The name Zeppelin was only used for the most exclusive cars built by Maybach. In 1930, the German company presented the first DS8 at the Paris Motor Show. The exclusive (and very expensive) Maybach limousine was ordered by kings, emperors and very rich people. Soon a convertible model was offered. But, as was customary at the time, the body was signed by the coachbuilder Spohn. Spohn fitted out around 80% of the Maybach chassis. The body construction company founded by Hermann Spohn is mainly associated with its vehicle bodies for Maybach luxury automobiles. Spohn was founded in 1929. In the summer of 1957 the company was closed.
The lightweight chassis and V12 engine were only part of the wonderful technical surprise. The 8-speed gearbox was something else. In fact, it was a 4-speed gearbox with a sliding gearbox with separate overdrive, which enabled a total of eight forward gears and vacuum-assisted shifting. The DS8 was also equipped with a new type of servo-assisted air brake developed by Bosch-Dewandre.