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Spyker 12-16HP Double Phaeton

This Spyker Double Phaeton played the lead in the eponymous film alongside the Darracq ‘Genevieve’

The world of classic car enthusiasts would have been very different if the English film ‘Genevieve’ had not been made. The film, released in 1953, is in a simple romantic comedy, but it nevertheless ensured that interest in vintage and veteran cars was rekindled. ‘Genevieve’ was directly responsible for the founding of the Dutch Pioneer Automobile Club (PAC) in 1956.

In the film this Spyker is the new acquisition of Ambrose Claverhouse, an advertising salesman and car enthusiast. Claverhouse, played by actor Kenneth More, challenges his friend Alan McKim (John Gregson) to a race during the annual London to Brighton Run. The stake was to be McKim’s car, a 1904 Darracq named ‘Genevieve’, which can be seen in the museum alongside this car. McKim accepts the challenge and the men launch themselves into the race, together with their wives Rosalind and Wendy (Kay Kendall and Dinah Sheridan).

The Spyker was probably delivered in chassis form in London at the beginning of the 20th century and was equipped with locally-made bodywork. After the war it was bought by Frank Reece, a classic car enthusiast, who completely restored it. At the beginning of the 1950s he made the car available for the filming of ‘Genevieve’ and that is probably when it was painted a lighter shade of green, to look better on camera. Frank Reece passed away in 1964 and in his will he specified that the car had to be returned to its country of origin: the Netherlands. The car then ended up in the Autotron collection in Drunen. The Spyker has been at the Louwman Museum since 2004.

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