Niche vehicles are always a funny thing. The BMW M Coupe was derided for its weird styling when it debuted in the late 1990s and wasn’t a big seller. But now, these rare sport coupes are wildly popular in the collector car market. While you could consider the R-class a niche vehicle on its own, Mercedes-Benz toyed with the idea of an AMG version of this people mover around 10 years ago. This fast van hung around for one model year and as such, has been relegated to an almost persona non grata status amongst Mercedes history. However, any car with 503 horsepower that can seat six in comfort should at least be given a second look. This R63 AMG for sale in Washington state is one of approximately 30 to 40 examples that were sold in the US, out of a total production of under 200 worldwide. If you need space with pace, there are few choices more rad than this one.
All posts tagged AMG
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?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL AMG 6.0 on eBay
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
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
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: