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  Maybach Special Mk 1

  Article Image gallery (10) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Australia
Produced in:1946
Numbers built:3
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 19, 2007
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Click here to download printer friendly versionShortly after WWII had ended, an engine from an abandoned Maybach scout car was shipped to Australia to take a closer look. In the years before the War, the German (automotive) industry had built a rock solid reputation and their technology was heavily studied by all Allies. A most famous example of this is the confiscation of all Auto Union racing cars by the Russians. The Maybach six cylinder engine received a better fate than most of the Auto Unions, as after it was sufficiently inspected it was sold for a mere £40 to Repco engineer Charlie Dean.

Dean set about modifying the bulky single overhead camshaft engine for racing. He kept the internal dimensions, but fitted a sizeable Roots-Type Supercharger. The powerful engine was installed in a steel ladder frame. The front suspension was by upper wishbones and a lower transverse leaf spring. The rear suspension followed the familiar Bugatti pattern of a live axle and quarter elliptic leaf springs. A Grand Prix style body was wrapped around the package and in 1946 the Maybach Special Mk1 was born.

The new single seater racer was entrusted to Stan Jones, the father of 1980 F1 champion Alan Jones. He raced the car in Formula Libre races in Australia and New Zeeland and frequently outclassed the exotic racing cars shipped from Europe. Early in 1954, Dean and Jones had their biggest moment of glory by winning New Zeeland's first International Grand Prix run over 200 miles on the Ardmore track. He beat the latest Ferraris, Coopers and BRMs.

Two more specials were created by Charlie Dean; one with a similar Maybach engine and one with an American V8. The first Maybach Special has survived and is seen here taking part in the 2006 Goodwood Revival race. If you have any more (technical) details on this interesting machine, could you share them with us?

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  Article Image gallery (10) Specifications