It’s 1984 and you’re a wealthy individual looking to spend some dough. Clearly the run of the mill BMW or Audi is not going to do the trick so you start looking into the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach . Both were the fastest sports cars of their day and since price is not a concern to you, the only thing that matters is making the best impression on your other rich friends. The thing is, your next door neighbor has a red Testarossa and you see your business partner pull up and squeeze out of his tiny Lamborghini every morning. You need something special. Enter the Hammer.
The W124 Mercedes-Benz is a classically proportioned luxury saloon. The three-box shape, with its clearly defined lines, looks so simple and pure compared to the edgier, more obviously styled lines of its E 63 AMG relative. AMG’s detailing was remarkably low key, especially for the 1980’s. This is going to be a perfect fit for your lifestyle and you can even haul the kids in the back seat if you had too. Can the Merc really hold its own against the Italian thoroughbred racing machines?
You better bet your bottom dollar, because this machine is no joke even when compared with the newest technology from these companies. The 396hp Hammer is going to be more expensive than a Testarossa, but not only will you be the only person that you know who owns one; you will also be doing 190mph which is more than the Ferrari.
Hit the jump for more details on 1984 AMG HAMMER.
Design and Conversion
The AMG Hammer is far from an off-the-lot car that you could come down to the dealership and pick up. Every example produced was custom made for its customer and the total number and specifications of each one is unknown. What the customer had to provide was a donor Mercedes 300E, preferably without the engine. That would have cost about $40,000 to begin with and then another $17,000 would get you the 5.6-liter engine from a 560SEC. At this point you’re about ready to spend some real money with AMG and start putting it all together.
Mercedes was not ready to start producing performance models of its own, but this was a type of experiment for the company to see if they could match the upcoming BMW M5 . Considering that each one of these cars was different and specific options were changed for every owner, AMG retains an example for their own collection. As with most, it is a 4-door W124 E-class body. The exterior is fitted with the AMG body kit that gave new bumpers, wheels, spoiler, and black painted grill. Even today the car looks desirable and has the muscle to back it up.
The interior of the E-class is much the same as any Mercedes of the era. The major changes are strictly functional including a speedometer that reaches to 199mph. Sitting in front of that is a serious looking four-spoke steering wheel that seems to say, “Be careful, this is no normal E-class.” AMG offered a range of interior options and most included a set of sport bolstered seats and one that we have seen images of had a classic plaid material on the seats. Some may remember the classic 300SL Gullwing and CLK-GTR models that were fitted with a blue and white plaid pattern on the seats and we think it would have been an appropriate option in a car like the Hammer.
Besides taking the motor from the 560 SEC, AMG would take things one step further for a discerning client. For an extra $39,950 the engineers would bore out the engine to whopping 6.0-liters, reconfigure the four-speed transmission, put in a huge rear differential, and include all the extra aerodynamic bodywork. All of these options gave the new car a 396hp and 417 lb-ft. of torque. Specific paperwork concerning the car from AMG states that it was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 190mph. This was clearly something special and it became the world’s fastest saloon car.
The options list did not end with the 6.0-liter option and for another $14,170 you could get a lower suspension setup with electronic damping and 17-inch wheels. By the time most buyers were finished selecting from the plethora of performance upgrades their vehicles ended up costing $160,000 and more. These cars went on the become legends and today a true example will cost well over $100,000. Mercedes took notice and saw the potential profit center and bragging rights that could be theirs and eventually began to offer the base conversion from AMG as a standard model, the 500E. It was not equal to the Hammer in any way, but it did bring the E-class into the spotlight and set it up for successive efforts by Mercedes and AMG leading up to what we know today as the E63 AMG.
- AMG before Mercedes Ownership
- Supercar Performance
- Supercar Price
- Low End Torque
- No Two Models Are The Same