Featured: GALLERY: Behind The Scenes On Our AMG Hammer Film

GALLERY: Behind The Scenes On Our AMG Hammer Film

By Petrolicious Productions
September 5, 2017

Each week with every film we produce we’re going to aim to give you a bit of a gallery from behind the scenes. This week, in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, we take a ride in Jonathan Hodgman’s 1987 Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer wagon along the lakeside roads just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

While today the AMG badge is an acronym known and revered for upscale German precision and performance, there was a time not too long ago when the cars of Aufrecht, Melcher, and Großaspach were produced independently, without official Mercedes oversight, as Mercedes didn’t officially absorb AMG as its in-house performance division until 1999. Though they may have more budget and a wider range of cars now, the AMG autos made before the merger were no less impressive machines. Far from it.

More than a decade before the merger, in 1986, AMG began offering V8 engine upgrades for the W124 chassis—one of Mercedes’s most beloved mid-size sedans. Thanks to its understated but well-proportioned looks, excellent ergonomics, comfort, and solid out-of-the-box performance, the W124’s overall package was a competent one from the factory, but as we all know, everything can be improved. These traits made the vault-solid E-Class of the ‘80s an exceptional base to build upon, sure, but it was a wholly different car after AMG worked their magic, adding to the its capabilities by massaging nearly every aspect of the already exceptional platform.

These V8-swapped W124s were designated as Hammers after some clever journalist coined the term when reviewing the Autobahn rocket, so it’s safe to say the AMG earned its name from the big bad V8s (which would include the 360-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 that made it the fastest sedan in the world at the time), but it wasn’t just the big tuned mill squeezed under hood that made the car such a success; AMG also reworked the transmission, suspension, brakes, and added an aero kit along with their equally blocky 17-inch three-piece wheels. It was the full package.

And by 1987, AMG raised the performance bar once again with an even crazier 375-horsepower 6.0-liter option. Of course, such extensive customization didn’t come inexpensively, but “As long as you had enough zeros on the end of your check, they would do it,” Hodgman tells, “It didn’t matter what you asked for, they’d make it happen.” There weren’t but a few dozen Hammers produced, but rarer yet is this car; it’s believed that our film star is the sole wagon version made, proving that indeed, “As long as you could pay for it, [AMG] would make it a reality.”

Born as a humble 300 TD (Touring Diesel), a Canadian enthusiast was the one who originally commissioned this AMG one-off as a car for his wife. The conversion cost a colossal $190,000 to build, and is believed to be the only official AMG Hammer wagon ever built. Finished in a rich metallic blue over its tan leather innards, its outward appearance, despite the more aggressive aero, is fairly subdued. But, like the wolf in sheep’s clothing that it is, it’s what lies underneath the conservative cloak that counts.

“It’s so different from your normal Mercedes station wagon, all the functionality is there, but at the same time she lets you know there’s something angry under the hood,” Hodgman explains, “It doesn’t enjoy just being dawdled around; it wants to spend time from four to six thousand [RPM], and once you bring it there, all is right.”

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maynardjamSon of stigBlue Ridge MercedesB RAD TRobert Breining Recent comment authors
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She is STUNNING! I too came of age in the 80’s and remember reading in (I think) Car & Driver about an 88ish black Hammer sedan. I’ve loved them since. And a TOURING!! I still hate the way we obnoxious Americans have all but killed the station wagon in favor of SUVs…CUVs…SAVs…XVs…OMG!!! Also, since the buyout I think AMG has lost some of its cache, now it’s about CASH. But that’s no different than the Bavarian folks putting enough Ms on non-M cars to make you think you are in a candy store. Thanks for sharing. BTW…Have you ever had… Read more »


This ride is beyond cool – nothing could be more unique than a 1 of 1, and a wagon at that! I came of age in the 80’s and the original AMG cars were and will always be something special in this enthusiasts eyes

Robert Breining
Robert Breining

Thank you for the interesting article. Just a little correction: H.W. Aufrecht and E. Melcher were the founders “A “and “M” of AMG. The G stands for Grossaspach – the town, where the previous headquarter was situated before moving to Affalterbach.

Blue Ridge Mercedes

Of course you’re correct..;-) I think a little was lost in translation during the interview!

Henry Smith
Henry Smith

no under the bonet photo’s?? would be good to see those six litres? 🙂

Blue Ridge Mercedes

Here’s a gallery I have of her over the years..:)


Son of stig
Son of stig

Very lucky to see this car at pebble. Looks lovely and a great story. Is that nautic blue or a different shade

Blue Ridge Mercedes

Yes, Nautical metallic blue..code 929..Not many people know that colour even exists, well done sir…:)

Son of stig
Son of stig

Well i do because of my 500sel we have been discussing on 500e board, and i purchased a 500sec to match.

i just redid a set of wheels just like yours in blue….hoping to get the cams sorted on the SEL soon so i can put them on..