Back in the days of Miami Vice-era excess, life occasionally imitated art. Consider the case of one enthusiast who tracked down a Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer Coupe he just had to have. After acquiring the rare-as-hen’s-teeth two-door from Andy Cohen of Beverly Hills Motoring, he embarked on a road trip to Las Vegas and promptly got stopped for speeding—no surprise, given the coupe’s autobahn-burning 6.0-liter V-8. In any other decade, a speeding violation might have been the end of the story. But in the spirit of the sordid ‘80s, illicit substances were discovered during the stop and the man in question ended up behind bars, with the hot rod Hammer getting seized by the DEA. The car was later sold at a government auction to former Major League Baseball player Rob Deer, and traded hands several times before landing in the current seller’s hands.
Untrained eyes might confuse this particular Benz with a run-of-the-mill 300 CE—a fine, but commonplace car that can be readily sourced in the second-hand market. But so-called pre-merger AMG models, and in particular the legendary Hammer iterations, have become a grail car for Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts. AMG, before it was acquired by Mercedes-Benz in 1999 and integrated within the sprawling manufacturer’s portfolio, explored the outer edges of high-performance tuning through handmade engines and suspension components with a fanatical, atelier-style approach to tuning. The assiduous work was revealed when you popped the hood, but these hopped up models were otherwise hard to distinguish externally apart from flashier wheels and subtle bodywork mods. The crowning jewel of AMG’s efforts was the Hammer, which saw approximately 30 examples worldwide, and 13 sedans for the US market. Even rarer were coupe iterations, of which an estimated 5 exist; the only thing rarer is the Hammer wagon, which was built as a 1 of 1 car.
This is the first time a genuine Hammer has become available in the US through a stateside auction site. “The Hammer Coupe embodies everything we’re trying to do,” says MB Market founder Blakley Leonard, whose online auction house is hosting the sale. “There’s no better pre-merger AMG than an actual Hammer,” he told Robb Report. “This is exactly the type of car we’re most passionate about.”
This Hammer wears period correct chromed 17-inch Monoblock wheels and of-the-era tires which will need to be replaced with modern rubber for safety. The coupe rides on AMG-branded springs and shocks, AMG bumpers, skirts, and spoiler, along signature ’80s bits like a Sony stereo with a CD changer, and sheepskin seat covers. With 19,417 clicks on the odometer, the Hammer has plenty of miles ahead for those interested in motoring in ’80s style. But the buyer will need to be prepared to spend a pretty penny on the purchase: With nearly a week left in the auction and current bids at $303,000, these ultra-rare AMGs have proven that desire only grows with age. And one other word of warning: In case of over-enthusiasm with your new purchase on the highway, just be careful what you carry in the trunk.
Click here to see all the photos of the Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer Coupe.