All posts in AMG

Tuner Tuesday – El Benzamino: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL Pickup

Every once in a while I see something that’s so horribly wrong it’s somehow right, and when it comes to 1980s German tuning there was plenty to go wrong. But while some wrong is predictable (I’m looking at you, Keonig Testarossa strakes on everything), sometimes the very wrong is unpredictable. Take today’s unassuming 1988 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL. I’d like to think when it was conceived and born, no one in Germany would have thought “Do du what we can do with this know?” and then sketch out a 2-door pickup truck. No, that takes American know-how and strategery. And if you were going to do it, why not do it poorly? As in, take a mid-range model (so not cheap, but also not as powerful as it could be!), make a very awkward transition to the bed which, by the way, doesn’t have a tailgate, adorn said unusable bed with plenty of diamond plate and then throw in some extra taillights for good measure? And then make it two-tone and fit some later model AMG wheels. Yet, again, somehow this goes so full-on horrible that it becomes kitschy. This is dogs playing poker art for cars:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL Pickup on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday – Hammertime: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG 6.0 Widebody

There are the pretenders, and then there’s the Daddy. Or, in this case, there’s the Hammer. No other widened car in the 1980s was able to capture the imagination and hearts of so many enthusiasts as the W124 Coupes, and there were plenty to choose from. From DP’s shovel-nosed 911s to the straked Koenig creations, most of them were cool in an outrageous way but never pretty. AMG broke with that tradition, creating elegant lines that accentuated the design rather than underscoring the tacked-on nature of period modifications. The integration of the slick widened panels, perfectly matching wheels and upgraded interiors was met under the hood by another buck in 1980s tradition. As tuners like Dinan, Ruf, Alpina, Callaway, Abt and others all experimented with increasing power through turbocharging, AMG went old school with a monster motor. Rated at somewhere around 380 horsepower, the M117/9 four cam V8 provided the motivation to match the looks of the bespoiled W124. On top of all of this, you got Mercedes-Benz legendary bomb-proof build quality. The result was one of the best all around packages any modified car has ever come to market with:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE AMG 6.0 Widebody on Autoleitner

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody

There are many legends from the 1980s tuning scene, and probably if you were to single out one single car as the most famous it would be the Ruf CTR “Yellowbird” that stunned magazines with its 200+ m.p.h. top speed and created one of the first internet sensations with its slithering sideways lap of the ‘Ring. But near equal to the yellow 911 is the widebody bad boys from Affalterbach. With their four cam V8s churning supercar power levels and their widened flanks, they were a favorite poster subjects and still draw adoring crowds today. A steady stream of AMGs from Japan have been making their way across the ocean to the U.S., and this one is reported to be one of the original 6 widebody 560SECs made for the Japanese market:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG

It would be easy to assume that AMG didn’t breath on the R107 chassis, instead focusing on the coupes and sedans that made them famous. The feel of the roadster is decidedly different and more cruiser than the Autobahn destroyers that the company produced. But AMG did produce parts for the SL – it’s just that not many were modified in the same vein as their stablemates. When properly presented, though, they do manage to channel AMG’s best qualities well. Subtle upgrades all around led to a more aggressive aesthetic, but not one that was ever over the top. And the SL remained one of the few premium convertibles you could buy in the 1980s, so unless you undertook an expensive conversion to a coupe, the topless R107 was a natural choice for the well-to-do who also loved wind in their hair. Yet most of these SLs ended up primarily as appearance packages – but they still make a statement:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate

Mercedes-Benz has made a name for itself in the hyper estate segment. Their C and E class estates have been providing the basis for family vehicles that don’t just haul cargo, but haul a**. We didn’t see an AMG estate Mercedes decided to unleash the E55 AMG estate on the US market in 2005. This was a seven seater supercharged beast that was quickly snapped up by collectors and families with a need for speed. But prior to the W211, the W210 was given the AMG treatment as well. But this W210 estate takes it one step further. This E60 AMG Estate is tempting us at across the border in Canada. This was originally an E420 Estate that was sent to the boffins at AMG and emerged with a V8 packing 376 bhp. The look on the outside is subtle. Step inside the red leather interior and step on the loud pedal, however, and the beast will be unleashed.

Click for details: 1998 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate on Classic Driver

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