T.todayAMG is the internal service branch of Mercedes-Benz, but started out as a modest company operated by two engineers. The car that AMG started on its way to three-digit fame was a giant sedan called the “Red Pig”.
AMG was founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, whose last names became “AMG” “A” and “M”. The “G” stands for Aufrecht’s birthplace Grossaspach. While Aufrehct and Melcher worked at this location before AMG was founded, the company itself has never been located there. The service area is currently headquartered in Affalterbach.
Aufrecht and Melcher started with Daimler-Benz on a racing engine for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE. When the company stopped its motorsport activities, the couple continued to work on the engine independently of Aufrecht’s house in Grossaspach.
In 1965, Manfred Schiek, another Daimler veteran, used the modified engine in the German Touring Car Championship and won ten times. This convinced Aufrecht and Melcher to set up their own company, and the first thing they did was decide to build a racing car to demonstrate their skills.
Enter the Red Pig, a modified Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, which in a sense was already the prototype for modern Mercedes-AMG sports sedans. The Mercedes plant took the 6.3-liter V-8 from the dictator’s 600 specification and put it in the smaller 300 SEL body, creating a kind of German muscle car.
AMG increased the displacement to 6.8 liters and increased the output from 247 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque to 428 hp and 448 pound-feet. The car also got lighter, although being a big four-door it remained quite heavy for a racing car. At the 24 Hours of Spa in 1971, the Red Pig achieved a class victory and second place overall, which secured AMG’s reputation.
However, it would be some time before AMG would work with the Mercedes plant. The first jointly developed car was the C36 AMG, which was also the first AMG model sold in the USA and hit showrooms in 1995. After that, AMG models became an integral part of the Mercedes range, and Mercedes parent Daimler acquired a majority stake in AMG in 1998.
AMG has developed from tuning existing Mercedes models to the design of the SLS AMG AMG GT Sports car from the ground up as well as the development of the Formula 1-inspired AMG One super sports car.