der Maybach Zeppelin DS 8


The Maybach type Zeppelin is one of the most famous representatives in the dance of international luxury Cars of the thirties of the last century. A powerful twelve-cylinder car that was built in numerous versions between 1930 and 1937. The Zeppelin DS models, by Karl Maybach in 1930, for the first time offered and from 1931, delivered, gave it as a type DS 7 and DS 8. Precursor in 1929, the Zeppelin type was 12 with 7 liters of engine displacement and 150 HP.

Maybach Zeppelin DS 8

The Maybach Zeppelin DS 8, model year 1932, Chassis number 1387, and today owned by the collection of the Mercedes-Benz Museum, is one of the luxury Automobiles from the 30s. The company Spohn in Ravensburg, tailor-made building, a four-door, six – to-seven-seater Cabriolet with plenty of space to feel at home in the comfortable leather chairs, is fully restored. The perfectly running 8-Liter-V12-Motor with the number 25041 is a feast for the eyes and offers the effortless performance of its 200 HP at a maximum of 3200 Rpm. A Paragon of smoothness – 170 kilometres an hour.

A test report in the “General automotive newspaper” from the year 1933 (No. 35) of that time says: “… The Maybach Zeppelin models are one of the few brands in the international special class. They are great luxury, with technical waste, equipped, and only a select few, tangible, as well as the shows are small, in which this magnificent car will be built“.

Driving characteristics

The drive should stop to excite features of the Maybach Zeppelin DS 8 really still today. The long wheelbase of 3.735 millimeters and the high weight to the axes of the car with the long semi-elliptic springs suspended rigid, almost light-footed gliding let. For additional comfort, the luxury model hydraulic double-acting shock absorbers provide. To Start, although it needed the clutch, otherwise the driver supports only two small levers in the steering wheel center, to switch the four gears of the planetary transmission.

Without clutch switch

Fully synchronized transmissions, today a matter of course, were still at the beginning of the thirties, largely unknown. Was switched to Double-clutch when shifting Up and double-declutching when downshifting. For some motorists, only hard-to-learn technique, Maybach wanted to spare its customers and therefore developed a very compact gear, the helical ground gears were constantly in mesh. Has been connected without using the clutch, except when Starting, stopping or reversing.

The screws in the steering without servo assistance, is in relation to the abundant three tonnes of live weight of this stately automobile, amazingly smooth, and the via cable brakes operated huge drum thanks to an ingenious lever system, evenly and well. The force required to support the pressure-servo support is comparatively low.

Technical Data: V12 Light-Alloy Engine

Engine: V12 all-alloy, 60° cylinder angle, crankshaft with 8 plain bearings

Bore/stroke: 92/100 mm; light-alloy, engine displacement: 7922 cm3 piston

Compression: 1:6,3

Power: 200 HP at 3200 Rev/min

Cylinders: replaceable grey-cast iron liners

Valves: intake/exhaust valve hanging; 1-camshaft, 7-fold stored

Carburettor: 2 Solex Dual-Stage Carburetor

Cooling: Water Cooling/Pump – Thermostat-Radiator-Blind


Frame: U-Profile, Steel Press Frame

Springs: long semi-elliptic springs in broad sliding shoes rollers on steel,hydraulic, double-acting shock absorbers

Front axle: fist-axis of a double-T-profile chrome-Nickel steel

Rear axle: rigid axle with light-alloy steel Axle beam

Steering: flutter-proof screws steering, a choice of left or right

Foot brake: vacuum Servo-brake, mechanically on all four wheels acting

Wheels: steel wheels or wire-spoke, 2 spare wheels

Tires: mean pressure, DT rims, 7×20 7.5×20

The clutch and transmission

Clutch: 2-Disc Dry Clutch

Transmission: Maybach double fast gear transmission type DSG 80, 4 noiseless gears

Arrangement: in the universal push tube inserted

Gear number: 5 forward; 1 reverse

Drive: on rear wheels

Other Data

Wheelbase: chassis 3,735 m

Track width: front/rear 1.52 m

Length: about everything, including shock-5,52 m rods

Width/height: about fender 1.82 m/approx 1,90 m

Weights: chassis approx. 1900 kg car approx 2800 kg, payload approx: 1680 kg

V-max: 150 up to 170 km/h, depending on the structure and Translation

Consumption: approximately 28 litres/100 km

Oil consumption: approximately 0.4 liters/100 km

Tank: at the rear, 135 litres, 2 fuel pumps

Source: Daimler AG

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