On December 1st and December 2nd, 2021, the Project MAYBACH concept car from Virgil Abloh was revealed in Miami at the Rubell Museum – taking place during the Miami Art Basel. The Maybach Foundation mourns the loss of the barrier breaking designer whose legacy will undoubtedly be remembered by future generations.
The unique collaborative concept creation that the legendary visionary Virgil Abloh designed together with Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer, is a true ground-up concept car: This e-Maybach car is described as “a collaborative electric show car designed to inspire the next generation, and forever question the status quo,” which helps to redefine modern luxury vehicles.” What better way to do it than with and a name that has been breaking innovative barriers since its existence: Maybach!
This is Abloh’s second project with Mercedes-Benz, after reimagining the Mercedes-Benz G Class last year, coinciding with the 100th year anniversary of Karl Maybach and his father Wilhelm debuting the first Maybach W 3.
The Maybach Foundation is proud to have officially participated at this honorable event in person. Our Executive Director of the Maybach Foundation, Corinna Basler, Executive Director of the Maybach Foundation was onsite to represent Uli Maybach and the Maybach Foundation. This event was a homage to Virgil Abloh. We know his legacy—and his love for art will live on in his designs.
The celebration of Maybach in Munich during the International Auto Show (IAA) was an incredible, outstanding event that honored 100 years of Maybach automotive iconic excellence. It also served as the official world premier for two brand new Mercedes-Maybach cars, the new Mercedes-AMG und G-Class models. This special function was the world premiere of the limited anniversary edition “Edition 100.” This is a milestone for the Mercedes-Maybach brand in a historical context and underlines Mercedes-Maybach as a creator brand with the highest standards and is an example of the strength and prestige. “What is good must also be beautiful.” – stated Karl Maybach. ‘This was the credo of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach at the beginning of the 20th century. The father and son were regarded as gifted designers and trailblazers in automotive luxury and pioneers in matters of style. With a simple-sounding formula, they created highly complex things: perfection and craftsmanship paired with innovation, both technically and in terms of workmanship. This is what the name Maybach stands for to this day.’ (Mercedes-Maybach, Press Release 28. September 2021) Included in the 100 Years of Maybach automobiles celebration event, the The Maybach Foundation was invited by the Daimler AG to join as a key participant!
This was an impressive event and our Founder and President of the Maybach Foundation, Mr. Ulrich Schmid-Maybach was invited to join this special and meaningful celebration, together with Bitte Seeger (Executive of the Daimler AG) and Philipp Schiemer (Top End Vehicles and CEO Mercedes-AMG GmbH). The experience was an exceptional success with excited guests participating and enjoying the brilliant shows centered around the Maybach brand. The celebration was moderated by Victoria Swarovski and accompanied with live entertainment. The speech by Ola Kaellenius (CEO of Daimler AG) was very insightful and promising regarding the future development of the Maybach brand. Uli Maybach and Ola Kaellenius had a fruitful and inspiring panel conversation regarding that topic as well.
Ulrich Schmid-Maybach, great-grandson of Wilhelm and grandson of Karl Maybach, represents the values of the Maybach family in the fourth generation: philanthropy, creativity, innovation, quality, and enthusiasm. “There is no greater luxury than knowing you have the best,” says Uli Maybach. “Maybach’s self-image as the ‘ultimate inventor’ goes back to its own history of origin, and to the quality claim, Made in Germany. Always with the objective , to create something out of nothing, to transmit that wisdom to subsequent generations and to foster a culture of creativity and innovation.” (Mercedes-Maybach, Press Release 28. September
The Maybach Foundation participated in the exclusive IAA Maybach Brand Workshop in Munich, Germany on September 5th, 2021. President and Founder Ulrich Schmid-Maybach joined the panel discussion, “100 years of Maybach: A World of Excellence, Where did it Start, & Where Does It Go?” Also on the panel were Philipp Schiemer, (Head of Top-End Vehicle Group, Daimler AG) and Hartmut Sinkwitz (Director Interior Design, Daimler AG). They key topics for the panel were: The Maybach history and heritage, the future and the vision of the Maybach brand going forward.
