Stuttgart (dpa / tmn) – Double M for Maybach-Motornbau on the front and sides, plus a lot of wood and leather – that’s why we know the luxury vehicles of this brand, which marks a milestone anniversary in 2021 Will Celebrate: Maybach W3 first came to the streets 100 years ago.
The premiere was held several times: halting vehicle production, acquisition by Daimler, merging with other brands, ultimately a return to the name in 2002. Since then, Mercedes has been manufacturing luxury cars again under the name Maybach.
But the original Maybach is known only to die hard car fans. Most historical vehicles rarely run on roads, most of them in collectors or museums.
On the other hand, Helmut Hoffman from Neimark in Oberfalz sees cars every day. For more than 30 years they have devoted themselves to the brand and collect it. how did it start?
On land, on water and in air
In the mid-1980s, Hofmann became aware of Maybach through a friend. He is thrilled with the history of designers Wilhelm and Karl Maybach and their work.
August Wilhelm Maybach, who was born in 1846, developed one of the first combustion engines with Gottlieb Daimler and later developed racing cars and engines for Daimler. In 1909 Maybach went into business for himself with his son Karl and Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin. At Luftafrezug-Motorenbau GmbH, they develop diesel and gas engines for the Zeppelin airship, since 1918 as Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH for locomotives and cars. The W1 test car was built in 1919, and the first W3 series car was run in 1921.
By 1941 Maybach produced about 1,800 cars, including the brand’s first twelve cylinders since 1929. The Zeppelin model also debuted in 1930 with twelve cylinders. During World War II, Maybach then focused on engines for tanks, boats and aircraft, then on engines for rail vehicles and ships.
In the 1980s, Helmut Hoffman was looking for one of 160 existing classic vehicles and found it in Canada. The passion is now fully ignited, and the Hoffman search continues: for vehicles, information and devotional items. After the wall collapsed, the collector found another Maybach, a second convertible a short time later, and a longer two-door model. The cars are parked at home in his garage and in the rented hall.
A museum is being built inside the historic walls
When the class gradually becomes too small, a happy coincidence plays into his hands. There is an old industrial building near his house, a pre-production facility of the two-wheeler brand Express. In 2006 Hoffman bought it, renovated it, now has space for 20 vehicles and a permanent exhibition of express two-wheelers. In 2009, he again opened the Maybach Museum.
“I want to share my passion. Since I didn’t have a Maybach museum before, I had to build it myself,” Hoffman says. Their cars now occupy approximately 1,600 square meters.
In 1960 Daimler-Benz took over Maybach, but it was not until 2002 that the brand was reactivated as Maybach Mefakatur. The Maybach 57 and 62 models with the S-Class W140’s chassis and similar looks to the successor W220 were built between 2002 and 2012. The luxury brand has been dubbed Mercedes-Maybach since 2014, and about 600 Maybach S- class vehicles for customers in China alone, two-thirds of all cars manufactured in Sindelfining, are now driving there.
Mercedes introduced a new Maybach version of the S-Class in late 2020. Visually, it differs through more chrome, an optional two-tone paintwork, a hand drawn split line, a larger radiator grille, a more distinctive bonnet and other wheels. The C-Pillar bears an enlightened Maybach logo.
Will it be a new vehicle for Helmut Hoffman – after all, whoever collects Maybach drives it in everyday life! not even close. For longer journeys Hoffman takes an old Porsche 911 or an old Mercedes station wagon. Most often, however, he travels by bike: “It comforts me in a way that is similar to riding in a Zepplin.”