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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 Ã 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…