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    Spectacular sports cars from the house of AMG.

    An exciting '50 Years of AMG' at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Special exhibition at the museum.

As if there were not already enough unique models on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, since the end of October there have been even more spectacular items to admire – and that is a promise. Examples include the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, also known as the 'Red Pig', which won its group at the 24 Hours of Spa in 1971 and came second overall, or the Mercedes-Benz 300 CE 6.0 AMG in black known as the Hammer, particularly by Americans in the 1980s for capturing their boldest dreams. There is also the earth-shaking sound of the Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG to consider and the hugely successful Mercedes-AMG GT3, which claimed among other wins a spectacular triple victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2016.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum presents the special exhibition "50 Years of AMG – 50 Years of Driving Performance"

The Mercedes-Benz Museum has hosted many thrilling exhibitions over the years. '50 Years of AMG' is definitely a special event that is worthy of celebration.

This workshop is where it all started 50 years ago when AMG was born.

This workshop is where it all started 50 years ago when AMG was born.

Early days in Affalterbach.

These days, anyone driving into tranquil Affalterbach from the south over the chain of gently rolling hills will have a glimpse from afar of the home of the sportiest Mercedes-Benz models. While the area looks modern and up-and-coming to visitors today, life was more sedate 50 years ago just a couple of kilometres further on.

Racing cars born in the garage.

Mercedes-Benz terminated its involvement in motorsport after works teams became obliged after the 1965 season to derive racing cars only from low-volume production vehicles. At the time, Hans Werner Aufrecht could not understand this decision. Because this stricter rule did not apply to private teams, Aufrecht and Melcher, who at that time both still worked for Daimler-Benz, dedicated themselves to optimising the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE racing tourer.

In the early days, Aufrecht and Melcher were particularly obsessed with optimising the in-line six-cylinder engine from the 300 SE.

In the early days, Aufrecht and Melcher were particularly obsessed with optimising the in-line six-cylinder engine from the 300 SE.

This is what AMG looks like 50 years after being founded. Some of the most spectacular sports cars in the world emerge from Affalterbach, Germany

This is what AMG looks like 50 years after being founded. Some of the most spectacular sports cars in the world emerge from Affalterbach, Germany.

Melcher's engine proves compelling.

Due to the direct petrol injection system taken from the 300 SL gullwing model, by early 1964 their competition vehicle had attained an output of 141 kW (192 hp), 16 kW (22 hp) more than the production engine. A refined camshaft ultimately enabled Melcher and Aufrecht to achieve 170 kW (232 hp) by early 1965. Melcher gave it the green light, saying that the engine would hold its own. This opinion was confirmed by Mercedes-Benz works driver and European rally champion Eugen Böhringer a few days later during secret tests on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring. From June 1965, Manfred Schiek took the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE that had been overhauled by Aufrecht and Melcher to the DRMfT (German circuit racing touring car championship) and ultimately went on to tie for the championship jointly with Gerhard Bodmer of Team Glas.

Sporty enhancements.

Unsurprisingly it did not take long for the first racing drivers to ask Aufrecht and Melcher to add sporting flourishes to their own Mercedes-Benz models. Private customers meant that the clientele grew. Eventually the successful duo comprising Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher could no longer keep up with all the demand alongside their regular full-time employment in engine development at Daimler-Benz.

The racing teams were just the start. During the 1970s more and more private customers discovered AMG style and asked for their vehicles to be optimised.

The racing teams were just the start. During the 1970s more and more private customers discovered AMG style and asked for their vehicles to be optimised.

Over the course of decades, the former workshop in Grossaspach has been transformed into a high-tech motorsport group in Affalterbach.

Over the course of decades, the former workshop in Grossaspach has been transformed into a high-tech motorsport group in Affalterbach.

Towards independence.

In late 1966 Hans Werner Aufrecht handed in his resignation to Daimler-Benz and persuaded Erhard Melcher to make the daring move into self-employment as well. He rented space in what was an old mill in Burgstall in Germany's Swabia region. This hamlet was close to Grossaspach, the place where Aufrecht was born. Thus the AMG brand (Aufrecht-Melcher-Grossaspach) came into being and with it, in the early 1970s, the first genuine star to bear the three-pointed star – and what a vehicle it was. When Mercedes-Benz presented the world's sportiest luxury saloon in the shape of the 300 SEL 6.3 at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968, Aufrecht and Melcher recognised their opportunity. Because a new vehicle was too expensive for their eight-person business, in the summer of 1969 Aufrecht and Melcher bought a car that had been involved in an accident and painstakingly converted it into a high-performance racing car over the next two years.

Motorsport sensation.

On the initial test drives the 315 kW (428 hp) 300 SEL 6.8 AMG thundered around the Hockenheimring at up to 265 km/h. A serious accident on the fast curve at the eastern end seemed to nip their touring car project in the bud. Following never-ending day and night shifts, however, the eye-catching racing vehicle painted in red was ready for the 24-hour race at Spa where the 1.7-tonne luxury saloon managed to outmanoeuvre 900 kg racing cars.

Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz won their class and achieved second place overall – which was nothing less than a motorsport sensation that the brand still draws strength from today.

In the 1980s and 90s, Mercedes-Benz's successes in AMG models were closely tied with AMG.

In the 1980s and 90s, Mercedes-Benz's successes in AMG models were closely tied with AMG.

Mercedes-Benz 190 E.

In the early 1980s AMG once again had people talking – this time not just on the racetrack, but among customers too. The new Mercedes-Benz 190 E proved to be the perfect core product for AMG's clientele. Capable of speeds of up to 215 km/h, the 190 E 2.3 AMG was the starting point for initial racing successes in the DTM German Touring Car Championship. Shortly afterwards AMG became an engine manufacturer. After visiting Detroit, Erhard Melcher fitted the proven five-litre V8 engine from the Mercedes-Benz 500 SL, 500 SE/SEL and 500 SEC models with a proprietary cylinder head featuring a four-valve-per-cylinder design. This sporty engine was used in the 500 SEC AMG. Generating 250 kW (340 hp) the car achieved 259 km/h, a figure that was sensational for its time.

The Hammer.

High demand from the USA propelled growth to new heights, above all thanks to the Mercedes-Benz 300 CE 6.0 AMG, also nicknamed the Hammer. In addition to a four-valve-per-cylinder design, the improved V8 had a refined camshaft and all manner of requisites to make it a real powerhouse. The Hammer was naturally aspirated and had a six-litre combustion chamber to generate a more than ample output of 283 kW / 385 hp. The peak torque was, for the time, an unimaginable 566 Nm. And the top speed? 289 km/h. The fact that Melcher's engine cylinder head was a true masterpiece of German engineering was evident over every single kilometre. The sound, the pressure and this superior feel were worth the crazy sum of 335,000 Deutschmarks to customers in the heady days of the 1980s.

One of the most famous AMG engines: the optimised five-litre V8 was given an injection of performance to 385 hp thanks to enhanced displacement, four-valve-per-cylinder design and an improved camshaft.

One of the most famous AMG engines: the optimised five-litre V8 was given an injection of performance to 385 hp thanks to enhanced displacement, four-valve-per-cylinder design and an improved camshaft.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum presents the special exhibition "50 Years of AMG – 50 Years of Driving Performance"

An exciting '50 Years of AMG' at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

The special '50 Years of AMG' exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum contains vehicles and engines to admire from both the recent and more distant past. The exhibition runs from 19 October 2017 until 8 April 2018. The museum located at Mercedesstrasse 100, 70372 Stuttgart, is open every day except Mondays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call +49 (0)711 173 0000 or send an e-mail to classic@daimler.com