No doubt one of the 80s tuning-classics is the AMG version of the W126 model Mercedes-Benz S-class. Not only did AMG make the W126 S-class seriously quick with both engine, exhaust and suspension modifications, the looks of the SE and SEL were also enhanced by the German tuner. This article has it's focus on just the exterior modifications done by AMG.
AMG developed several bodykits for the W126, starting with the first generation model 280SE / 500SEL that was made until 1985. The bodykits that were made for the first generation W126 S-class differed quite strongly from those for the post-1985 S-classes. Also, there were US-versions of both first and second generation models and the second generation model also had a version meant for the Japanese market only.
An early AMG Mercedes SE, sitting on Rial wheels and fitted with the AMG front bumper only plus all chrome blacked out.
Again an early AMG Mercedes-Benz W126 S-class, and again an SE model. It has the same front bumper as the gold car but it also has the AMG sideskirts....
....and as we learn from this picture the 500SE AMG also has the rear bumper and bootlid spoiler. The wheels are BBS.
A very nice W126 AMG Mercedes-Benz 500SEL, again with blacked out chrome parts and the 5-spoke AMG Penta wheels. A small spoiler on the bootlid is also added.
The following three photos were done for a German car magazine (Sport Fahrer) in 1982. Same car, different wheels. This time the 500SEL AMG is fitted with Rial wheels in stead of the Pentas. These Rials were probably fitted before the AMG introduced their own Penta wheel, so these photos are older than the ones above.
Several photos of an AMG 500SE in blue-green. This car has been fitted with the AMG Pentas, a full bodykit and all chrome parts matching the car's exterior color. It differs from the above cars in that it has full front- and rear bumpers, the front bumpers with the extra "lip" over the front fender.
Note the difference between the front bumper of this car and the previous one (the 500SEL in blue). This car has the flaps that cover a part of the front wheel arch.
Very stylish: a dark grey Mercedes 500SEL by AMG with matching AMG Penta 5-spoke rims.
A right hand drive AMG 500SEL that was put together by Stratton of Wilmslow, the UK's main AMG-representative in the 1980s. It has the famous "1 AMG" licenseplate that Stratton used on many of their Mercedes AMG converted cars in adds and magazine-articles.
The rims are quite interesting because they're AMG Pentas with painted centres in dark-gray or black. Most seen were the Pentas either painted in the car's color or just left alloy. The wheels do match the black trim package.
Several AMG W126s in the Auto Roman showroom in 1982 Osaka, Japan.
Two photos showing an AMG 500SEL in grey metallic.
An AMG 500SEL in "Miami Vice" look: all white including the trim. The Pentas have been left alloy.
This 500SEL from 1985 was on offer in Japan in 1989. Fitted with a full Gen1 bodykit, the car sports an interesting boomerang TV-aerial on the trunk... reading the ad it does seem it doesn't have the TV that one expects with such an antenna.... Just pretending I guess.
The Second Generation W126 S-class, 1985-1991
The final type AMG bodykit for the W126 in progress? This is a 1986 or 87 SEL fitted with the new (2nd generation) AMG front bumper and the newer type Aero I wheels. However, the other modifications seem of the 1st generation W126 type, including sideskirts and rear bumper.
A second generation W126 with details that are very uncommon for an AMG: BBS 17" rims and an SEC-front modification. The difference between the first and second generation spoilerkit is obvious.
The rear bumper is now a full piece instead of a piece glued to the original Mercedes bumper.
The SEC-nose isn't one of the sophisticated type: an SEL bonnet with SEC grille, recognizable by the way the shape of the bonnet doesn't end in the much too wide grille.
A second generation W126 SEL with the new bodykit and Gen II AMG Penta rims. The grille has also been painted in the car's body color as are the rims.
Possibly the same car as the one with mixed generation 1 and 2 spoilers, but this time with the full set of 2nd generation spoilers fitted.
Text: copyright Bram Corts 2013