1932 Maybach DS8 Zeppelin


1932 Maybach DS8 Zeppelin

1932 Maybach DS8 Zeppelin

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.

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
engine Water Cooled, Cast Iron, 60 Degree V12
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain SOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
displacement 7922 cc / 483.4 in³
bore 92 mm / 3.62 in
stroke 100 mm / 3.94 in
power 149.1 kw / 199.9 bhp @ 3200 rpm
specific output 25.23 bhp per litre
bhp/weight bhp per tonne
body / frame Steel Pressed
driven wheels RWD
front tires 7×20
rear tires 7.5×20
f brake size mm / in
r brake size mm / in
steering Worm & Nut
f suspension Rigid Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Dampers
r suspension Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Dampers
curb weight 2800 kg / 6173 lbs
wheelbase 3735 mm / 147.0 in
front track 1520 mm / 59.8 in
rear track 1520 mm / 59.8 in
length 5520 mm / 217.3 in
width 1820 mm / 71.7 in
height 1900 mm / 74.8 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual w/Pre-Selection & Low Ratio Option
gear ratios :1
final drive 3.58:1
top speed ~170 kph / 105.6 mph