These Brutal, Ultra-Rare AMG Hammers Don’t Care About Your Comfort—and That’s the Point

Last week, Mercedes-Benz USA threw a helluva watch party for the 2024 Canadian F1 Grand Prix. Held at the marque’s namesake stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, the day-long fete featured live race commentary (by proper Brits), racing simulators for excited wanna-be F1 pilots, and a lengthy live performance by Ludacris (an MBUSA ambassador and Merc-fanatic). However, the true stars of the day? A smattering of pristine early AMGs on display, including a couple of Hammers, highly-prized unicorns from the engineering wizards in Affalterbach. 

The event started with a simple premise, per its creator Rob Moran, director of communications for MBUSA: recreate the in-person experience at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Paddock Club and bring it to Atlanta. “To help unlock the passion of the Mercedes enthusiast community organically, we knew pre-merger AMG-era cars would provide the perfect gravitation point,” says Moran. “I’ve admired The Patina Collective and Blakley Leonard, who are true authorities on this period, and invited them to partner with us.” 

More from Robb Report

And they brought the heat. The Patina Collective, a 300-plus collection of rare, tuned Mercedes from the Eighties and Nineties founded by Daniel Hassan and Victor Ibrahim, turned up with two exceedingly stunning Hammers. Blakley Leonard, founder of MB Market, the first online auction platform exclusively for Mercedes-Benz cars and parts, displayed his Renntech E60 sedan, and a one-of-one E60 RS 4Matic Wagon (also by Renntech.) We had the owners walk us through their rides.

Best of Robb Report

Sign up for Robb Report's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.

1992 Mercedes-Benz 300E 6.0 AMG Hammer

1992 Mercedes-Benz 300E 6.0 AMG Hammer
1992 Mercedes-Benz 300E 6.0 AMG Hammer

This is a series 2 Hammer—that moniker comes from its “brutal acceleration”—built not in Affalterbach, but by AMG Japan, one of a handful of such created there. “AMG was all about going fast and this W124 platform had the potential for a 6.0-liter V-8 in there,” says Hassan. “They effectively made a midsize luxury sedan that outperformed supercars of the era.” Hassan’s Patina Collective acquired this example from a private collector in the Netherlands, after it had made its way around Europe. Among the more unique elements on this model is the body kit. “Usually you find Hammers without the ducktail spoiler, but this has a full color matching one,” he says. That comely hue is Blauschwarz (blue-black metallic) and those color-matching monoblock 17-inch wheels pair perfectly.

Hassan says this Hammer’s a little louder than its German counterparts. “There were more regulations in Germany,” he says, “and the German AMGs are more muted with the exhausts. The Japanese like a throatier, louder exhaust,” adding that the good engine sounds start early in the revs, and crescendo once you’re in third gear.  This very car won a class award at the 2024 Greenwich Concours, Hassan says, adding that its value keeps rising. “A few years ago, they were $200,000; now you’re seeing them for between $300,000 and $400,000.”

1989 Mercedes-Benz SEC 6.0 AMG Hammer

1989 Mercedes-Benz SEC 6.0 AMG Hammer
1989 Mercedes-Benz SEC 6.0 AMG Hammer

This wide-bodied beaut is a first-gen Hammer, built around a 126 SEC chassis, with a 6.0-liter V8 built by AMG hiding beneath the bonnet. That mill is good for 385 horsepower, and this entire build was the application that AMG initially used for mid-size sedans, but they decided to put it in the S-Class coupe, says Hassan. “This extra power added to the flagship vehicle made sense,” Hassan says. “It’s performance and luxury combined. They’re huge and comfortable inside; it’s a land yacht hot rod combination that can’t be beat. I prefer these [over the 300Es] because it’s got a lot of power, the right amount of roll to make it feel fun, and amazing road presence.” Hassan says this “sounds way meaner, more straight-piped.”

That wide-body kit, added for a menacing emphasis, came in either steel or fiberglass and was only added to a handful of the 300 SEC Hammers built. Hassan picked the 55,000-mile coupe up at an RM Sotheby’s auction in 2021 for $180,000, though he notes the prices are now trending upwards of $500,000. “It’s in pristine condition,” he says, “We didn’t have to do much to it, beyond addressing a crack in the bumper from the exhaust vapor.”

2000 E60 RS 4Matic Wagon

2000 E60 RS 4Matic Wagon
2000 E60 RS 4Matic Wagon

After more than a decade of working as a development engineer for AMG, Hartmut Feyhl left to found Renntech, an aftermarket up-fitter for Mercedes and AMG. (Feyhl developed the most famous AMGs, including the Hammer.) Renntech takes base Mercs and gives them the full AMG upgrade, and no two units are alike. This particular estate began life as an E320 4Matic wagon, originally purchased by a Microsoft executive living in Seattle, per Leonard. “The suggested retail price on that car was $55,000, but this had more than $60,000 in rare options,” says Leonard, including parking assist (not widely available back then), a navigation screen, and powered leather seats. Then it went to Renntech and Feyhl did a build that cost more than $87,000.

That build included removing the stock 3.2-liter V-6 and replacing it with an M113 V-8 mill from an S-Class, and boring that 5.0-liter block out to 6 liters, adding a fully custom exhaust system, and Brembo brakes. (The overall power output post Renntech was 420 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque; up significantly from the 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft from the standard M113.)

“I saw this very wagon in a Car and Driver article when I was 11 and I have been obsessed with it since,” Leonard says. By happenstance, Leonard was vacationing in Florida in 2017, near Renntech’s headquarters, and stopped by and mentioned the E60 wagon to Feyhl. “The original owner had just passed away, and the wagon was for sale, so I bought it within 24 hours,” Leonard says, noting it had 40,000 miles on the odometer and cost $55,000.

Leonard’s since added 6,000 miles, and says it “drives phenomenally. It has a sensitive throttle, but if you’re delicate, it’ll drive very tame. The power surges when you get on it, and it’s wild. Compared to the sedan E60s, the wagon suspension is extremely soft, set up for comfort. But it can haul.”

1999 Mercedes E60 RS

1999 Mercedes E60 RS
1999 Mercedes E60 RS

Another Renntech special, this is a W210 on steroids. “It was the E55 before there was an E55,” says Leonard. About 60 E60s were made, and of those, about half got the wide-body treatment with hand-hammered rolled fenders. One of those went to Jerry Seinfeld. Another went to Sylvester Stallone. And this example was one of the last E60 RS’ that Renntech built. The standard M113 engine is bored out to 6-liters, then header exhausts are added, and the suspension is redone. Brembos or Alcon brakes—whichever happened to be available—were fitted.

“I found this on Craigslist down in Charlotte,” says Leonard. “I wrote a check for $17,000 that day and took it home. Now, they’re worth at least $65,000 due to the fact that you can’t replicate them, and this happens to be in superb condition.” Leonard says the sweet spot in the revs is around 5,000 rpms, and it sounds rather tame otherwise, but it drives like “it’s on rails. There’s zero body roll. It’s just instant power, and it’s all motor. It’s perfect.”