Sheer Automotive Heaven…Classic AMGs – 300 CE WB, 450 SEL, and 560 SEC WB

1 04 2011

We all know that there is a special bit of heaven reserved for Hans Aufrecht and Heberhard Melcher because what these gentlemen created is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most valuable legacies in the automotive world, three letters that are worth a thousand of words: AMG.

Specialized in pocking an endless variety of Mercedes with a stick until they’re in an Incredible Hulk like state and then unleashing them on the world, AMG has offered us brilliant creations that keep making history and putting a huge smile on people’s faces…and yes, as you can probably tell by now I am absolutely itching to get in the AMG owners club.

As much as I really admire stuff like the SL55 or S65 for example, my love inevitably goes, first and foremost, for the classic AMGs. For today’s article, I chose my 3 personal favorites (if you feel like sharing your selection, the comments are always open and reader views are welcome, especially regarding an article like this built on opinion): the 300 CE AMG Wide Body, one of the affectionately known as “Hammer”, the 450 SEL AMG and the 560 SEC AMG Wide Body.

Mercedes Benz 300 CE AMG Wide body (1988)


The 1988 300 CE wide body…what a freaking gorgeous car! The cool thing about the Hammer series (launched 2 years before) is that it was available in several variations of the W124; you could get this stylish, slightly frightening coupe, you could get the sinister looking sedan, hell, there was even the station wagon version because why not? The Hammers were masterpieces created all the way back in the 80’s, but they don’t look at all antiquated now. You know what else isn’t antiquated? The specs. With a 6.0L V8, the very sexy and extremely savage 300 CE AMG has a 0 to 60 time of just 5 seconds…let’s put that number into perspective: it means the Hammer is faster than the best Countach of the same period, faster than most 90’s Ferraris.

So no only do these things look absolutely amazing, they’re serious performance machines but they’re also extremely exclusive, rare stuff. Some sources estimate a Coupe production barely in the double digits and that translates to pretty interesting prices. If like me you’re hopelessly in love with the huge V8, prominent arches, aero kit and monoblocks of the widebody  Hammer Coupe, you’ll need to spend some serious money to get it, the better part of 150 grand to be exact. Worth it? And how….

Mercedes Benz 450 SEL AMG

Mercedes Benz 450 SEL AMG (rear angle)

The 450 SEL AMG is my very own little Loch Ness monster. Why? Because every time it comes up somewhere, all that’s left is a tiny blurry picture and vague descrption of how cool it was. Unlike old Nessy though, I know for a fact these exist, just never seem to be able to find decent info. on it. If you make a quick search for these things, you’ll find a bunch of 450 SEL clones, not genuine AMG production models.  Let’s call them “homages” like the one pictured above.

Evan from the always enlightening German cars for sale blog mentions about the 450 that “Genuine AMG vehicles of this era are hard to document. The factory didn’t keep great records so knowing a cars history is important”. That brings us to another problematic aspect: what exactly is an AMG car? If it has all the esthetic, period correct bells and whistles, but didn’t go through AMG to get them, is it considered one? What if it has just the aero kit fitted by AMG and nothing else? I mean, it seems straight forwards at first but it ends up being subjective. Again, let’s take a look at the 450 I’m using to illustrate this little article.

I came across it on, it has the correct trimmings, rims, steering wheel and AMG badge in the back (many fakers are caught by using a contemporary one)…the only thing that gives it away is the lack of an AMG 300 Kph speedometer (caught this detail thanks to Evan and he’s great article). Let’s keep in mind that the case with the 450 is nothing like the Hammer we were talking about before, since there aren’t – at least to my knowledge – any significant power upgrades in these, just esthetic enhancement.

Bottom line, by taking what already is a fantastic looking, great performing ride and adding some AMG goodness to it makes for a timeless beauty and I certainly wouldn’t want to go to my grave without having the pleasure of an AMG spiced 450’s company, even if just for a little bit…

Mercedes Benz 560 SEC AMG

Mercedes Benz 560 SEC AMG (rear angle)

Last but certainly not least, my favorite AMG…The 560 SEC was already a pretty nice recipe even before AMG threw a big bucket of its special hot sauce in the mix…to me, the ’88 560 SEC AMG Wide Body is more than a car I like, its a lifelong dream.

Not only is the stunning 560 – on its own – the epitome of Mercedes coupe goodness, AMG tuned M117 V8 to give the angry Merc over 350 bhp. Now, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot by today’s standards but trust me, the torque beast still has plenty of punch to get in a whole lot of fights and win.

With an original price of almost 145 thousand bucks, now one of these beauties can be picked up for about 2 thirds of that, but you’ve got to find it first. For what it’s worth, all the coolness I was talking about regarding the 300 is dialed up to 11 on 560, so personally I believe the price to pay would be meaningless when compared to what you’d get from it.


Image Credit:

300  – mbworld.orggermancarsforsale

450 –

560 –


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