This 400-HP Mercedes Wagon Has Been Causing Back Pain For 30 Years

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Before AMG went all mainstream, bonkers stuff like this happened.

Only more recently has Mercedes fully turned AMG into its own separate performance division. It wasn't even officially its in-house performance brand until 1999. That's not a bad thing, but it does mean it's now more mainstream and, therefore, possibly less adventurous. But 30 years ago AMG operated with little to no Mercedes oversight. It was essentially a small team of speed-crazed German engineers who would build just about anything customers asked for. This 1987 Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer Wagon is just one example.

The year prior, AMG began to offer V8 engine upgrades for the now iconic W124 chassis, the precursor to today's E-Class. Because of the sheer amount of power this chassis-engine combo had, the driver was literally hit like a hammer when gunning the throttle, thus earning its well-deserved name, the Hammer.

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Resulting back pain was to be expected. This one-off AMG Hammer wagon is owned today by brand enthusiast Jonathon Hodgman, but its origins are quite interesting. It started life out as a basic 300 TD diesel wagon, until it was purchased by a Canadian guy who wanted to build something special for his wife. AMG did whatever this guy asked for, considering the conversion from diesel to gasoline V8 and a whole bunch of other work cost an insane $190,000 (in 1987, mind you). As noted in this latest video from Petrolicious, there's nothing else like this "wolf in sheep's clothing" 400 hp wagon in the world.

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