When we think of the Maybach, we think of lifestyles
of the rich and famous. What you think of when money
is no object and only the best will do. Thus begins
the story of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach.
Father, Wilhelm, born February 9, 1846 in Hellbronn,
Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, developed the first
Mercedes auto in 1900. Wilhelm came up with belt
drive system, the fan-cooled radiator, and the
first 4-cylinder engine.
Son, Karl born July 6, 1879 in Cologne-Deutz, Germany,
was known for producing the Maybach V12 Zepplin,
developed a 6-cylinder engine in 1906, and the two V12
engines that powered the “Flying Hamburger” high
In 1885, Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler,
developed a new four-stroke internal combustion engine.
The engine was a one-cylinder, air-cooled, 100 cc
displacement, 1 horsepower beast that could rev to
They attached said engine to a bicycle to create
the first motorcycle. The pair also attached the
engine to boats.
They progressed to a carriage and in 1890, with some
partners, founded Daimler Motoren Galleschaft to build
engines and automobiles.
Maybach left the company in 1907 and started
Father and son teamed up in 1909 to produce engines for
airships built by Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
Wilhelm and his son Karl later started their own
car company and debuted their first car, the Maybach
Type w3, at the Berlin Auto Show in 1921.
The Type w3 had a 6 cylinder engine, 4-wheel brakes,
and new transmission, and a maximum speed of 65 mph.
It sold until 1928, and in 1929 the Maybach had a
12 cylinder engine with an aluminum block and
alloy pistons that produced 150 hp.
In the 20s and 30s the Maybach had a reputation
for powerful, technologically superior, custom-built
vehicles for the wealthy. The top of the line model
was the V12 Zeppelin.
Their only competition was the Horch. But when
a car cost 29,500 Reichsmarks in 1930, enough
to buy five family homes or 33 Opals, less
than 200 Type w3s were sold.
The Maybach was produced until World War II when
the plant started making engines for German military
vehicles. Production never restarted after the war,
but the company made engines for several companies.
Maybach eventually became part of Daimler-Benz.
Daimler-Benz resumed production of the Maybach in
the early twenty-first century, with the Maybach 57
and the Maybach 62. The hand-built cars have a
starting price of six figures, and are known for
their power and optional luxury extras. These could
include voice-activated controls, entertainment
centers, lambswool carpeting, and perfume-atomizing
systems to name a few.
Comments are always welcome.