Born on this day in 1846, Wilhelm Maybach, would earn the title “King of Constructors” in the 1890s for his contributions to the blossoming automotive industry. In the late 19th century, the German inventor, engineer and entrepreneur would partner with Gottlieb Daimler to build their first car, which debuted in 1889. He would go on to further develop engines for land and sea, and even air.
Engines built by Daimler and Maybach powered the first motorcycle and the first internal combustion motorboat. Starting in 1901 their engine became the powerplant for the all new Mercedes vehicles. After a falling out with Daimler, Maybach founded Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH in 1909. The company started its life manufacturing engines for Zeppelins, but following the Versailles Treaty in 1919 the company transitioned into luxury vehicle production.
Maybach passed away in 1929, but his vehicles remained in production. His company continued to manufacture high end automobiles until forced into the German war effort in 1940. Throughout the war the company primarily built tank engines. Following WWII the company resumed luxury vehicle production and, in a full circle sort of manner, was acquired by Daimler-Benz in 1960.