At the end of world war I the treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. This treaty imposed sanctions on Germany and also dictated that every Zeppelin in existence be transferred to the Allied forces and called for Germany to cease production of the airships. The Zeppelin was powered by an engine manufactured by Maybach. Unable to find a use for his engine Maybach used the zeppelin engine in his Maybach v12 car.
Only six cars of this particular variant of the Maybach were ever made.The car was not for every day drives in the city, but something to be used only for ceremonial occasions.This particular model of the Maybach was powered by an engine with 12 cylinders and was referred to as the V12 car. it was an enormous luxury vehicle which weighed approximately 6600 lb.
The engine of this car had 12 cylinders along with some unique innovations. Firstly, it had a massive bonnet that required two men to lift it. Secondly It had what is termed as a “hot” cylinder. Thus, when a driver was cranking the the car and the 12 huge cylinders, the amount of current required would drain a normal battery, so the manufacturers had installed a series of batteries. These batteries used to crank up once the engine started.
If the driver switched off the car engine then even up to an hour though the 11 cylinders decompressed , that one cylinder kept maximum compression. Thus to start the car, all the driver had to do was to hit the switch without hitting the starter button. The moment the switch was put on, that one cylinder came alive and fired the other eleven without taking it off the battery. So all 12 cylinders fired up and the car could be run. However in case you left the car idle for 4 to 5 hours, that hot cylinder lost its compression.
The Maybach V12 was presented by Hitler to 3 personages in Africa and India. It was part of his diplomacy, but the car is a legend and one can savor the delight of a bygone age when this car was used to further German interests