An Original AMG From The Late ’80s Still Looks Wild Today
Photos Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Forget all of the modified and factory hotted-up Mercedes-Benz cars you’ve seen before, this one listed by RM Sotheby’s is different—even if it may not look like it.
These days, even the ‘lowliest’ Mercedes-Benz AMG product is visually cooked, with popped fenders, scalloped sides, and facias that could shred lettuce. And these days, customizers will slam, poke, stretch, and offset to their heart’s content, all to achieve the holy grail of “hella flush”.
But in 1989, as the Wolf of Wall Street decade drew its last line, a curious thing happened: the best of tuner culture started to blend into the mainstream. We’ve talked about the halcyon days of high-end tuning before, but as it happens, much of it has filtered down to even the most basic of cars have luxuries unheard of a few decades ago.
At this time, AMG was still on its own, yet had more than 20 years of tuning Mercedes-Benz models since its founding. AMG had been working with customers through the ’80s to fulfill their every fantasy, most notably with its “Hammer”—a 300E fitted with, in highest specification, a hand-built 375 horsepower 6.0-litre V8. It’d do more than 185 mph flat out, and this was around 1988. It’s been called an iron fist in a velvet glove, but given its humble origins was more like stuffing a stampede into a taxi.
The car you see here has that engine, with 10 more ponies. It also weighs more, but that’s because it’s longer, wider—more meaty. Don’t forget that the “basic” 560 SEC was top-of-the-line for the time, and far closer in stock trim to the performance of an AMG-tuned car. Top-of-the-line in 1989 means that by the time things were done and you cruised past the Affalterbach sign, AMG had a cheque for $200,000 in its lock box.
You, on the other hand, would have been driving the 28th Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC 6.0 AMG ‘Wide Body’ made. I don’t know about you, but right about now, I’d probably be merging onto the nearest Autobahn, braced for the imminent stampede.
– 28th Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC 6.0 AMG ‘Wide Body’ made
– Delivered new and road registered in Japan
~385 horsepower, 6.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 engine with multi-point fuel injection, five-speed automatic transmission, independent front and rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Chassis no.: WDB1260451A436448
Engine no.: 382 60 28
Mileage: 90,000 km (56,000 miles)