We have 15 years of archives. Links older than a year may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.
By 2012, the writing was on the wall for the Maybach brand. Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche (remember Dr. Z?) announced that the final year of production as 2013 model years would be carried out before retiring the brand again. Only for it to be brought back as a trim level a few years later. So what did that mean?
During those final faithful years, Maybach rolled out the Zeppelin edition that would be limited to 100 units between the 57 and 62, although it wasn’t 50 cars each. The name was an ode to the pre-war models Maybach DS7 and Maybach DS8, which were as literally larger than most boats I’ve ridden in. All of these 100 examples got some special touches both inside and out, as well as configurated as an S model with the 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12. Prices started at €406,000 for the 57, while the 62 Zeppelin began at €473,000. Absurd to say the least. Today, one would think that these depreciated down to their normal levels, but this example up for sale in Germany went a totally different direction. Hold on to your trousers.
I promise this is the last Maybach for a while. I also promise this one is worth it. This the 57 S. The standard wheelbase car, if you could call this thing standard, but with a 6.0-liter M285 twin-turbo V12 in place of the same M285 as we get on the 57, but with an extra half a liter. It also rides a half inch lower and was standard on 20″ wheels. Maybach says the S stands for Special, I always looked at it as Sport, but you can make your own call. Of course it was ungodly expensive at over $370,000, and now it is literally worth a fraction of that. However, if you were expecting the normal Maybach interior of boring beige leather and a bunch of fake wood, you would be wrong. Very wrong.
Oh Maybach, how far will you fall? Normally when screaming about depreciation, its the Maybach 57, not the king of the hill 62 like we have here today. Just to refresh, the 62 was the extra-long wheel base version that measures 20-feet-long (!) that allowed rear passengers lay completely flat. It rang in at $360,000 … in 2004. Just to put that into perspective, the 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom was only $320,000. This car was unbelievably expensive and its hard to argue it was worth it when you see it now and take a close look at it. That also probably explains why it is so cheap now.
I think it is going to be a long time before we see a car depreciate like a Maybach 57. Way back in the early-2000s, Mercedes-Benz decided to wanted to play in the same league as Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Not an outrageous idea, so they revived the storied Maybach name and launched two models, the 57 and the 62. They shared a general platform with the then-already replaced W140 S-Class, and kind of looked like a W220 S-Class on the outside. On the inside, you could see this was a W220. The steering wheel was a straight rebadge job along with the gauge cluster, and everything felt like a W220 which is not a good thing at all. Under the hood, you’d think they would have stuck with the twin-turbo M275 from the S600, but they changed it slightly to make an entirely new engine unique to the Maybach called the M285. All these one-off changes that had to be made and extremely low production resulted in the base model 57 carrying a sticker price of $320,000. That is $435,000 in today’s money. You’ll be shocked at what this 2004 57 can be had for today.
Last week I was watching a video on the BMW i3 about how much they have depreciated. A few years ago, they were selling for around the $40,000 mark and now can be bought in the mid-teens. The author of the video went on about how much of an actual value that was but you have to take in the fact that they received some tax subsidies, a lot of them were leased and it is a fairly unique car to begin with that not everyone can own because of its limited range. Because of all that, prices have tanked. Of course, the whole time I’m thinking that the i3 has absolutely nothing on the Maybach when it comes to depreciation in terms of actual dollars. I examined this topic a few years ago with a 57S and figured it might be time to revisit the mid-2000s monsters of eating your money in a 2005 57 located in Texas. Here is a hint at what I found: not much has changed.