The photograph of a 1939 Maybach car taken at Bournemouth this year interested me greatly as I have taken a keen interest in these luxury cars and have a collection of photographs of them, ranging from the first W3 model down to a SW42 of 1940.
The car is almost certainly a 6-cylinder SW38 or SW42. Incidentally Maybach only made 6- and 12-cylinder cars, never a straight-8.
The SW38 was 3.8-litres and the SW42 4.2-litres, and both had a single-o.h.c. engine and independent springing all round, with a 5-speed “transaxle” at the rear.
All the Zeppelin models which I have seen photographs of have the word ZEPPELIN in capital letters on a curved bar between the two front mudguards. “Auto in Deutschland” list them as having eight speeds, and give the ratios.
Maybachs are rare anywhere, and only one museum in Germany is listed as having an example.
This also raises the question whether it is possible to continue running a car in England on foreign number plates. I would doubt it, all the ex-USAAF American cars which I have seen are now running on English number plates, and surely it would be necessary to re-register it in England if it has been long in this country. It would appear to be more likely that it was brought over from Germany this year.
Actual car production by Maybach ceased in 1939, according to Sloniger and von Fersen, when they went over to war production.
Maybach and their licensees produced 140,000 engines, of different sizes, during the war, mostly for tanks.
G. P. Clemons.
[The car was presumably being used for a holiday in England, hence the legality of its registration plates.—Ed.].