“Maybach Story, as the ultimate automobile creator, goes back to the origin of the Maybach family and to the essence of “quality made in Germany.” “This archetype, where those who made something from nothin, established and transferred generational wisdom and then formed a culture of creativity and innovation around it.”, says Ulrich Schmid-Maybach. Uli emphasized the relevance of mentorship and how it has a long-lasting impact. The Maybach Foundation was established in 2005 is a nonprofit organization that honors the lifetime work of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach. The next generations of innovators will be molded proactively with mentorship groups implemented by the Maybach Foundation. “Your best future is helping someone find theirs.”,confirms Uli Maybach – as it explains the deep purpose behind this nonprofit and what it enables. You can find more information on our website www.maybach.org
At the IAA Maybach Brand Workshop, the Maybach Foundation was presented in a dedicated partner exposition booth to introduce and elaborate our innovative, digital educational projects. The event was joined by 30 exclusively selected international journalists. We additionally attended the Sneak Peek World Premiere of two new profoundly special Maybach car models. Congratulations to the Mercedes-Maybach brand and its team!
At the IAA Maybach Brand Workshop, we have also proudly presented the new Maybach Foundation book: Our History, Your Future – which provided a review of the Maybach Foundation projects since the establishment of our organization.
The Maybach team was well represented at the 70th anniversary of the Monterey Autoweek in Pebble Beach – The Concourse d’Elegance.
Each year, the finest collector cars gather on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links to compete to be named Best of Show – the ultimate award for automobiles. Experts critique their elegance, technical merit, and history. Very important this weekend was the future development of the Maybach brand. We invited people from our Maybach network to connect, provide input and enjoy this spectacular event. The atmosphere is breathtaking in this historic venue. The first event in Pebble Beach took place in 1950. Over such a long period and many such events, one of the most interesting car shows in the world has emerged. The ambience on the Pebble Beach Concourse is simply exquisite while being relaxed, professional – and all about car loving.
The Founder and President of the Maybach Foundation Ulrich Schmid-Maybach also connected with Dimitris Psillakis (CEO, Mercedes-Benz USA), in a fruitful and productive exchange.
Power. Many things could come to mind when you think of that word. Let’s narrow it down a little more and consider what cars embody that profound word. No car fits the description better than the one-of-a-kind Maybach Exelero. With its unique build and sleek design, it stands out from any crowd.
You might be surprised to learn where the story begins. It goes all the way back to 1938, with a German tire company called Fulda. They wanted to build a car with the sole intent of using it to test their new high-performance tire called the Fulda Carat Exelero. Coachbuilders Dorr & Schreck were initially tasked with building the automobile capable of sustaining 200km/h (124mph) over a significant distance and chose to collaborate with Maybach Motorenbau and aerodynamicist Freiherr Reinhard Koenig Fachsenfeld. This project gave birth to the ‘W38 Stromlinienfahrzeug’. This car was heavy and fast, capable of pushing the new tires to the limit.
You might notice that the W38 Stromlinienfahrzeug and the Maybach Exelero look very similar, and that is no coincidence. Fast forward nearly 70 years and Fulda wanted another car built with their tires as the centerpiece. It was important that the new car would pay homage to the history of the project, and also reach the speed of 217 mph.
The task of designing the most expensive Maybach car, to many’s surprise, was given to four students from the Pforzheim Design Academy. It took nine months for one of the students’ designs to be chosen, with Fredrik Burchhardt being the student with the winning idea. Similar to the old W38 being a smooth body built on a Maybach SW38 chassis, the new Exelero took on a coupe body on the chassis of a Maybach 57 limousine.
You might not know this but Maybach built engines for tanks in the 20th century, and this car felt like one. At nearly 7 feet wide, 20 feet long, and 5 feet tall, this beast of a car packs some serious punch. It’s loaded with a V12 engine, which was necessary since it weighed over two and a half tons. To eclipse the 217mph mark, some tweaks were necessary. The displacement was increased to 5.9 liters, a larger radiator, turbos, and intercoolers, were fitted. These adjustments resulted in 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds.
After 25 months, the final product was revealed to the public at the Tempodrom in Berlin, Germany on the 11th of May 2005. The best part was that the car had already done what it was made to do, breach 217mph. Actually, it peaked at 218mph at the Nardo Ring just weeks before being unveiled in Berlin.
