The words “authentic” and “original” become quite contested when it comes to 1980s AMG products. That’s mostly because, in truly un-Germanic fashion, most of the records of the early AMG cars were lost in the move from an independent company to incorporation in the Daimler-Benz Goliath. That’s really unfortunate, because it opens the opportunity for interpretation; without documentation, how is one supposed to truly show that their car is an original modified version? There are also questions about what level of modification makes a “authentic” AMG; because, technically, you could buy a steering wheel, wheels and aerobits from an authorized dealer in the 1980s and be able to claim it’s an original car. But the big money tends to be reserved for the cars that were fully modified with upgraded engines, suspension, interior and exterior upgrades. We’ve seen a few of these variously modified SECs cross these pages, and today we get to look at another. This one straddles the middle ground of mods; a steering wheel, reportedly correct “Penta” wheels, and aerodynamic bits adorn this European market 500SEC, but the car also has the correct AMG suspension as well. With lower miles, will this 1980s spectacular dipped white example set the market ablaze?
All posts in Tuner Tuesday
Oh, how I do love the comparos! Today I’ve worked up a third tuner comparison, because frankly this interesting trio was just a bit too good to pass up – as were the other BMWs! But unlike the factory sourced Dinan and Alpina modded cars from earlier, this comparison focuses on some unusual Porsches. Supercharging isn’t the typical choice for the flat-6, but the bolt-on horsepower results are undeniable, bringing the normal flat-6 quickly up to Turbo levels of power. I have three generations compiled here, all popular in their own right but for different reasons. Which is the winner?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 on eBay
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and when it comes to Alpina cars there certainly have been a lot of enthusiasts who are eager to copy the legends. Part of that is the great look that Alpina achieved, but also worth considering that Alpina models – especially early ones – command a premium that rivals some of the most exclusive models put out by the factory. Today, then, in honor of Coupe Week I have two E9 models. The first is a real-deal and rare 3.0CSL, but even then a special CSL; this one is an early carburetor model which was modified in period by Alpina to B2S spec. I then have an end-of-run U.S. spec 3.0CS that tries to imitate that look. These two cars obviously aren’t in contention with each other – but is the imitation good enough to warrant looking at?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW 3.0 CSL Alpina B2S on classicheros.co.uk
Last week around this time, I wrote up a 850 horsepower Brabus-modified E63 Estate. In the realm of nutty cars, it would be certainly barred from coming near any schools for fear of anaphylaxis of the entire student body. It was also the best part of a third of a million dollars, more money than most of America will ever dream of having at one time and even in New England, an amount that would get you a nice home. But in that post, our reader Craig posted a link to a much more affordable option; a W124 300TE Estate modified by Brabus for sale in Germany. Does it scratch the itch or do you need an EpiPen?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300TE Brabus on eBay.de
We’re pretty much all big fans of fast wagons at German Cars For Sale Blog, but over the past few years the number of offerings has steadily dried up. We’ve never received the hot versions of the M5 Touring or RS6 Avant, for example, and steadily even the quick versions of the Audi and Volkswagen wagons have left these shores too. That leaves fast wagon fans to look towards only two places in the last few years; Cadillac, oddly, with the CTS-V wagon and the last German holdout, Mercedes-Benz. It’s somewhat odd that Mercedes-Benz has upped the nuttiness in its large E-class wagon too, since it never really took part in the original Wagon Wars between its countrymen. True, there were some limited number AMG conversions done in the late 80s/early 90s, but for the most part Mercedes-Benz had stayed away until recently. Then, a few years ago, it started offering AMG-enhanced versions of the E-Class Estate; first in 55, then later 63 form. If you can get by the strange numbering system that doesn’t correspond to the actual engine under the hood, that leaves you with one of the fastest wagons made out of the box. Walk down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer and you can order up one of these W212 Estates with a staggering 577 horsepower in “S” form. That was a true supercar number not very long ago, but it comes wrapped in the guise of a sensible wagon with all-wheel drive and a slick 7-speed automatic transmission. Of course, it’s heavy…so it only does 0-60 runs in 3.6 seconds. That means you won’t be able to keep up with your neighbor’s new BMW M6 Gran Coupe, which does the run in 3.1 seconds. Time to hit the Brabus gym, then…