GENERICO.ruAutoUnique Mercedes-Benz 300 TE 6.0 AMG, nicknamed “mallet”, will be sold at auction

Unique Mercedes-Benz 300 TE 6.0 AMG, nicknamed “mallet”, will be sold at auction

One of the lots at the upcoming RM Sotheby's auction in Miami will be a one-of-a-kind 7-seater Mercedes-Benz 300 TE 6.0 sports station wagon AMG, manufactured by AMG North America in 1988.

In the 1980s, AMG's U.S. business boomed under Richard Buchsbaum, head of AMG of North America, based on the outskirts of Chicago, where wealthy American lovers of German cars who want to get the most out of them. Buchsbaum was full of non-standard ideas; it was he who first decided to offer customers a station wagon from AMG based on the S 124 body released in 1985.

The pilot project was the so-called Hammer Wagon (the name can be translated into Russian as “station wagon”), it was built in 1987 for a wealthy client. Under the hood of the Hammer Wagon was a 32-valve 6.0-liter V8 with a power of 385 hp, made on the basis of a bored M117 block, with which the family station wagon was on par with the Ferrari Testarossa in terms of power output, but the price was also at the Ferrari level – The “station wagon” cost the customer a astronomical $190,000 at that time. At the beginning of 1988, the Hammer Wagon was tested by the famous American journalist and TV presenter Jean Lindamood Jennings, she wrote an enthusiastic review about it, which prompted Richard Buchsbaum to think about the small-scale production of such station wagons.

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For a small series, Buchsbaum decided to approximately halve the price of the car, for which he had to abandon the “heads” coming from Germany with four valves per cylinder. Instead, their own craftsmen in Chicago slightly modified the standard M117 cylinder heads with two valves per cylinder, which, coupled with an increase in displacement from 5.5 to 6.0 liters, gave an output of about 310 hp. – that's less than a Hammer Wagon, but still a lot for a station wagon by the standards of the late 1980s. The list of other modifications included a retuned 4-speed automatic transmission, a more durable rear differential from the S-Class, a new rear subframe and new springs in the rear suspension.

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A new version of the sports station wagon from AMG was tested by John Phillips from Car and Driver magazine in 1989; it was from him that the car received the nickname Mallet, that is, “mallet” – they say, if the first 385-horsepower station wagon was a “hammer”, then this is a simpler tool , and therefore “mallet”. Alas, the “mallet” never became a serial model; the only example with a 16-valve 6.0-liter M117 was used personally by Richard Buchsbaum as a family car, covered just over 45,000 km on it, and sold it to one of his Chicago clients in 1992.

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After that, the Mallet changed several more owners, until in 2002 it fell into the hands of a zealous AMG fan, he equipped the station wagon with a suspension more suitable for the V8 engine from the factory 500 E sedan, the same owner gave the Mallet more stylish European-style headlights and new 17-inch AMG wheels. He ended up spending $44,000 to bring the car into perfect shape. Another $44,500 was invested in it by the next owner, who collects AMG models, and now the Mallet is being sold again, and without a reserve, which means that on March 2 at the RM Sotheby's auction in Miami, it will go to a new owner anyway.

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RM Sotheby's specialists estimate the value of the “mallet” in the range from 300,000 to 400,000 dollars. The car's mileage is close to 130,000 km, but judging by the photographs, the condition is very decent, so perhaps the real price will be much higher than the estimated price.

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