Spyker 60-HP Four-Wheel Drive Racing Car
This was the first car in the world to be equipped with a six-cylinder engine, the first petrol-driven car with four-wheel drive and the first car with a braking system connected to all four wheels.
Therefore, this Spyker 60-HP is one of the most significant cars in motoring history.
It was a racing car commissioned by Jacobus Spijker for the Paris to Madrid race of 1903. The then recently appointed young Belgian engineer Joseph Valentin Laviolette already had a design for an engine with six separate cylinders, and was now able to build it. He also designed a transmission that drove the front as well as the rear wheels, and fitted a transmission brake.
However, the car was not ready in time for the race and was not launched until December 1903 in Paris. Two months later it was on display at The Crystal Palace in London.
After being restored incompetently in the early 1920s, and following the bankruptcy of the company, the Spyker was bought by a former director. From 1953 to 1993 the car, which now had extensively modified bodywork, was housed in various Dutch museums until it was acquired by the Louwman Museum. The car was restored over a five-year period to its original condition as displayed at Crystal Palace in 1904.