Why A 1988 Mercedes-Benz 6.0L AMG Hammer Coupe Sold For $761,800

Auctions / 9 Comments

That's just over six brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT Coupes.

A mere two weeks ago, we reported on a one-of-13 1988 Mercedes-Benz 6.0L AMG Hammer Coupes being auctioned. When we wrote the initial article, the bid stood at $275,000. The offer ended on 4 August, and somebody paid a grand total of $761,800 for this iconic AMG model.

To give you an idea of just how quickly the value of the famous Hammer increased, we need to look back at the last high-profile auction. On 24 October 2019, a Hammer sold for £207,000, or roughly $250,000.

But what exactly makes the Hammer so unique? Part of the reason is that it predates the Mercedes-Benz and AMG merger. The other big reason is that it's a true American success story, as AMG North America built all 13 Hammers.


The car you see here was built by AMG in Westmont, Illinois. Back then, AMG was an independent tuning house, dating back to 1967. Its work was of such a high quality that Daimler bought a controlling stake in the company in 1999, resulting in another slew of legendary AMG models like the supercharged V8 E55 and SL55.

In 2005, Mercedes-Benz became the sole owner, leading to the subsidiary known as Mercedes-AMG. And it arguably all started because of the Hammer. It was the fastest passenger sedan of its time, sporting an M117 Mercedes-Benz V8 bored out to 6.0-liters. AMG borrowed the four-speed automatic from the W126 S-Class, which sent the power to the rear wheels only.


All Hammers were based on the humble 300CE Coupe, in which AMG bolted all the goodies mentioned above.

Other additions include a complete AMG aerodynamics kit, a more aggressive front bumper with integrated fog lights, a rear spoiler, and what would eventually become the famous dual AMG exhaust outlets. AMG also incorporated its own springs and shocks to effectively transfer the 385 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque to the road.

Finally, AMG added a Torsen limited-slip differential and a strengthened rear subframe, perhaps unknowingly introducing another hallmark of any decent AMG. If its default driving mode is not sideways, it doesn't qualify.


The Hammer's power output might seem silly compared to modern AMGs. A brand-new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series costs half the price of this Hammer, yet its twin-turbo V8 produces 720 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.

But let's look at the Hammer in context. The 300CE it was based on was equipped with a measly inline-six producing 185 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. AMG essentially doubled the horsepower and torque, setting the trend for many such models that came after.

This particular Hammer is a beautiful example, finished in Black Pearl Metallic over gray leather. It has 19,417 miles on the clock, which means its previous owners at least had some fun with it. The $761,800 price might seem steep, but this is undoubtedly a piece of automotive history that has been well-kept.

If only Mercedes-AMG put as much effort into celebrating its 55th birthday.


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