| Coral Gables, Florida
- A stunning, exceptionally late example of AMG’s autobahn-crushing, 6.0-liter DOHC super coupe; one of the decade’s most iconic and era-defining poster cars
- Powered by the rarely seen 6.0-liter DOHC M117/9 “hybrid” AMG V-8 engine, combining the performance and attitude of AMG’s legendary M117 DOHC with the improved serviceability of its successor
- German-market AMG conversion, as documented by copies of its original AMG invoices; likely one of only a handful of examples produced by AMG for domestic customers with this fascinating “hybrid” powerplant
- Currently indicates fewer than 62,235 km (~38,671 mi) at cataloguing time
- An outstanding pre-merger prize which retains all its most desirable options, concrete AMG documentation, and wears the model’s most evocative color scheme
Founded in 1967 by a pair of former Mercedes-Benz engineers, the engine builder and independent tuning firm AMG quickly became known for shoehorning large engines into small chassis. Combining the Teutonic quality of Mercedes-Benz products with a no-holds-barred flair for exotic performance and bold aesthetics, by 1986 the company had flourished into a known brand. At approximately the same time, AMG started developing racing engines with Mercedes-Benz, and thus began its slow walk toward the marque’s corporate umbrella. Put simply, AMG had achieved marked, worldwide success by following a simple ethos: If your pockets were deep enough, they would build it for you.
This 560 SEC 6.0 “Wide Body” is an exemplary representative of one of AMG’s wildest and most famous creations. The cost of its 6.0-liter DOHC engine conversion, and wide-body package from AMG—tacked onto the sticker price of a brand-new, flagship SEC Coupe—made this car one of the most expensive roadgoing marvels of the period. These prohibitively high costs assured that only the most well-heeled enthusiasts could showcase the pinnacle of the tuning firm’s catalog. But of particular interest among its long list of desire-inducing specifications, this example is one of a very small handful of surviving German-market cars fitted from new with AMG’s fascinating 6.0-liter, dual-overhead-cam M117/9 “hybrid” motor.
Rarely seen, and even more seldom documented with accompanying provenance, the M117/9 is an amalgamation of the earliest M119 block and heads with the latest M117 accessories, all cleverly mated together and stuffed with AMG internal components to supply approximately 375 horsepower. This powerplant represents a very temporary, transitional phase during which AMG’s world-class technicians were bridging the development gap between the outgoing M117 engine and the new M119 engine which Mercedes-Benz had just debuted during late 1989.
As such, compared to AMG’s earlier DOHC M117 motors these very late M117/9 hybrids enjoy greatly improved robustness, reliability, and serviceability. This is also the final V-8 engine model released by AMG prior to their subsumption into the Mercedes-Benz corporate umbrella.
This German-market 560 SEC originally wore Arctic White paint upon its delivery to AMG Headquarters in Affalterbach, where it was subsequently transformed into the revered super-coupe presented today. Significantly, this example is accompanied by copies of the original AMG invoices, which indicate that its discounted $89,923 conversion was executed in October 1990 on behalf of a local car dealer.
While it appears that this Wide-Body was repainted to its present Blue-Black shade sometime later in its life, the AMG invoices (on file) do illustrate that its original owner had specified the car’s chrome trim be painted black. In addition to the 6.0-liter, DOHC engine upgrade and wide-body conversion packages, he also demanded the fitment of four-piston front brakes, a full AMG suspension system, exhaust, 2.47-ratio rear axle with limited-slip differential, and a massive complement of interior upgrades which outfitted the car’s Anthracite leather cabin with miles of burlwood trim and a handsome pair of custom-tailored Recaro seats. The rich Anthracite leather upholstery continues to the door cards and AMG Momo steering wheel, which fronts the 300-km/h AMG speedometer. A proper set of staggered 17-inch, three-piece Aero III wheels by OZ wear Continental ExtremeContact tires and color-matched Blue-Black faces.
Upon completion in mid-October 1990, the car’s accompanying (and heavily annotated) German Fahrzeugschein notes that it was registered by its first owner in the Stuttgart suburb of Esslingen as “ES RM-20,” complete with all its AMG modifications including the M117/9 powerplant. In February 2014, it was imported to Ontario, Canada. This awesome pre-merger poster car was subsequently imported to the United States during April 2015 and has remained part of an esteemed private collection since then.
Offered today for the first time since reaching this country, the car currently shows fewer than 62,235 km (~38,671 miles) at time of cataloguing. Additionally, it has recently been treated to a routine servicing at Mercedes-Benz of Miami in preparation for sale.
Both the engine and transmission numbers are of the correct AMG sequences indicating period modification, and both units are also visibly stamped with the partial stamp of the car’s internal order number “113,” as listed on the invoices. Per typical AMG procedure, the car’s hand-built M117/9 hybrid is stamped to match the serial number of the M117.968 unit originally fitted to the car by the Mercedes-Benz factory. AMG body kit numbers are found on the front fenders and front bumper with correct production information for a home-market build of this vintage, and close observation at cataloguing time has revealed the retention of all the car’s most desirable upgrades, including the AMG by Bilstein suspension system, four-piston front brakes, modified rear differential, and AMG speaker system with Alpine Hi-Fi head unit. Like almost all pre-merger AMG examples, this car’s Sebring exhaust system (which would have originally been fitted in 1990) has not survived, and so in its place sits an attractive facsimile of more recent manufacture.
Unquestionably one of the most iconic and recognizable German cars of its era, this AMG-modified super-coupe offers unparalleled luxury, performance, and German reliability wrapped in a visually stunning package. Alongside RUF’s Porsche 930-based CTR Yellowbird, there is perhaps no vehicle more exemplary of Germany’s Eighties tuning culture than the wide-bodied 1990 AMG Coupe offered here. More expensive than a Ferrari Testarossa, faster than a Lamborghini Countach, and with ample room for four, it is the quintessential Youngtimer car.