This Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 6.0 “Wide Body” from 1986 is thought to be one of the lowest mileage examples of its kind anywhere in the world, with just 3,043 miles on the odometer.

The car is a pre-merger AMG, meaning it was modified by AMG before Mercedes bought the tuning company and brought it in-house. These early pre-merger AMGs are now highly sought after, thanks in no small part to their ferocious performance, unencumbered by much in the way of Mercedes civility.

Fast Facts – The Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 6.0

  • The Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC debuted in 1981 at the 1981 Frankfurt IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) as a replacement for the outgoing SLC model. The 500 SEC was sold alongside the 380 SEC, with both cars being based on the W126 S-Class platform.
  • The styling of the new SEC models was striking to say the least, the cars were long, sleek, and menacing with a pillarless hardtop design. The SEC was designed from the outset to be a luxurious grand touring model, ideally suited to jaunts down the autobahn.
  • German tuning firm AMG would work their magic on the 500 SEC, creating one of the most brutal GT cars of the era thanks to the reworked V8, now with a displacement of 6.0 liters producing over 375 bhp – the same as the Ferrari Testarossa.
  • AMG would later be acquired by Mercedes-Benz, a process than began in 1999 and finished in 2005. These “pre-merger” AMGs are beloved in the automotive community for their brutal performance and purposeful looks.

The Magic Of Pre-Merger AMGs

AMG was founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, a pair of engineers who worked at the Development Department at Daimler-Benz on race car development – that is until Mercedes discontinued all motorsport activities.

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Image DescriptionAMG has always had a talent for making otherwise civilized-looking Mercedes appear sinister, and the cars certainly have the performance to back it up.

The two men began working on high-performance Mercedes racing engines on their own time out of Aufrecht’s house in Grossaspach, Germany. They named their new enterprise Aufrecht Melcher Grossaspach, better known now simply as AMG.

It’s been said that Germans have a way with words and this instance is certainly no exception, the full company title was:

“Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach Ingenieurbüro, Konstruktion und Versuch zur Entwicklung von Rennmotoren”  or in English “Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach engineering firm, design and testing for the development of racing engines.”

Little wonder then that the acronym became so widely used.

AMG’s first official workshop was in a former mill in the nearby region of Burgstall, in Germany, approximately equidistant between Berlin and Hanover. The first major milestone for the firm occurred in 1971 when a Mercedes engine they had significantly modified in-house would power the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 to a class win and a second overall at the 24 Hours of Spa.

As the 1970s progressed AMG began to focus more on creating modified Mercedes road cars. These included versions of the Mercedes-Benz R107 and C107, the Mercedes-Benz W116, the Mercedes-Benz W123, and the Mercedes-Benz W126.

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Image DescriptionThis engine started life as the standard 5.0 liter Mercedes V8, it was then given new sandcast heads developed by AMG and a slew of other performance upgrades to more than double power output to 375 bhp.

Perhaps two of the most famous of these earlier AMGs would be the AMG Hammer sedan released in 1986 – the world’s fastest passenger sedan at the time, which was said to be faster than the Lamborghini Countach from 60 to 120 mph.

The 500 SEC would be another notable Mercedes to get the full AMG treatment in the 1980s. The company made wide body kits for the model that allowed wider wheels and tires to be fitted, customers could also opt for a series of performance upgrades which peaked with the 6.0 liter DOHC V8 producing over 375 bhp.

Daimler-Benz and AMG started working together officially in 1990, then by 1999 Daimler-Benz had acquired a controlling stake in the company, with the full acquisition of all shares taking place in 2005.

The 1986 500 SEC AMG 6.0 “Wide Body” Shown Here

The car you see here is a rare Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 6.0 “Wide Body,” it represents the pinnacle of what AMG offered on the W126 S-Class SEC platform.

The car was fitted with a top-of-the-line 6.0 liter AMG version of the Mercedes V8 that was rebuilt from scratch with all-new sandcast cylinder heads offering double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.

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Image DescriptionThe interior of the car remains relatively subdued, just the gauge cluster and AMG-branded Momo M38 steering wheel give away what’s lurking under the hood.

Known as the “Hammer,” this engine also received a modified throttle body, a ported intake manifold, and an AMG by Sebring exhaust, and a raft of other upgrades to over double the power output of the original Mercedes engine it was based on.

The car also received new wheels and tires, uprated suspension and brakes, and a discretely modified interior. When new it cost more than a Ferrari Testarossa and could out sprint a Countach, it was also sold in far lower numbers than either of its Italian rivals.

The example you see here is the lowest mileage example we’ve ever seen, with just 4,898 kms (3,043 miles) on the odometer.

It remains in largely original condition throughout, with the exception of a brake and suspension upgrade – it’s now fitted with Brembo four-piston front calipers with 320mm ventilated rotors, and newer H&R springs have been fitted to aging originals.

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Image DescriptionThe wide body kit was available from AMG as a standalone upgrade, however the most desirable cars have the full engine, suspension, and brake upgrade package.

The interior of the car is finished in Anthracite leather with burl wood trim on the doors, dashboard, and center-console. The car also has a four-spoke, AMG-branded Momo M38 steering wheel and an instrument suite which includes AMG’s signature 300 km/h speedometer and a desirable onboard trip-computer gauge.

The car is now due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 8th of December in New York, it has a price guide of $600,000 – $750,000 USD and you can visit the listing here if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid.

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Images: Jasen Delgado ©2023 Courtesy of RM Auctions

Published by Ben Branch -