Whilst the Historics team are busy consigning for our 10th Anniversary sale on July 18th came news of an entry that most certainly ticks all the boxes in terms of character, distinctiveness and brio…
Welcome the Spyker LM85 Laviolette.
This extraordinary motorcar is the product of a Dutch manufacturer whose history goes back to 1898. Brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker - blacksmiths by profession - made their first motorised car that year, powered by a single-cylinder engine from Karl Benz.
After five years they had rebranded as Spyker and started to make a name for themselves, most certainly ringing the gong in 1903 for the first-ever vehicle to be equipped with a six-cylinder engine - all 8.8 litres of it - and permanent four-wheel drive. It rushed along at a terrifying 60mph.
They company shifted production to fighter aircraft and engines to help the WW1 effort and once back in peacetime Spyker returned to car production but the company was dissolved in 1925.
It was re-born 75 years later and has again left its imprint on car building with the truly individual Spyker C8 derivatives. Of the approximately ten variants produced during the production run, certainly the most inspired model was the Laviolette LM85 which paid homage to Spyker’s racing history, which included Le Mans - and hence ‘LM’.
There is nothing that looks remotely like this car. And yet it skilfully recalls Spyker’s heritage in both aircraft and automobile production. There are many styling cues that make you smile, with scissor doors, vents, a wonderfully-detailed interior and the original paint finish – ‘burnt almond orange and gun metal’ - that is not for shrinking violets.
But there is real substance too, and all the ingredients of a great drivers’ car, with a 400bhp, 4.2-litre turbocharged Audi V8 engine mated to a Getrag six-speed gearbox, and featuring fully independent, inboard, adjustable suspension developed in conjunction with Lotus.
This is quite possibly one of the very last Spyker C8s to be produced, in 2012 (and first registered in 2016). A Laviolette LM85 model means it is one of 15 such limited edition examples produced to pay homage to Spyker’s Le Mans racing programme.
More significantly still, it is only one of two right hand driver examples made, and has covered just 596 recorded miles since new. At a highly attractive estimate of £130,000-£160,000 – which includes the registration plate ‘SP12KER’ - substantial interest is guaranteed.
Here’s an immensely rare opportunity to acquire a true and very collectible piece of motoring history.