In 1898, Jocobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker, coach builders in Amsterdam, pioneered their first Benz-engined motor car and won immediate acclaim for the craftsmanship of their bodywork. The construction of the golden state coach in 1898, to commemorate the forthcoming coronation of Queen Wilhelmina, marked the turning point form their coach building activities to car manufacturing. Subsequently, the brothers registered their business under the name Spyker, written with a ‘Y’ for easier recognition in foreign markets.
The 1903 Spyker 60HP Grand Prix racer was an important historical milestone, not only for the company, but for the industry as a whole. As released at the 1903 Paris motor show, it featured the world’s first six cylinder engine as will as the world’s first permanent four wheel drive. Initially, the car was to run in Grand Prix races but was not ready in time for the 1903 Paris-Madrid race.
The only car built by Spyker of the this type remains to this day, and can be seen in concours condition at the Het Nationaal Automobielmuseum in the Netherlands. After a comprehensive restoration the 60HP was viewed at the 2003 Pebble Beach conours were it received top honors.