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  1. #1
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Summer nights with Victor Muller - Dutch radio

    There will be a 1 1/2 hour interview with Victor Muller on Dutch Radio during the night of 3-4 September. There are a few Dutch and Flemish members/visitors here so perhaps it's something they would like to check out.

    Er is een anderhalf uur durend interview met Vicor Muller op Zomer Nachten bij de NCRV. Er zijn een aantal Nederlandse en Vlaamse leden/bezoekers hier en het lijkt mij een interessant programma om naar te luisteren.

    They have podcasts available for download.


    Google Translate - Dutch to English translation

    Friday night 3 to 4 September 2010

    Host: Victor Muller
    Age: 50
    Location: Baarn
    Occupation: CEO of Spyker and Saab

    Producer: Jane Jacobs:

    I love to contact him via SMS. Many text messages. Really fast and to the point. He calls me when he was en route to pick me up to a reading of him in The Hague to attend. "I'd pick my Spyker, but it's the new Saab 9-5 has become, because we would soon have to pick Camiel Eurlings. I would also have dinner with you tonight to discuss Summer Nights, but I suddenly need to Sweden. That will be mine, but we must speak anything faster. "

    En route to The Hague to show Muller a multitasker. So he answers his constant stream of text messages on two different phones at the same time as he dictates to a press release one of its employees. In addition, he has a good eye on the road and set in between his questions to me.

    "Energetic" is the right word for him. He shares his time between Baarn, Zeewolde, Sweden and arguably the rest of the world. For he is at least 180 days a year abroad to do business, speaking to dealers and of course motor racing, including Formula 1, Le Mans and the Mille Miglia.

    "Controversial" is a word which is often attributed to him. That was clear during the lecture that afternoon I attended. Where in the beginning here and there a skeptical remark was whispered about Mullers ijsschotsdansen his companies - which the media often report his juggling with figures and shares - it soon went into enthusiasm. After half an hour he was interrupted by the organizer, his speech was too long. To the great regret of the audience: they wanted to hear more about his entrepreneurship.

    Enthusiasm, he can like no other. This is shown again as Camiel Eurlings at the end of the lecture I asked whether a picture of him and Victor Muller wants to make. The caretaker minister will send a photo later on, to using their thumbs up next to Muller is shining.

    Later at the airport is still quickly ordered a salad and tells him what his goal is for Summer Nights. "I want to entertain the listener." Peppered car violence and his love for music, you can bet that he can half hours, non stop, live, on the edge of your seat will leave. For stories, "oh plenty!"

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    Last edited by nordwulf; 26 August 2010 at 14:23.

  2. #2
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Here are the a few notes from the broadcast. It's a bit too long to translate the entire broadcast which lasted about an hour. Only the last few minutes are about Saab but it was a very interesting broadcast nonetheless. It wasn't an interview and Victor was just talking about his life. It sure seems his legal background was essential for making the Saab deal possible at all.


    Victor Muller was raised in the south of Amsterdam and lived near the Saab importer (Amsterdamse Rijtuig Maatschappij). He could see the Saabs 93 and 96 from his bedroom through the glass roof of the importer’s building. The sound of a 2-stroke Saab was edged in his memory forever. (2-stroker sound in the background). He also got frequent rides in the back of those Saabs through Amsterdam when his parents were busy working at their accounting company.

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    Archive picture of A.R.M. dated March 4, 1969, entrance in the middle left.

    He was an avid bird watcher when he grew up and has great memories of trips with his dad to southern Spain and Helgoland in Germany. He doesn't have much time for it these days.

    He recently moved to the island of Majorca in Spain where he has his home now.

    He bought his first car before he got his driver's license in 1978. It was a '72 Lancia 2000 Berlina and his dad had to go pick it up. After that, he bought a Lancia Flaminia convertible which he describes as a chick magnet. He still has this Lancia Flaminia and is driving it in the Red Cross rally in The Netherlands this Sunday.

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    Picture found on the internet - '60 Lancia Flaminia

    He has always been buying and selling cars and has quite the collection these days. He sold many already and he still doesn’t have time to drive all of them frequently.

    His parents had a home on Lago di Como in Italy. He visited there many times and this is where his affection for the cars from this country originates.

