Precast: Maybach's Pearl Jam, Alfa Redux Redux, Porsche Mule

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

As the son of a Holocaust survivor, the Maybach brand gives me the heebie-jeebies. Which is kind of strange. I've got no beef with Mercedes, a brand whose products provided Herr Hitler with his most photogenic platforms. Nor do I get any bad vibes from VW, a company that used Jewish slave labor during WWII. And my favorite brand is Porsche, whose namesake helped run VW when those slave laborers were busy starving to death on VW's behalf. Perhaps that's because so many Jewish people in my community adored Mercedes, BMW's and Volkswagens. If they were willing to let bygone begone… But there's a certain, I dunno, soullessness to Maybach products that creeps me out. While their cars are faultless in design, construction and materials, and the performance is just plain crazy, the Maybach's exterior and cabin possess all the charisma of a nuclear powerplant's containment dome. Which is why I LOVE the fully functional Maybach Exellero concept car. That bad boy is bonkers. And evil. If I owned one I'd have WWSD (What Would Satan Drive) tatooed on my shoulder. I reckon it's best to stay true to your roots, even if they're slightly poisonous.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • SwatLax SwatLax on Sep 15, 2006

    Hear, Hear! Don't let go of the old style intro! All those "Ws" bring on a smile every time!

  • BimmerHead BimmerHead on Sep 15, 2006

    I was the user who suggested dropping the smalltalk regarding the status of the sites at the beginning of podcasts... had I known that it would be replaced by a discussion of loss of said greeting, I probably would have kept my mouth (laptop) shut. :) Shouldn't we be seeing the next Ford Deathwatch by now?

  • Terry Parkhurst Terry Parkhurst on Sep 15, 2006

    The original Maybach supplied engines to the Graf Zepplin and other dirigibles, as I recall. But then the original Mercury flathead, whilst using some of the Ford flathead's components, had its own unique tweaks. The Mercury marque is now a brand, and seemingly a weak one at that. Maybach shows the value of a name, although certainly hardly anyone but auto historians - both part and full time ones - know of the connection to the old lighter-than-air craft. This new coupe riding under the Maybach flag looks like the ultimate Art Center Car, come to life. It might be the best lead car for a new Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. Even if it didn't set the best time, it would look overwhelming while trying to do so.

  • Tom Tom on Sep 16, 2006

    Talking about the value of a name: It's interesting to see who has the copyright on which brand name nowadays. Maybach for example was the technical mastermind behind Gottlieb Daimler and after Daimler's death, he left the firm to start his own company because there was a lot dispute going on between him and management. Today, Maybach's name belongs to DaimlerChrysler (talking about irony), while Daimler's name belongs to Jaguar which belongs to Ford (as of now). By the way, the original Maybach company still exists, even though it didn't build any cars since 1941. It is now called MTU Friedrichshafen and is one of the world leaders in large Diesel engines. It used to belong to DCX, but was sold last year to some Swedish Private-Equity-Group.