Chris Harris video: Hammer time


Back in the late 80s, when BMW thought a 286hp 5 Series was pushing the boundaries of naughtiness, a company called AMG was converting W124 E-Class Mercedes and giving them 100hp more.

Chris gets acquainted with AMG's history
Chris gets acquainted with AMG's history
The car was sold either as a saloon, a coupe and even an estate: there was a choice of 5.6-litre or a 6.0-litre V8 versions of the M117 V8 with AMG's own four-valve heads. The latter offered 381hp at a time when a cooking 230E offered around 140hp.

It was so unlike anything else on sale that American journalists simply called it The Hammer, and the name stuck, because it's a very cool name.

Mercedes bought 51 per cent of AMG in 1999 and completed the purchase in 2005. Given the close rivalry with BMW M, it's amusing to note that both companies are celebrating birthdays this year, M its 40th, AMG its 45th.

This day was something of a celebration and general shindig, but a sniff of a Hammer (can you say that in polite company?) was enough to get myself and Neil there.

The Hammer gave M a very big headache
The Hammer gave M a very big headache
We only had 20 minutes in the car, but that was enough to confirm what I already feared: I now want one of these things rather badly. It's the perfect embodiment of that kind of well-ordered 80s German excess - a quality that I think now lives on perfectly in the current product range.

If anyone is ever on a a European jaunt, I'd recommend phoning ahead and visiting Affalterbach: it's a cracking little hub of motoring hedonism.

Enjoy the vid, and then can someone go to Bulgaria and buy this.

 

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (118) Join the discussion on the forum

  • W124Bob 10 Jul 2014

    The 4-matic was dropped from the UK range at the time of the '93/'94 face lift, it continued on the continent but carried over the 3litre engine. Post face lift this was the only petrol engine option I think, as the 2.6 had been dropped (was a 4-matic option).

  • Gridl0k 02 Sep 2012

    richard300 said:
    Noteds some comments regards the SL73 - Am i right in saying that the engine in that model is the one used in some iterations of Pagani Zonda?
    yes

    Which is why it belongs in a W124 saloon!



    Just look at it lick

    Edited by Gridl0k on Sunday 2nd September 12:32

  • richard300 02 Sep 2012

    I Love the AMG Hammer. I think a fair few of these cars reside in Japan now, and can sometimes be seen for sale here:

    http://www.garagecurrent-global.com/amg/medium-cla...

    (I know the car pictured in the link is not a V8 Hammer, but a wide body 3.4 CE is still pretty cool)


    I so wished i still had my copy of Fast Lane from the late 80's that had a feature on the AMG Hammer and the E32 7-series Alpina B10 3.5 (also a great car).


    Noteds some comments regards the SL73 - Am i right in saying that the engine in that model is the one used in some iterations of Pagani Zonda?

    A Blue-Black, pre-facelift R129 AMG SL60 would be nice also.....

  • John D. 01 Sep 2012

    Love W124 Mercs. Miss my old coupe sometimes.

  • LCR265 01 Sep 2012

    doogz said:
    Given the close rivalry with BMW M, it's amusing to note that both companies are celebrating birthdays this year, M its 40th, AMG its 45th.

    You don't say. Does anyone proof read stuff before it gets posted these days?
    biglaugh

View all comments in the forums Make a comment