Last revised: 26-1-2009

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Spyker 1907-1909

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1907 Spyker 15/22 HP landaulette by Rothschild - front side viewAt the end of 1904 the new 15/22 HP model was introduced in Paris. This was the car that made the "dust shield" popular. It was produced from 1905 to 1907 and featured a 3456 cc 4-cylinder bi-bloc engine.
In 1907 a 10/15 HP model appeared with a completely new engine. All four cylinders were now incorporated in one block and the engine had a semi forced-flow lubrication system, which was an improvement from the usual drip-feed lubrication. The problem with drip-feed lubrication was the excess oil that was burnt in the cylinders and caused a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust. With the new semi forced-flow lubrication, where an oil pump picked up the oil from the bottom of the sump and raised it to the bearings, this was reduced considerably (80% reduction was claimed). The system was patented by Spyker in 1906 and made the Spyker cars not only "dustless" but also "smokeless", advantages that were very much stressed in the Spyker ads.

1907 Spyker 15/22 HP landaulette by Rothschild - rear side viewThe 10/15 HP was followed by a new 15/22 HP. It still had the bi-bloc 4-cylinder engine, now with 2799 cc capacity, but it was fitted with the modern semi forced-flow lubrication system. On these pictures you see the new 1907 15/22 HP Spyker with landaulette bodywork built by Rothschild.
The 15/22 HP was a mid-range luxury car that was quite successful. The small 10/15 HP was a special model: it was purposeful developed as a taxi for the English market. It was one of the few taxis on the market at that time with a 4-cylinder engine, most had 2-cylinder engines. This taxi became reasonably popular because of its well-built bodywork and roomy passenger compartment that could seat four.

1907 Spyker 20/30 HP open tourer - front-side viewAnother of the 1907 introduced Spykers was the 20/30 HP. It was a big luxurious car with a 4562 cc 4-cylinder bi-bloc engine. Here you see a very fine 20/30 HP model complete with "dust shield" and excellent open tourer bodywork.
1907 saw two more, even more luxurious, Spyker models: the 30/42 HP with 6902 cc 4-cylinder bi-bloc engine and later that year the opulent 40/80 HP with a huge 10,603 cc 4-cylinder bi-bloc engine, only on offer in England. The market segment of the 30/42 and 40/80 HP was that of the FIAT, the Panhard et Levassor and the Mercedes top class models.
All 1907 introduced Spykers had Simms-Bosch high-tension magnetos (with optional double ignition systems), fancy round honeycomb radiators, cardan shaft rear wheel drive, three speed gearboxes, pressed steel chassis and rigid axles sprung by five half elliptic leaf springs.

1907 Spyker 20/30 HP open tourer - side viewNot only a new line of cars was introduced in 1907; it was also a critical year for the Spyker. Investments weren't in relation to the profits, luxury cars became less popular and important orders were cancelled due to an economic recession. All this lead to a difficult financial situation for the Spyker.
Because of this Hendrik Jan Spyker decided to return from the East Indies at the end of 1906, but first he visited a business partner in England. This proved to be a disaster because the ferry from England to Holland on which he and his business partner traveled, the "Berlin", was wrecked just before the Dutch coast and so Hendrik Jan Spyker died on February 20, 1907.
All this lead to the bankruptcy of the Industrial Company Trompenburg, the manufacturer of Spyker cars, in 1908. Jacobus Spyker wasn't able to raise the money to continue his company, but an other group of investors did. Jacobus Spijker had to leave his company and his villa, which belonged to the company, and that was an undeserved faith for this industrial pioneer.

Robin Campbell of Scotland submitted this wonderful dramatic picture of what I believe is a Spyker 30/42 HP tourer from 1908. It was registered in Glasgow. If anyone has more information about this car don't hesitate to contact me.

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