HomeNews and EventsMercedes shows Maybach concept co-designed by the late Virgil Abloth

Mercedes shows Maybach concept co-designed by the late Virgil Abloth


Instead of its usual display at Art Basel Miami, Mercedes-Benz reacted to the death by cancer of African-American designer Virgil Abloth by revealing his Project Maybach in an event this week at the Rubell Museum, where a special showing was staged for Miami-area design-school students. 

Abloth, 41, trained as an architect and had been artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection since 2018. He also was the founder of Off-White, a fashion house based in Milan, Italy. Abloth also collaborated with entertainer Kanye West on design projects after they were interns together at Fendi in 2009.

Abloth did car designs for West and others, and had worked with Gorden Wagener, chief design officer for Daimler AG, on the Project Maybach, which Mercedes-Benz termed “a design unlike anything that has been developed by Mercedes-Benz.”

museum, Mercedes shows Maybach concept co-designed by the late Virgil Abloth, ClassicCars.com Journal
museum, Mercedes shows Maybach concept co-designed by the late Virgil Abloth, ClassicCars.com Journal

The automaker said the car displayed “a new design language and pushed the boundaries of function, style and collaborative creativity.”

Putting the traditionally metropolitan brand into a distinctively off-road environment, “the 2-seater, battery-electric off-road coupe combines huge Gran Turismo proportions, large off-road wheels and distinctive attachments.

Mercedes said Abloh and Wagener had complete creative freedom to consider what future electric-powered travel could be, thus a transparent hood over solar cells to enhance range.

“Never afraid to spark conversation through provocative design, Project Maybach channels Abloh’s passion to challenge the status quo and re-write the rulebook of aspirational design,” Mercedes’ announcement continued. 

“The X-Factor nature of Project Maybach results not only from its breathtaking size — nearly 20 feet long — and characteristics, but above all from its unique contrasts; most notably through how naturally authentic Mercedes-Maybach design elements are harmoniously combined with a new Outdoor Adventure design motif.”

Bond movie Defender on display

museum, Mercedes shows Maybach concept co-designed by the late Virgil Abloth, ClassicCars.com Journal

One of the Land Rover Defenders used (and abused by the stunt crew) in No Time to Die, the newest in the James Bond movie series, is on display at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon through late January 2022. 

Special events this weekend

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, stages its fourth annual Toys for Tots day December 4, offering lunch to anyone who brings a new and unwrapped toy to contribute. Those people also will receive a free museum admission ticket good for 2022.

Former General Motors design director Ed Welburn will present “The Golden Age of American Automotive Design” from noon until 3 p.m. December 4 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. 

It’s the Mama Tried motorcycle show and Flat Out Friday indoor races this weekend in Milwaukee with events at the Harley-Davidson Museum and shuttles from the museum to other show venues. 

The Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine launches its “Holidays at the Museum” with free admission December 5, when Santa will be on hand (arriving on Runway 17 around 11 a.m.) and when Model T rides will be offered. 

Mark your calendar

The new Savoy Automobile Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, midway between Chattanooga and Atlanta, has announced December 8 as its opening day for visitors. The museum is on a 35-acre site and includes three buildings with 65,000-square-feet of display space and a cafe. It is part of the Georgia Museums Inc., which includes the Booth Western Art Museum, Bartow History Museum and Tellus Science Museum.

Beaulieu, England, home of the National Motor Museum, and Palace House, will host a new outdoor Christmas Fair from December 10-12.

The National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts the “Run, Run Rudolph 5K” at 5 p.m. December 11. The run travels through 3.2-miles of holiday lights and supports Toys for Tots.

The Motor bar and restaurant at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee will host ugly-sweater parties from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 11 and 18. It will feature Breakfast with Santa events on December 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

museum, Mercedes shows Maybach concept co-designed by the late Virgil Abloth, ClassicCars.com Journal

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, welcomes Santa and Mrs. Clause for photo ops with visitors in a 1906 Cadillac Model K Tulip touring car from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on December 11 and 12 and again on December 18 and 19. The museum also will offer “If Alfas Could Talk,” with Fred Russell, president of the Northwest Alfa Romeo club, leading a discussion about the museum’s Alfa Romeo exhibit. December 18 also will be Family Steam Day at the museum.

The Canadian Automobile Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, offers its Third Thursday lecture at 7 p.m. December 16 on Zoom with Dumaresq de Pencier featuring “Early Electric Cars of Canada: 1897-1927.” The museum also is working on its next exhibition, “Wires to Wheels: Electric Vehicles in Canada and Beyond,” scheduled to open in July 2022.

The Montagu family Palace House, which shares its grounds with the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, offers a trip back to 1889 with its Victorian Christmas event from December 18 to January 2. 

The grand opening of the Segerstrom Shelby museum and event center has been rescheduled for January 20, 2022, in Irvine, California.

The Canadian Automobile Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, has announced its Third Thursday lecture topics for January and February. “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights” will be presented January 20 at 7 p.m. on Zoom by Gretchen Sorin of the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and “The Death and Legacy of Sam McLaughlin – Looking Back After 50 Years” will be offered by Samantha George of the Parkwood National Historic Site on February 17.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email [email protected] .

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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