A few days ago we featured a W211 E63 AMG wagon that is one of the baddest long roofs you can buy. In the later half of the 2000’s, getting that kind of power from your wagon was easy. You could ride down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer, write a large check, then ride off and answer the question that no one ever asked. Why does someone need a station wagon that damn fast? In 1996, it wasn’t that easy. In order to pin your groceries to the back window when you accelerate, you needed to do a little more leg work. Enter legendary Mercedes tuner Brabus. This 1996 E430 Brabus 6.0 Wagon located in Estonia was transformed from an adequately powered kombi to supercar with a hatch.
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From an extremely rare set of custom Corrados this morning, our journey on this Tuner Tuesday ends with a lovely Alpina RLE. Compared to the Magnums, the Roadster Limited Edition is positively plentiful with 66 official examples produced. However, compare that number to the 555 V8 Roadsters the company later produced, and the exclusivity of the RLE starts to come into clearer focus. As Alpinas go, the transformation of the Z1 was not as radical as some. Light revisions to the suspension were met with an uncharacteristically small but notable increase in displacement, giving the RLE some more sport to match its looks. But looks were what it was all about, as even in 1991 a 7.1 second 0-60 run wasn’t much of a headline. Those looks were blockbuster, though – the 17″ wheels filling out the diminutive wedge design perfectly and matched well by the classic Alpina stripes. Special interior details also dressed up the plastic-heavy Z1, and the result was impressive even if the performance wasn’t. So special and limited were these roadsters, Alpina even took the time to individually number the crests on the centercaps of the wheels!
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Alpina RLE at Coy’s
So much attention is levied upon the V8 and widebody models AMG produced in the late 1980s and early 1990s that it’s easy to overlook the “lesser” examples from Affalterbach. One such model is the 3.4E, based on the W124 chassis and available in sedan, coupe or wagon versions the M104 was beefed up in typical AMG fashion. Displacing 3.4 liters (clever naming scheme, that!) and producing nearly 270 horsepower it was certainly no slouch. However, its relative obscurity and lower power output means it plays second (or third) fiddle to the 6.0 V8 models and even Mercedes-Benz’s own 500E. While those cars put out substantially more power and raise more eyebrows than the inline-6 will at any German car meetup, the 3.4E is nevertheless a potent package that offers enthusiasts a taste of classic AMG performance on a more reasonable budget:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 3.4E on eBay
Few German cars generate more enthusiasm than the amount of collective goosebumps crowds feel when the words “pre-merger” and “AMG” come together with two numbers and a period – “6.0”. The tower of power V8 Affalterbach shoved into nearly every Mercedes-Benz it could get its hands on is legendary no matter what chassis it is seen in. Over the past few months I’ve looked at quite a few, from the big daddy 300CE Widebody and 560SEC Widebody models that everyone associates with the M117/9 to the more obscure, such as the later R129 500SL 6.0. Another seldom seen is the sedan version of the W126, with only 50 produced. I looked at one back in 2014 and it was a heck of a deal by AMG standards; an asking price of around $30,000 made it one ridiculous bargain in the 6.0 world. With even more black on this example in only 25,000 miles covered, what does the white hot AMG market look like today?