When a man dedicates all of his efforts and extraordinary abilities to a single goal, then he is fated to become a legend.
The first Mercedes
Wilhelm Maybach, born 1846 in Heilbronn - life-time colleague of Gottlieb Daimler and director of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) - was the spiritual father of the first Mercedes in 1901.read more
That vehicle was a sporty race car model which realized the desires and the need for speed
of the eccentric businessman and Austrian consul Emil Jellinek.
The revolutionary race car was developed using lightweight metals, fitted with a 35-hp four-cylinder engine featuring two carburettors. With a honeycomb radiator, gear-only transmission and a very low centre of gravity, this vehicle was a blueprint for the cars of the future.
The king of design engineers
Earlier, in 1886, the two gentlemen Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach realized the first 4 wheels car in history: the Daimler Motorkutsche.read more
The vehicle was based on a stagecoach built by Wilhelm Wimpff & Sohn and Wilhelm Maybach supervised the installation of an enlarged 1.5 hp Grandfather Clock engine and belt drive
to the wheels.
Man of an indubitable genius, Wilhelm Maybach soon became renowned as “the king of design engineers”, and his name quickly became synonymous of technical innovation. More than any other brand, Wilhelm Maybach developed Mercedes into a symbol of elegance and exquisite quality.
Innovation after innovation, year after year, thanks to Mr. Maybach’s brilliant mind, the Mercedes brand became synonymous with luxury, speed and sporty attitude in the rising automotive industry.
The race car engines
In the early years of the century, Wilhelm Maybach constantly improved and developed car engines, introducing radical new features.read more
The innovative 120-hp race engine with overhead intake, exhaust valves and dual ignition,
for example, was realized in 1906.
After years of success, Wilhelm Maybach left DMG, due to professional problems with the new management of the company which arose after the death of Mr. Daimler. In the same year, 1907, he was made an honorary member of the Association of German Engineers (VDI).
The airship engines
The end of the relationship with DMG was just the end of one chapter: in fact in 1908, together with his son Karl Maybach, he began constructing airship engines for Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin.read more
The following year the "Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH" was founded in Bissingen/Enz
(in the Württemberg region of Germany) under the management of Karl Maybach. Wilhelm Maybach became the technical and most important adviser of his son.
The Maybach era
In 1918 the company finally adopted the name Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH (Maybach engine construction company).read more
In 1916 Wilhelm Maybach (now 70 years old) was honoured by the Technical University
of Stuttgart with an Honorary Doctorate.
On 29th December 1929 Wilhelm Maybach died in Stuttgart. His work was continued and improved upon by his son Karl Maybach, with the aim of building impressive luxury cars devoted
to perfection and to the satisfaction of the requests of the sophisticated society of the time,
with milestone cars such as the 1930 twelve-cylinder engine "Zeppelin", the largest German luxury saloon.