Today AMG is known to the vast majority of younger car fans as the Mercedes-Benz sports department. Officially, the name is now Mercedes-AMG. The fact that this company from Affalterbach was once an independent tuning company has been almost forgotten in many places. Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, former engineers of Mercedes-Benz, founded this tuning company originally in Großaspach/Germany and named it with the first letters of their surnames and the first letter of the town. The main focus was on the sporty performance enhancement of the cars with star logos, but orders from other brands such as Mitsubishi were also accepted. In 1990 a cooperation agreement was signed with Mercedes-Benz, which led to the jointly developed C 36 AMG based on the W202 series in 1993. All the following AMG models were to be found in the official model series brochures and could be ordered from any Mercedes dealership. From a 51 percent takeover in 1998, the influence of Mercedes-Benz continued to grow until AMG became a wholly owned subsidiary in 2005.
One of the final vehicles before the cooperation agreement came into force was the 300 CE 6.0 AMG with the apt nickname ‘Hammer’ in 1992. Based on the Coupé version of the 124 series, this was the wildest offshoot from Affalterbach at the time and definitely unusual. The E-Class Coupé (C124) was factory fitted with a modified platform with 8.5 centimeters less wheelbase compared to the sedan, which made the longer doors more visible. AMG gratefully accepted this starting point and significantly widened the fenders all around. In addition, there was a front bumper with integrated spoiler lips and a three-part tear-off edge on and next to the boot lid at the rear. The wider wheel arches were filled with alloy wheels in their own AMG design, some of which were painted in body color.
Apart from the eye-catching appearance, AMG also performed a heart transplant. Instead of the three-liter inline six-cylinder engine that was normally used in the 300 CE, an eight-cylinder engine was crushed under the bonnet. This was based on the five-liter Mercedes engine from the S-Class and SL, but was also increased to six liters. Four overhead camshafts drove the 32 valves and enabled it to deliver 381 hp and 542 newtonmeters of torque. In conjunction with the standard four-speed automatic transmission, the car accelerates to 100 kph (62 mph) in just five seconds, while the topspeed was more than 300 kph (186 mph). Since the conversion price roughly doubled the vehicle price, the customer base for the Mercedes-Benz 300 CE 6.0 AMG ‘Hammer’ remained within narrow limits. In fact, only twelve such cars were produced, which today are considered to be the blue Mauritius of AMG collectors.
Accordingly, such a vehicle is rarely sold or even auctioned. RM Sotheby’s is offering a ‘Hammer’ as part of the Youngtimer Collection from Switzerland on 24 October in London. This 300 CE 6.0 AMG originally went to Japan as a white painted car, where it was first registered in November 1995. In 2014 a Dutchman exported the car back to Europe and had it repainted to black metallic. Since October 2017, the AMG has been part of the Youngtimer Collection, where its good general condition has been further improved and maintained. RM Sotheby’s expects a hammer price between £ 180,000 and £ 220,000.
Images: RM Sotheby’s, Tom Wood