Once the Exelero had served its purpose, Maybach put it up for sale, exchanging hands a few times over the years. It was initially bought by diamond industrialist Andre Action Diakite Jackson for $5,000,000, who lent it to Jay-Z for his “Lost One” music video. It was then bought by European Entrepreneur Arnaud Massartic for an unknown amount and then was put on the market again in 2011 for $8,000,000. This was the most viral exchange as the rapper Birdman made it known that he would be the one to purchase it, although it is unconfirmed whether or not he actually paid for it.
Since then, it is thought to be in the hands of Frank Rickert, the founder of Mercedes-Benz’s tuner, Mechatronik. It has been a quiet couple of years for the Maybach Exelero, with its most recent cameo being in an episode of Supercar Blondie’s Youtube Channel.
With its instantly-recognizable figure and relentless power, the Exelero is a proud member of the Maybach automotive family.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the most important cars Mercedes-Benz makes. Being the flagship of Mercedes’s lineup, it cannot be anything short of excellent. With the most recent W222 generation, Mercedes knocked it out of the park. The new S-Class is spacious, luxurious, well-appointed, quiet, and it drips with presence. Mainly, the new S-Class is a near-perfect vehicle, so what makes a Maybach S-Class worth $65,000 more than a standard S-Class?
The discerning Maybach consumer demands the height of luxury, whether they choose to drive their Maybach or whether they choose to be chauffeured. For those who prefer being driven, Maybach has extended both the wheelbase and length of the S-Class by nearly 10 inches to afford interior occupants more passenger space. This increase in size also amounts to an increase in the vehicle’s physical presence. The extra length of the Maybach makes it a sleeker and more recognizable design. No one’s bound to mistake the Maybach for a standard S-Class. Its length is a helpful indicator that this car is something very special: a Maybach.
(Photo: Daimler AG)
Speaking of styling indicators, there’s a lot more than differentiates a Maybach than just the length. Noticeable is the unique chrome treatment of the front bumper and the Maybach emblem on the C-pillar. A Mercedes-Maybach also features a chrome b-pillar, which serves as a visual cue separating the driver and passenger compartment of the vehicle. One may also notice the Maybachs unique grille as compared to the standard S-Class. It’s a pinstriped design first premiered on the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 in 2016 and is inspired by the pinstriping found on high-end suits.
If you feel the Maybach S560 still looks a little too close to the normal Mercedes S-Class, Mercedes offers options to make your Maybach even more distinctive. On the wheel front, there are three Maybach exclusive designs, including a historical monoblock style wheel. For those who’d like to set themselves apart, even more, Mercedes also offers exclusive two-tone paint options in historical color samples. Two-tone Maybachs may draw a comparison to the optional two-tone paint featured on the Maybach 57s and 62s of the previous decade, though don’t let that fool you into thinking two-tone paint is dated. Mercedes has modernized two-tone paint with nine two-tone options available, ranging from subtle grey and black combinations to striking green and beige combos.
Of course, the hallmark of a true Maybach is an interior that is less of a cabin and more of a sanctuary. The Maybach S-Class comes standard with beautiful quilted elements. While you can find quilted seats in some Kia’s today, Maybach ups the ante with quilted seats, a quilted dashboard panel, partially quilted roof insert, and optional quilted center console panels, and more. In other words, Maybach allows you to quilt pretty much everything.
(Photo: Daimler AG)
Spring for the Executive Rear Seat Package Plus and you get first-class airplane-style table trays alongside heated and cooled cup holders. You can also option a refrigerated box and Maybach exclusive champagne flutes. The optional champagne flutes are just as exclusive as the Maybach they are designed for. Made for Maybach by ‘Robbe & Berking’, they are cast in 925 sterling silver and are designed to snap into any Maybachs rear cupholders. They are also a perfect complement to whichever Maybach they reside in.
Recently we have received a new accession in Friedrichshafen from the Schmid-Maybach private collection – an extensive collection of photographs, letters, and other documents. This treasure with many pictures, some of which have never been published before, will be cataloged in the coming weeks.
