Grab this replica of the car that put AMG Mercedes on the map
Enthusiasts might see AMG as the Lamborghini derivative of Mercedes. It is madder, louder and comes with its own distinct style, separating itself from the usual Benz boys. For the unaware, AMG wasn’t present in Mercedes catalogues since its inception. And as seen in typical Hollywood movies, it needed a dark horse to make its impact felt. And AMG’s dark horse was, er, red - the 420hp Red Pig to be precise.
For car fanatics wishing to sample the Red Pig’s accolades now's your chance, a reproduced version is up for sale. It will go under the hammer at the upcoming RM Sotheby’s auction in February.
Starting life as a 1969 Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3, this replica was then restored to Red Pig specifications and livery by Benz specialists at Arthur Bechtel Classic Motors in Germany.
The Red Pig was the car that put AMG on the map and it all started out with a simple request. Back in the day, AMG operated independently as a Mercedes-specialist tuner shop. They made a name for themselves by turning regular Mercs into something more exhilarating. Soon a customer asked AMG to tune his Benz 300 SEL for racing.
AMG pounced on the opportunity to create not a looker but a monster lurking beneath a Merc Limo suit. Or that’s how the audience described it when they witnessed it for the first time at the 1971 Spa 24 Hours.
Boring the engine out to 6.8 litres, AMG was able to procure a higher power output of 420 horses for this modified racecar and lower its weight by swapping out the steel doors for aluminium versions. Couple that with other grip-inducing modifications like widening the track and fitting larger tyres and you are looking at a thoroughbred race car.
The Red Pig was driven by the duo of Clemens Schickentanz and Hans Heyer, who went on to beat everyone in their class. The race saw the car blast away from its competitors, securing second place in its very first race. Pundits claim the car would have won the day had it not been for the numerous fuel stops required by the thirsty 6.8-litre unit. One thing's for sure, anyone who thought the Red Pig was a joke of a race car was made to think again.
Laterally, AMG got massive recognition in the automotive market. It wasn’t long before even Mercedes took heed and started selling AMG products to its customers. In 1999 the German carmaker obtained controlling interests in AMG, acquiring complete ownership in 2005. And the rest, as they say, is history.
All’s well that end’s well is something the Red Pig can’t boast about itself. Post its career in racing, it was sold to an aircraft company. One of the fastest cars in the world at the time, was then used to test landing gear which were dropped through holes in the floor as the car covered ground at speed. Naturally, after a few stints, it was a wreck.
This particular replica was bought by a South Korean businessman called James Goo Kim. With the odometer showing less than 500 miles.
And if you're not lucky enough to have the cash to jet down to Paris and buy the car, you could always content yourself with this book that documents the complete history of the 300 SEL that underpinned the Red Pig.
How much do you think this Red Pig replica would go for?
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