Body Style: cabriolet
Wilhelm Maybach left Daimler in 1907, and established a new company with Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. The two men worked in Friedrichshafen, and sold engines for aeroplanes and airships – the famous Zeppelins. In 1921, Maybach decided to found his own car-making factory. He started to build a series of luxury automobiles with robust and powerful engines. There were no half measures with this cabriolet and its powerful 200 hp, 8-litre V-12 engine. Despite its heavyweight credentials (2500 kg), this Maybach-Zeppelin could get up to 180 kph (110 mph). Thankfully it also had power-assisted brakes!
The fittings were in keeping with the mechanical elements. The 4-seater convertible cabriolet body of the model on display at the Cité de l’Automobile, Code 2501, is the work of Swiss coachbuilder Hermann-Graber. Great care was taken on all the details and this car boasts all sorts of comfort features, such as a warm air blower for the rear passengers
Despite the astronomical price, there were buyers for the “Zeppelin V12” series. Around 400 vehicles were built. One of these cars, exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in October 1933, had an aerodynamic body with integrated wings and a 5th gear for motorway driving.
Many Nazi dignitaries used these cars, which provided fierce competition to the Mercedes of their day. Maybach is now part of the Daimler-Benz group, and the name has been selected for use as a luxury brand to compete with Rolls Royce.