Most of the images we have received are prints made on photographic paper ; some are negatives. Each individual requires special and different treatment to ensure that it will last longer and will be available for future generations. Photos, when being printed, need chemicals to develop the image on the paper. The photographic paper is watered in a final step in the darkroom. However, a certain amount of these chemicals remains and could further potentially damage the image when not appropriately treated. Thereby, it is essential to use acid- free storage materials and pay attention to using high quality-plastics (or avoiding them completely). Plastics — if not of high quality can emit gases that are potentially damaging to the photographs. Glassine paper is a material that ticks these boxes, which is why we frequently use them. It is acid-free, does not emit gases, and also to a certain degree blocks light (though this is a side effect rather). Light and high temperatures are additional factors that need to be considered when working with old photographs.
Historic photographs feat. Karl Maybach and others stored in glassine paper Negatives are especially tricky. They contain the image information on clear material, the latter being the glass in early examples (something we luckily have in this collection too) or acetate. Negatives are irreplaceable originals and contain much more image information than an image printed from it. When scanning negatives with the appropriate scanner, one can produce very large files with high resolution that allow them to print big or zoom in closely. While delivering better image quality, they are also much more fragile.
Living in the digital age, it is essential to digitize. It enables many things : to show reproductions in environments where the original could not be situated, for example, due to adverse light conditions and, very importantly, allows to present the images to a global audience via the internet and on social media. In the following posts, we want to make use of that very aspect to present bits of the Maybach history to a global audience. We will give insight into our finds, the process of digitization, and of course the exciting stories that connect our discoveries to the Maybach history.
Today there are two important anniversaries for Maybach fans to celebrate, the 141st birthday of Karl Maybach and the 5th anniversary of the Freundeskreis Maybach Museum e.V.
The initiative for the formation of the association came from many of the ‹Häfler› (as the inhabitants of Friedrichshafen are popularly known) and the descendants of Karl Maybach — his daughter Irmgard Schmid-Maybach and his grandson Ulrich Schmid-Maybach. From the very beginning, the close cooperation between the Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation, founded by Ulrich Schmid-Maybach, and the Museum Freundeskreis was a given and is still successfully continued with great energy today. Employees of Maybach-Motorenbau, but also important people from Friedrichshafen’s political scene — they all share the enthusiasm for the special Maybach history and the aim of creating a permanent museum presentation.
Since its foundation on July 6, 2015, the Freundeskreis has been working on a purely voluntary and extremely committed basis towards the goal of creating a museum-based, independent presentation of the history of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach and their developments essential to the history of technology and mobility. Friedrichshafen is and will remain the anchor point for these efforts due to its close connection with Maybach history. A fundamental element of this is the ongoing development of the collection, which also includes contemporary witness work — to date, over 2000 documents, photographs, and objects have been collected. In 2017 the first exhibition entitled « In the air, on water and on land » was held at the Friedrichshafen City Archive, which was very well received.
The founding date of the circle of friends was not by chance, 2015 was the 136th anniversary of Karl Maybach’s birthday. Karl Maybach, the son of Wilhelm Maybach, who was also known as the King of Designers, was born in 1879 in Cologne Deutz. He understood early on how to get the most out of his studies, internships, and various travels abroad. Thus he had already developed an engine of his own when his father was not allowed to work as he had left Daimler engine works. Graf Zeppelin, who had found the best conditions for his airship developments in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance, was very interested in the new engine design, which was both powerful and reliable. It was only in this way that the Maybachs and Count Zeppelin began to work together, and in 1912 the company finally moved to Friedrichshafen, before being renamed Maybach Motorenbau GmbH in 1919. Friedrichshafen became the new cradle of engine development. Starting with airship engines, various developments were initiated here which still have a significant impact on our mobility today. Particularly noteworthy are the high-speed diesel engines, a completely new market segment at the time, which were to take trains in Germany and internationally to a new level in terms of speed and reliability.
Over the years, Karl Maybach established a company that set standards in the training of apprentices and skilled workers as well as preparing them for corporate cultures. In this way, the bond between employees, but also between Friedrichshafen residents, and the Maybach name was strengthened and remains strong to this day. This bond is reflected in the valuable voluntary work of the Freundeskreis Maybach Museum e.V. — starting with the founding members such as Sigfrid Rehm, who met Karl Maybach personally while still working at Maybach Motorenbau, through to the current first chairman Fritz Rheinheimer and the numerous members.
