This Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG Is A Pleasingly Old School Performance Classic
While the roads are full of AMG-spec Mercedes these days, this was not always the case. Modified Mercs were the exception to the rule and it was only after the Stuttgart based auto manufacturer took controlling interest of the AMG performance division in 1999 that we started regularly seeing AMG-branded Mercedes’ roaming the streets.
Up until the merger and subsequent ownership by Mercedes in 2005, AMG was an independent engineering firm, building racing engines and offering aftermarket performance packages to a select few Mercedes-Benz owners.
It was the hugely powerful 1986 AMG Hammer sedan that took the company to the next level as they squeezed a tuned 360hp 5.6-liter V8 into the W124 E-Class, making it the fastest four-door car of its time. This type of power-boosting modification greatly appealed to Mercedes customers the world over and packages were soon offered for a variety of models.
Clients could choose from engine upgrades, body kits, unique wheel designs as well as interior trim options. This 1993 Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG was subject to a number of these upgrades and was converted to AMG specifications soon after it was purchased by its owner in Japan.
The car started off life as a 320 TE, which would have seen it fitted with a 220hp 3.2-liter inline-six from the factory. It was subsequently upgraded to an AMG-spec M104 motor, which increased its capacity to 3.6-liters and power was boosted to 272 hp while torque went up from 229 lb-ft to 284 lb-ft.
It may not have been quite as potent as the V8 AMG Hammer but this E36 AMG would have been right up there in terms of acceleration with contemporary BMW M3s as well as Audi’s own RS2 Avant. Fitted with an automatic transmission and still retaining its seven-seater configuration, it is definitely more of a practical grand tourer rather than a track racer but that just increases its appeal among today’s analogous hard-riding race car wannabes.
Finished in Blue-Black Metallic over a Black cloth interior, it has just 34,287 km (21,429 miles) on its odometer and looks suitably ominous with its AMG-style wheels and body kit. It will be heading to RM Sotheby’s London auction on 24 October and is expected to sell for between £30,000 ($37,000) and £40,000 ($49,000).
Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s