The model designation, Zeppelin, was chosen to express that the twelve-cylinder Maybach engine in this extraordinary car was designed on the basis of experience gained with Maybach Zeppelin airship engines. The name is also to serve as a symbol for the principles to which Maybach cars are built: to create nothing but the best from the most advanced materials, cars of lasting value, manufactured to the highest level of perfection. The Maybach Zeppelin is the ultimate answer to automotive wishes, with a distinctive character all its own and the highest levels of elegance and power. (Maybach leaflet, 1934).
The highlight of the car was Maybach’s ingenious transmission design. Maybach wanted to spare his customers this complex and difficult sequence of operations and therefore developed a compact gearbox with constantly meshing, obliquely cut gear wheels. The gears were engaged by means of shift dogs which were moved with the help of vacuum pressure. The clutch only had to be operated for starting off, stopping and reversing. A preselector would be used to select the desired gear. After selection, the car would change gears once the driver let up on the accelerator.