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 things in the automotive world, three letters that are worth millions of words: AMG.
Specialized in pocking a variety of Mercedes with a stick until they’re in an Incredible Hulk like state, AMG has offered us countless 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’m itching to get in the AMG “owners club”…
As much as I love creations like the SL55 and S65 for example, I can’t help but have a particular adoration for the classic AMG’s and for this occasion, I’ve 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.
The 1988 300 CE Hammer (wide body)…one word for it: gorgeous! The cool thing about the Hammer series (launched 2 years before) is that it was available in several variations, you could get this coupe, you could get the sedan, hell, there was even the station wagon version! It was all the way back in the second half of the 80’s that the Hammer masterpiece was created, but that certainly doesn’t make it antiquated now, not at all; specs ladies and gentleman: 6.0L V8, 0 to 6 in just 5 seconds…actually, never mind that, just look at that “face”, one look at it and you won’t care how fast it actually goes, just having something that looks this genuinely cool is rewarding enough.
The ’79 450 SEL AMG is my very own personal equivalent to the Loch Ness monster. Why? Because every time this car comes up somewhere it’s always a tiny picture, a vague description…actually the monster metaphor may be a bit too severe because I know it (the car…) exists, I know it was made but I could never find a bit of decent information on it, everything I find is a bunch of 450 SEL clones, not genuine AMG’s and that really bugs me because at this point, I have no idea of accurate specs or production values; Evan from the always enlightening German cars for sale blog mentions about the 450 SEL AMG 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”. If you do know something about it, please share, I’ll truly appreciate it. Researching a bit more for this article I’ve come across these nice pictures I’m sharing with you now via this website (mercedes-fans.de), but as I’m not familiar with our German friends native tongue, I can’t speak of the information provided there, all I can say is that this is a terrific clone (yes, unfortunately it is a clone); correct trimmings, rims, steering wheel and AMG badge in the back (many fakers are caught by using a contemporary badge…)…the only thing that gives it away is the lack of a AMG 300 Kph speedometer (caught this detail thanks to Evan and he’s great article). But anyway, the important thing is: a 450 SEL AMG (an original one) is a timeless example of absolute stunning beauty and I certainly wouldn’t want to go to my grave without having the pleasure of its company, even if it was just for a few minutes.
The 560 SEC was already a pretty nice recipe even before AMG threw a big bucket of its special hot sauce into the mix…to me, the ’88 560 SEC AMG Wide Body is one of those lifelong dreams that I’m working on accept as just that..sigh…The tuned M117 V8 gave the 560 SEC AMG over 350 hp’s (I know it doesn’t sound like a lot today, especially by old continent standards, but if you think about it a bit, you’ll still be able to appreciate the breath in this “old” Merc, especially considering for instance the Europe/US hp gap still strong nowadays, but that’a a whole different subject for another time).With an original price of almost 145.000$, now one of these beauties can be picked up for around 20 something thousand dollars, but you’ve got to find it first. It’s the case of the one in these pictures, affordable but up for sale in Japan (the Japanese go nuts for vintage AMG’s, all kinds of high performance German cars from the 80’s and 90’s actually), so you see how that can jack up the bill. But for what it’s worth it, all the “coolness” I was talking about regarding the 300 is a fact with the 560 as well, so personally I believe the price to pay would be meaningless when compared to what you’d get from it.
Consulted sources and pictures
(Pictures – slightly edited) http://www.mercedes-fans.de/autoderwoche/autoderwoche_artikel/id=1681/start=0
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