Wilhelm Maybach is truly one of the fathers of the automobile, credited with building the first four-wheel motorized vehicle designed for personal transportation (the 1889 steel-wheel wagon). Maybach a protégé of Gottlieb Daimler, is also credited with designing the car named for Emil Jellinek’s daughter Mercedes. That same year (1900), he designed two four-cylinder engines to Count Zeppelin for use in an airship and eventually launched a company with his son Karl to build airship engines. Terms of the treaty of Versailles that ended WWI precluded Maybach from building aircraft engines, so the company turned to cars-first six-cylinder models, and then in 1930, to capitalize on the publicity generated by the first circumnavigation of the earth in a Zeppelin powered by five Maybach V-12s, Maybach introduced the Zeppelin DS (for double-six) series. This car was originally purchased by the Central Bank in Zurich. It is in original condition except for its more recent paint.

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