sales were slow, basically restricted to continental Europe.
Nonetheless, the manufacturer built a few different cars and even had a F1 team. The F1 venture occurred during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but with very modest results. Despite very poor sales, the brand managed to buy Saab from GM in 2010. Still, financially things became continuously worse, and in the end of 2014 the company filed for bankruptcy.
The racing version of the C8 Spyder was the GT2-R. Through a partnership with Audi, the race car had an Audi V8 with 3799 cm³, DOHC and 40 valves. The engine was good enough to produce 440 hp at 7800 rpm. Though a “spyder” in street form, for endurance racing things were different – the GT2-R sported a hard-top roof. The reasoning behind the roof was to cut drag and improve the airflow to the rear wing, consequently increasing downforce. That being so, the open-top car became a de facto coupe.
You can read a bit more on Spyker here at my 2008 GT2-R review (almost a part two).