The first five years of the Circle of Friends› work have been extremely successful. Many important exhibits have now been secured for the museum. A special example is the cutaway model of an MD 871 ship diesel for fast boats, which was transported from the Technical Naval School in Parow near Stralsund to Lake Constance under the leadership of the first chairman Fritz Rheinheimer. More exciting details about the project to save this large exhibit from being scrapped can be found on the website of the Freundeskreis. There you will also find further information on membership.
🇩🇪 German Version /Deutsche Version :
Aus Verbundenheit zu Maybach — 5 Jahre Freundeskreis Maybach Museum e.V.
Heute gilt es gleich zwei für Maybach-Fans wichtige Jubiläen zu feiern ; den 141. Geburtstag von Karl Maybach sowie das fünfjährige Jubiläum des Freundeskreises Maybach Museum e.V.!
Die Initiative zur Gründung des Vereins, ging aus von vielen mit der Maybach Historie verbundenen Häflern (wie die Bewohner*innen Friedrichshafens im Volksmund genannt werden) und den Nachfahren Karl Maybachs – seiner Tochter Irmgard Schmid-Maybach und seinem Enkelsohn Ulrich Schmid-Maybach. Von Beginn an war die enge Zusammenarbeit zwischen der von Ulrich Schmid-Maybach gegründeten Wilhelm und Karl Maybach Stiftung und dem Museums Freundeskreis selbstverständlich und wird bis heute mit großer Tatkraft erfolgreich fortgesetzt. Mitarbeiter*innen des Maybach-Motorenbau, aber auch verdiente Persönlichkeiten aus der Gesellschaft und Politik Friedrichshafens – sie alle eint die Begeisterung für die besondere Maybach-Geschichte und das Ziel einen bleibenden musealen Auftritt zu schaffen.
Der Freundeskreis arbeitet seit seiner Gründung am 06. Juli 2015 rein ehrenamtlich und äußerst engagiert auf das Ziel hin, der Geschichte von Wilhelm und Karl Maybach sowie ihren für die Technik- und Mobilitätsgeschichte essentiellen Entwicklungen einen musealen, eigenständigen Auftritt zu verschaffen. Friedrichshafen ist und bleibt dabei Ankerpunkt für diese Bemühungen durch die enge Verbindung mit der Maybach-Historie. Elementar dafür ist der fortlaufende Sammlungsaufbau, welcher auch Zeitzeugenarbeit umfasst – bis heute wurden über 2000 Dokumente, Fotografien und Objekte zusammengetragen. 2017 fand eine erste eigene Ausstellung mit dem Titel „In der Luft, zu Wasser und zu Land“ im Stadtarchiv Friedrichshafen statt, welche auf sehr positive Resonanz gestoßen ist.
Das Gründungsdatum des Freundeskreises kam nicht von ungefähr, 2015 jährte sich der Geburtstag von Karl Maybach zum 136. Mal. Karl Maybach, der Sohn von Wilhelm Maybach, welchen man auch als König der Konstrukteure bezeichnete, wurde das Handwerk des Konstruierens und der Ingenieursgeist scheinbar in die Wiege gelegt, als er 1879 in Köln Deutz geboren wurde. Er verstand es früh, aus Studium, Praktika und diversen Auslandsaufenthalten das meiste herauszuholen. So konnte er mit einer eigenständigen Motorenentwicklung aufwarten, als sein Vater gerade mit einem Berufsverbot nach dem Ausscheiden aus dem Daimlerkonzern belegt war. Graf Zeppelin, welcher in Friedrichshafen am Bodensee die besten Bedingungen für seine Luftschiffentwicklungen gefunden hatte, war sehr interessiert an dem neuen, gleichermaßen leistungsfähigen wie zuverlässigen Motorenentwurf. So kam es erst zur Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Maybachs und Graf Zeppelin, 1912 zum Umzug des Unternehmens nach Friedrichshafen und 1919 erfolgte schließlich die Umbenennung in Maybach Motorenbau GmbH. Friedrichshafen wurde zur neuen Wiege der Motorenentwicklung. Angefangen bei Luftschiffmotoren wurden hier diverse Entwicklungen angestoßen, welche bis heute maßgebliche Auswirkungen auf unsere Mobilität haben – besonders hervorzuheben sind die schnelllaufenden Dieselmotoren, ein zur damaligen Zeit völlig neues Marktsegment, sollten Züge in Deutschland und international auf ein neues Niveau bringen, was Geschwindigkeit und Verlässlichkeit anging.
