Classic Cars

The rare 1989 Isdera Spyder 036i

Isdera Spyder 036i

This is the Isdera Spyder 036i, only 14 are said to have been made by the secretive German automaker, and the example shown here might just be the fastest of them all.

Isdera first introduced the Spyder 036i in 1987. It was the new updated version of the Spyder 033i which was unveiled in 1982. Both cars feature a tubular steel chassis with lightweight bodywork in fiberglass and a mid-engine from Mercedes.

Quick Facts – The Isdera Spyder 036i

  • Isdera was founded in 1982 by car designer Eberhard Schulz, who had previously designed the 1969 Erator GTE and the 1978 Mercedes-Benz CW311 concept car.
  • Mercedes refused to put the CW311 concept car into production, so Schulz decided to do it himself, renaming it Isdera Imperator 108i.
  • The Isdera Spyder was developed as a similarly styled but less powerful sister to the Imperator, with the most obvious external difference between the two cars being the lack of a roof on the Spyder.
  • The Isdera Spyder 036i is powered by a mid-mounted Mercedes-Benz M103 straight-six with a displacement of 3.0 liters, power is sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transaxle.

Isdera – The little-known German supercar manufacturer

Cars built by Isdera are prized by their owners, relatively few can afford them and many who can are put off by the minimum 12 month waiting time – as each car is built specifically for each customer.

Description of the imageThe design of the Spyder 036i is closely related to the previous 033i from 1982, and there is a strong family resemblance to the Isdera Imperator 108i supercar.

The company was founded due to the stubbornness of former Porsche designer Eberhard Schulz, he had developed the 1978 Mercedes-Benz CW311 concept car, but Mercedes chose not to put it into production. So Schulz decided to do it himself.

A new tubular steel spaceframe chassis was designed, a 5.0-liter Mercedes V8 was installed behind the driver’s compartment, and a lightweight body was formed from fiberglass. Schulz called him the Isdera Imperator 108iand it was one of the most futuristic production supercars in the world when it was unveiled in 1984.

The success of the company’s first cars, the Spyder 033 and Imperator 108i, ensured its continued success, despite their high prices and 12-month lead times. The only way to order a car was to call the CEO on the phone and chat directly with him.

The company remains in business today, it has released a number of models over the years including the Spyder and Imperator mentioned above, as well as the all-electric 2018 Commendatore, Autobahnkurier and Commendatore GT.

The Isdera Spyder 036i

The Isdera Spyder 036i was released in 1987 as an update to the 1982 Spyder 033i model series.

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Description of the imageThe interior of the car is unique to say the least, the driver has a tachometer in front of him in the style of a real racing car, with the speedometer, stereo and a few other gauges to his right in a separate console .

While the 033i was fitted with a Mercedes-Benz 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine and the 033i-16 was fitted with a Mercedes-Benz 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, the 036i received a significantly more powerful Mercedes 3.0-liter straight-six engine. -Benz powertrain, producing 217 hp and giving the car significantly better performance.

Much like the Imperator, the Spyder 036i has a tubular steel frame, fiberglass body, two seats, and a mid-engine setup with power going to the rear wheels.

The Spyder 036i’s engineering, styling, performance and handling have earned it fans for decades. The key issue for enthusiasts is that they are expensive and extremely rare, with only 14 examples said to have been made.

The 1989 Isdera Spyder 036i shown here

The car you see here is a 1989 Isdera Spyder 036i from the second model year of production. It left the factory finished in Black with Violet leather interior and was delivered to its first owner, Mr. Keller, in Munich.

Isdera Spyder 036i 13

Description of the imageThis car was modernized by Isdera in 2011, with a new 276 hp 3.6-liter engine from AMG.

In mid-July 2011, this car was returned to Isdera for improvements at the company’s factory in Hildesheim, Germany.

The front and rear fenders flared out and then finished in silver metallic, allowing the fitment of larger 16-inch alloy wheels, fitted with Toyo Proxes tyres. The original Violet interior was stripped and upholstered in blue leather, while Recaro Sportster seats were fitted and the door cards trimmed in dark blue to match.

Perhaps the biggest modification was in the engine compartment, the original Mercedes 3.0-litre straight-six was removed and replaced with a more modern 276 bhp 3.6-litre engine from AMG – delivering an almost 30% increase in power to the rear wheels.

Since the completion of the conversion work, the car has been shown at some events and it now comes with a digital history file containing photographs, a letter from Isdera listing the work carried out and a wheel of rescue.

If you want to know more about the car, you can click here to visit the list. It is due to clear the auction block on May 14 in Monaco.

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Images: Peter Singhof ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Isdera Spyder 036i