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When Classic Design Outpaces Innovation: 2006 Maybach 57

The Maybach isn’t something we typically take the time to feature, by today’s standards it’s a bit of an overcomplicated dinosaur that makes more sense in a museum rather than in a personal garage. From that perspective, almost all the cars we love could fit that bill in some way or another so perhaps the Maybach deserves a second look and a deep dive into what really makes the car and the brand so special. Today’s topic, this 2006 Maybach 57, is currently listed for sale in Germany by Klassen. A company specializing in the ultra-luxury, often focusing on Mercedes and Sprinter, sometimes armored and always incredibly exclusive.

Like Mercedes-Benz, the Maybach brand belonged to the elite of the automobile world. At the end of the 20th century, some of the most capable and imaginative minds at Mercedes-Benz took up the challenge to return Maybach to that position. The result was certainly dramatic. But let’s begin at the subtle end of the scale, because one of the coolest details often goes overlooked due to tech and image. The Maybach chassis code is W240, this number wasn’t an arbitrary assignment but rather a nod to the fact that the Maybach sits on a modified and reinforced W140 chassis rather than the W220 base from the same era, which frankly couldn’t perform to the Maybach standards.

This particular example is finished in the two tone Maybach Cote d’azur paintwork with a Dark Blue (947) base coat and accented with a LIght Blue (385) middle section. Maybach offered a seemingly infinite combination of paints, finishes, and materials but most seemed to play it safe within the grey scale so we’re always happy to see one of these cars with a splash of color. Take some time to check out the cabin and it’s back to business as usual with seats, dash, carpet, and headliner trimmed in Galapagos Grey (538) and although well appointed in Burl Walnut (731), remains Germanically clinical compared to what this design house was capable of while producing these wonderful coaches. While technology was the focus of these cars, quality didn’t seem to be compromised in the builds. The dealer has done a great job of translating that quality and attention to detail into photography. Sadly some of the included tech is now obsolete but like a curated exhibit, we love seeing the branded phones, controllers, and headphones still a part of these cars.

At 24,500km and a €129,000 ($156k USD) asking price, this isn’t the most affordable Maybach on the market but coming from Klassen, we’d trust it’s one of the best kept and sorted examples. Not a lot of details are given on the history so we don’t know if this 57 has had all the needed preventative maintenance- which is an important detail when an alternator can run you almost $10k. One fact remains, these cars were built to a Maybach standard and although the W222 S Class wears the nameplate, it’s a far cry from the intended product last seen in the W240.



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