Last week I checked out a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL that was styled after the legendary ”Hammer” from AMG. Notice I said styled and not another word because it was exactly that, styled. It looked amazing, as most people agreed, but under the hood was the stock 5.0 liter M117 V8 that wasn’t touched by AMG. Today, we have a different kind of tribute car that still isn’t the real thing, but has a lot more power over stock and still looks just as good.
This is a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe with a 3.6 liter M104 inline-6 engine from AMG swapped in. To go even further, this car has fenders from the legendary W124 500E grafted onto it for that extra wide look that every loves. And just one more thing while I’m at it, it has a 5-speed manual transmission too.
You probably know all about the W124 AMG ‘Hammer’ cars by now. A normal 300E that was transformed by then independent company AMG into a four-door monster thanks to the punched-out 6.0 liter M117/9 and various other à la carte options depending on the owners desires. They didn’t call these cars the ‘Hammer’ for nothing with 375-ish horsepower and even more torque. Because of this, the values have held strong at nearly 10 times and sometimes even more than what you’d pay for a normal W124 300E. When one of these cars come up for auction, it’s usually a big deal. This 1988 Hammer heading to the block at the end of the month will probably fetch a pretty penny, despite what Sotheby’s is predicting. So let’s check this monster out:
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:
Earlier this year, I struck a few chords with my AMG 500SEC post. The questions of AMG authenticity were once again brought up, reminding us that pre-merger there is still some fuzzy areas regarding these AMGS. As with that SEC, the full documentation of production and maintenance records were key to the value of these boutique cars, and enthusiasts are willing to pay for the right one. Also like that SEC, this later run 1990 560 SEL is fully documented from Japan – but unlike that earlier car, this SEL has the full-fat 6.0 V8 fitted:
Part 2 of my Black Series, this 1984 Benz is the rarest of all four of my selections. This car features the high output AMG quad cam 6 liter V8 similar to the one found in the famous Hammer. What is particularly great about this 45,000 mile car is that it still has the work order with it documenting the AMG conversion. Since AMG records for cars like this are so scarce it is an added bonus to have a copy of the sales sheet.
The conversion process from plain 500SEC happened in 1988 at AMG Central in Westmont Illinois. This car had the stock 5.0 pulled at 15,000 miles do to a problem in favor of the big 6.0 block. It had headers and exhaust added and a modified transmission out of a 560. The car has the 2.65 rear diff.
The engine was rebuilt under 10,000 miles ago and should be good for 400 horsepower and plenty of torque.
The buy-it-now is $30,000, but bidding is up to a reserve not met $22,000. The ask isn’t unreasonable, these are collector cars now. This car would get a little more for the seller had it not been a later conversion, but not by much as this still is a genuine period AMG vehicle not a backyard special with bolt ons.
The car comes with a lot of recent service and a very nice rating from me.
While AMG is a household name these days, it wasn’t until the 1995 C36 that the tuner was truly integrated into the US market business model. Before the C36 arrived, AMG had focused on building a few special W124 models with breathed on versions of the 5.6 liter V8 from S classes of the day. These tuned engines featured 32 valve cylinder heads with twin camshafts. These powerplants could crank out in excess of 360 DIN hp in Europe, while figures were slightly less for US bound models due to emission regulations. Here we have a very low mileage example of the Hammer:
The seller states:
I am listing My 1987 Mercedes Benz 300E Real AMG Hammer. This is the 6.0 Litre four cam hand built motor that helped put AMG on the map in the United States. This car is a US spec car that was sold new To Mr. Stuart Haim in 1987 from Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories for the sum of $187,000.00. It is finished in its original color and is original paint in better than new condition always garaged under a cover. I Have owned this car for 14 years with no problems it has always ran excellent. All services have been up too date, the Ac has been serviced, A period correct upgraded sound system and Mitsubishi 800 cell phone is still in the optional cell phone arm rest and the transporter to make the phone mobile in the trunk, it will not work on any cell services but is still cool.
The car has the Full AMG body kit, 17 Inch Mono Bloc wheels, I have two sets one in chrome and one that is currently on the car that has Black powder coated centers. Full AMG exhaust system with AMG headers, All AMG suspension to accommodate the heavier 8 Cyl motor, upgraded brakes, Stiffened sub frame, rebuilt and stronger transmission with 1st gear start.
There are several Mercedes 300 Wagons in our neighborhood. I often think that if I had one I’d want to lower it an inch, put on period AMG monoblock rims, color match the lower panels, and upgrade to European spec headlights — which would make for a great family ride.
But this 300 wagon takes it to another level. It has the AMG 6L motor, 3 piece rims, and very rare body kit, to name a few of the tasteful and rare upgrades. Here is the majority of the seller’s listing from the eBay ad for this 300 AMG Wagon:
quote from seller’s listing:
987 Mercedes 300 Wagon with AMG 6.0 litre twin cam motor, complete AMG car in excellent condition. I have owned this car for 13 years, originally from Canada a built for Mr Feingold I aquired the car through Renntech from Hartmuth, the car was in for a major service and Mr. Feingold decided to sell me the car after a $17000 complete service.
The exterior of the car is finished in a blue similar to Ferraris Tour de France, it has a complete AMG body kit including the 3 pc AMG wheels color keyed to the body, these wheels were recently refinished and sits on new Pirelli tires, Complete amg Mods, suspension, Exhaust, header, adj transmission, it is a real 6.0 motor and has had all services to date it runs outstanding has 44,000 kil. it has the 320 AMG speedo. The car has never sustained any damage, the paint is excellent with the acception of the front spoiler that has some minor rashing at the bottom corner, the front spoiler has air intakes for the cooling of the front brakes, it has never been tracked or abused I use the car once in a while when I need to take the kids somewhere and I need the seating for 7 it has the rear folding seat.
The owner states that this AMG Hammer is the ‘real deal’, which is to say it has the 6.0L with 4 valve heads. This translates to 375hp and 5 second zero to sixty times — in 1987! That beat the Lamborghini Countach, the Ferrari 288 GTO, and the Porsche 911 Turbo in top speed!
Check out this Black on Gray AMG Hammer for sale on eBayMotors:
quote from seller’s eBayMotors listing:
Original AMG Hammer, I have owned this car since 1993 it has 19000 Miles on it and is in exceptional condition. The black original paint is flawless, no accidents, no track time, the Original AMG body kit is unmarked no cracks, no missing paint front spoiler is excellent, The original 17 inch Aero wheels are not curbed, and the tires are good. All factory stickers are present in the jams of the doors and trunk. The car is always stored inside my garage in a climate controlled enviroment.Original in every way…
The car was Purchased new from Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories in 87, it was used for a few auto show and used in there catalog It is a Real AMG car it has the 4 cam 6.0 litre motor, all AMG upgraded Hammer suspension to fit the larger 8 cyl, upgraded rear end, transmission, and brakes, the car has had a recent service and has always been serviced by an authorized AMG service tech, there are no leaks, the Ac has been serviced and converted to R12, a new AMG exhaust was installed last year. The runs outstanding it is like the day it was delivered, I have all factory manuals, tool kit, jack etc.
I found some cool articles about the 300E AMG Hammer while researching the car, but this might be the most telling quote about how expensive this car was in 87 (VWVortex):
The Hammer’s US price of $167,000 in 1987 is equal to about $311,882 today (6/08).