Karl Maybach etablierte über die Jahre ein Unternehmen, dass Maßstäbe setzte in der Ausbildung von Lehrlingen und Facharbeitern sowie der Unternehmenskultur. So festigte sich die Verbindung zwischen Mitarbeitern, aber auch den Häflern insgesamt, und dem Namen Maybach, welche bis heute anhält. Diese Bindung spiegelt sich in der wertvollen ehrenamtlichen Arbeit des Freundeskreises Maybach Museum e.V. – angefangen bei den Gründungsmitgliedern wie Sigfrid Rehm, welcher Karl Maybach noch persönlich während seiner Tätigkeit beim Maybach Motorenbau begegnete, bis hin zum aktuellen ersten Vorsitzenden, Fritz Rheinheimer, und den zahlreichen Mitgliedern.
Die ersten fünf Jahre der Arbeit des Freundeskreises sind in höchstem Maße erfolgreich verlaufen. So konnten viele wichtige Exponate für das Museum gesichert werden. Ein besonderes Beispiel ist das Schnittmodell eines MD 871 Schiffsdiesels für Schnelle Boote, welches unter Federführung des ersten Vorsitzenden, Fritz Rheinheimer, von der Technischen Marine Schule in Parow bei Stralsund bis an den Bodensee transportiert wurde. Mehr spannende Details über das Projekt dieses große Ausstellungsstück vor der Verschrottung zu retten, finden Sie auf der Webseite des Freundeskreises. Dort gibt es auch weiterführende Informationen zur Mitgliedschaft.
In our last post, we already talked about the strong connection between people in Friedrichshafen and the name Maybach. This is also present in many places in the urban fabric of the city. Today we will for the first time take you with us on a tour of discovery through Friedrichshafen : At the beginning of our series, we would like to show you the busts of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach, which can be found in a very special place in Friedrichshafen. Coming from the railway station “Friedrichshafen Stadt”, passing the Graf Zeppelin and Karl Maybach High School, two statues are placed on the Maybach Square in honor of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach.The place the statues are presented today is deeply intertwined with the history of Maybach Motorenbau. It’s close to the entrance to the site where Karl Maybach’s company was situated from 1912 onwards. Today it still is in close proximity to the entrance of Rolls Royce Power Systems/MTU Friedrichshafen which is the company that Maybach Motorenbau had become after 1969. Friedrichshafen’s city center around the townhouse is just a ten-minute walk away, the town and its companies grew side by side. Further south towards Friedrichshafen lies the Karl Maybach High School which was given its name in honor of one of Friedrichhafen’s most important citizens. Friedrichshafen was and still is an engine city and Karl Maybach had made it another cradle of products that were to have a disruptive impact globally. The Karl Maybach High School is the only school named after Karl Maybach though there are two more named after Wilhelm Maybach, one in Heilbronn and one in Stuttgart.
The monument consists of two stone steles on which bronze portrait heads of Wilhelm and Karl Maybach are presented. These had been sculpted by Eduard Raach-Döttinger in the mid nineteen eighties. Eduard Raach-Döttinger who had been creating many public monuments and fountains had lived from 1909 to 1991. From the 1950s onwards he had been working in Eningen which is situated close to Reutlingen. His favored materials were stone and wood though he also created works made from bronze regularly. In 1986, the artist was commissioned to make a bust of Wilhelm Maybach on the occasion of an exhibition in Reutlingen entitled ‘Reutlingen Encounter’. The show told the story of the historic encounter of Wilhelm Maybach and the environment it had taken place in. Wilhelm Maybach met Gottlieb Daimler at the Bruderhaus orphanage – it turned out to be an encounter and a combination of forces that was to make history, Maybach’s constructive ingenuity of and Daimler´s entrepreneurial spirit.
Having completed the Wilhelm Maybach sculpture a year before, Raach in 1987 was also commissioned by MTU Friedrichshafen to make a piece depicting Karl Maybach. In an interview from the first public presentation of the Karl Maybach bust, he described the specific process which led to his creation. As a starting point, Raach had been using images from different stages of Karl Maybach’s biography as well as quotes. With this approach he aimed to add an impression to his work which unified the different life phases in one image, thereby adding another level to the realistic depiction.
Showing Wilhelm Maybach alongside his son, the monument makes clear that this genealogy of engine construction reaches further back in history and beyond Friedrichshafen : Heilbronn, Reutlingen, and Canstatt are among the other places that tell the story. We want to start out in Friedrichshafen with a new series as there are many other places to discover the Maybach history inside and beyond the city limits. Stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts of this series.
In our everyday work, new arrivals are especially exciting and today we want to share an example : An ad which had not been published in the literature on the history of Maybach yet. It comes from a time where Maybach had a major, disruptive even, impact on mobility : The days when Maybach was developing and successfully establishing the fast running diesel engine for trains on the German and European markets.
The image comes from the 1940s and shows two things : a train of the series which bore the somewhat unwieldy designation ‘302-kw-Dieseltriebwagen mit vereinheitlichten Grundrissen’ (302-kW-Dieseltrains with unified layout) and a GO 5 type engine. Both are rendered in strong angles which make the image more dynamic and convey the speed and power to the viewer. The overall image is rendered in black grey which is combined with accents of orange. This orange was part of the Maybach Motorenbau corporate identity and also came to use in the enameled emblems on Maybach cars.
After WWI Maybach Motorenbau had to set out for new markets – the key segment of aerial propulsion had been prohibited by the Versailles treaty. The company also quickly realized that when using a new high-speed diesel on the rail, one should not do things by half-measures. Instead of “just” supplying the engine, Maybach wanted to design a railcar in which all the components were the result of a concerted collaboration between the engine manufacturer and a train builder – a form of cooperation that was absolutely exceptional in its intensity at the time. The result was the so-called E.V.A. Maybach-Triebwagen launched in 1924, its engine the G 4 a type and a newly developed gearbox the T 1 type. Having had met skepticism, the new product with 175 hp was successfully established but Maybach did not intend to stop there.
New demands came up not much later and the Reichsbahn asked for a 300 hp engine. The engineers at Maybach Motorenbau set the goal at 400 hp. Something, they said looking back, could be achieved just as easily and demands were expected to quickly rise again. Although this engine, which was to bear the name G 5, could draw on the experience gained from the design and production of the G 4 a and b, there were once again no real role models for this next evolutionary stage. Again there was only a little time available for a complex project. The Maybach engineers doubled the number of cylinders, turning the G 5 into a twelve-cylinder engine – a strategy that had already been applied to aircraft engines. The stroke volume of the G 4 a/b was increased from 140⁄180 mm bore/stroke to 150⁄200 mm. A ‹centric linkage› was also chosen in the hope of avoiding problems with the crankcase, but the engine was now subjected to greater stress. Despite all adversities, the G 5 was put to the test in 1930 – with an impressive 410 hp.
The Reichsbahn ordered different types of railcars, all powered by the G 5 engine (it later got replaced by its successor the GO 5) and equipped with another innovation, the electric power transmission, for which Maybach again had cooperated with the E.V.A. In our ad, we can see an artist rendition of the so-called ‘302-kw-Dieseltriebwagen mit vereinheitlichten Grundrissen’ (302-kW-Dieseltrains with unified layout). These trains were used all over Germany and with their speeds of up to 110 km/h were another important step towards the era of the so-called ‘Flying trains’ which established new speed records – but that’s another story in itself we want to tell another time.
A recent collaboration between Maybach Foundation and Michael Schwab is bringing new attention to these essential steppingstones of mobility as we know it today that could not have happened without Maybach. Schwab, one of the United States foremost graphic artists, who is well renowned for his posters for American National Parks, created a set of new designs that are paying homage to the strong graphic designs which embodied the ‘Maybach Powered’ spirit. The current set of three posters, the train, the yacht, and the airship make clear that Maybach was much more than luxury cars but excellence in propulsion across the board – on land, in water, and air.