Wilhelm Maybach

Inducted 1996

Conceived and produced an automobile with all new components of his own design Invented and built many new auto parts including float and spray carburetors, full engine water jacket,and early radiator cooling system Designed and built the first Mercedes car in 1901 Wilhelm Maybach’s contributions to automotive technology are still evident on highways around the world. Orphaned at age 10, Maybach began his technical education at a vocational school for young people without means. A childhood friendship with kindred spirit Gottlieb Daimler eventually grew into a partnership that lasted 30 years. Individually excellent, together superb, the two made a major contribution to the development and growth of the modern day automobile. Among Maybach’s earliest successes was the adaptation of Nikolaus Otto’s 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines for production. Later he produced a unique automobile with the engine placed under the hood in front of the driver, where it remains today. In 1899, shortly before the death of his friend Daimler, Maybach became affiliated with auto racing pioneer Emil Jellinek. A legend was born one year later when Jellinek chose Maybach to build 36 specially designed race cars. Jellinek specified that the cars should be long, low, powered by 35 hp engines and named after his daughter: Mercedes.

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Class of 1996

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