    He attended a university in Leiden, Netherlands and got his Law degree. He spent 6 weeks in Italy when he started working for his parent’s company, resolving some legal issues for another company.

    When he worked for a law firm in the Netherlands, he enjoyed advising clients but he knew he would never be able to be an entrepreneur doing the same kind of things. There was an opportunity to buy 50% of Wijsmuller (large tugboat company) when hew worked on reorganizing that company for 2 years. He convinced Frits Kroymans to finance the deal.

    The difference between entrepreneurs and regular people is the ability to control your fears. He describes he has a complete lack of fear. But there also is a fine line between fearless and reckless.

    In 1993, two years after he bought Wijsmuller, Muller and his business partners bought McGregor (clothing) out of bankruptcy. There were many fears in resurrecting that company but it became a big success. He sold the company in 2006 to his partners, which he regrets these days. McGregor produces the Spyker clothing line.

    Muller heard about Maarten de Bruijn, a city planner near Deventer in the eastern part of The Netherlands in 1997. Maarten built a car and wanted to show it to Muller. He didn’t think much of it but he went for a visit anyways. He was very impressed with the accomplishment of De Bruijn. Muller challenged him to get the car licensed, which he thought was nearly impossible. But De Bruijn succeeded after 6 months and he called Muller to let him know the good news.

    The car was nicknamed "the mouse" because of it similarities with the animal, the front looking like it was sniffing the ground.

    Muller agreed to buy a car from De Bruijn and they had a long discussion where these cars were going to be built. And what to use for the car’s name. The name Muller or De Bruijn was not a good choice for a unique sports car, as you can imagine. The first car was initially called De Bruijn Silvestris but that didn’t sound good. Muller thought of resurrecting the Spyker name and he was surprised the name wasn’t registered at all.

    At the time, he was driving a Ferrari 360 which he picked up at the factory, together with his son. Th color was gray, same as his Lancia. This car was frequently used for testing with the new Spyker car. On October 17, 2000, the Spyker C8 was introduced at a show in British Motor Show in Birmingham.

    He describes how the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2002 was a boy’s dream. Not just participating but being among the automotive greatest (Ferrari, Porsche etc) with your own car is something very special. Coming in 5th place beating all Porsches and only 4 Ferraris ahead of your car was quite an amazing accomplishment. It’s crucial to participate in these kind of events when you are building this kind of sports car.

    Spyker went public on the stock exchange in Amsterdam in 2004.

    In 2006, Spyker participated in Formula 1 when they bought the Midland F1 team. It wasn’t a huge success and they sold the Formula 1 team in 2007.

    And then there was Saab. It was the most complicated transaction he has ever done. There were five transactions going on at the same time.

    1) Buying Saab from GM
    2) Arranging financing (400 million) from the European Investment Bank
    3) Buyout of his business partner Antonov
    4) Guarantee of the Swedish government
    5) Financing deal with GMAC

    He praises Jan Ake Jonsson for making it possible for Saab to even survive. The broadcast ends with the sound of a supercharged Spyker C8 Spyder when Muller drives off into the night.

    Find the Dutch podcast for download here:

    Listen to the broadcast:

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    Victor Muller and producer Jolie Jacobs

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    In the studio

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    His mother called after the broadcast. She approved.

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    Outside the studio. Notice the UK plate C8 VRM (his initials).

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    Last edited by nordwulf; 05 September 2010 at 13:49.

  3. #3
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    This wasn't part of the broadcast but I thought it was interesting to add here.

    Maarten de Bruijn left Spyker in 2005 because of disagreement with the company direction. He started the boat-building company Silvestris with two business partners (former Spyker executives Jan Willem Schoenmakers en Leon Vergunst)

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    Maarten de Bruijn, a designer formerly with Dutch sportscar maker Spyker, has come out with the first speedboat under his new Silvestris Haute Motive Concept brand. The wicked racecar-inspired 23' Silvestris Sports Cabriolet (above) features a convertible hardtop and a rumble seat controlled via a remote-operated hatch. Aluminum body panels are riveted and bonded to a tubular space frame. The full water-resistant leather interior, available in a variety of colors, features a steering wheel and dashboard straight out of a classic roadster. The top-of-the-line engine produces a massive 560hp through a single prop stern drive system for speeds in excess of 55 knots.

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    Last edited by nordwulf; 05 September 2010 at 04:42.



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