Archive for AMG 500SE


AMG Mercedes-Benz Modifications 1979 to 1985

A question concerning the authenticity of a 1984 AMG 500SE was received from a friend of mine:

I looked at a 1984 500SE – AMG (allegedly) today – a bit rough, in particular the interior. The owner's son is selling it. Claims his Dad bought it in Germany and it had AMG modifications. I'm THINKING it was just cosmetic on the exterior.

The car looks like a stock 500SE, except for the front air dam, it's lowered, MAYBE AMG wheels, and maybe the skirts. I ran the VIN on the Russian site, and it comes up delivered in Germany. Anyway, any thoughts as to how to tell if AMG modified the engine?

From what I understand, there should be some indication on the block that AMG modified the engine or some documentation included with the history. Otherwise, it is hard to tell if the car just has a lowered suspension and the body kit.

If the car has Recaro seats, a smaller steering wheel than the standard model and a custom exhaust then it is possibly an AMG.

M 117 AMG engine mods included enlarged inlet and exhaust ducts, polished inlet and exhaust valves, optimized camshaft and precision-balanced crankshaft.

From 1979 to 1985, there were several AMG cosmetic and performance enhancements – custom ordered by the buyer and they typically included:

  • 15" or 16" ATS 5 spoke Penta wheels (designed by Aufrecht in 1979 and made by ATS)ATS AMG Mercedes-Benz Penta 5-spoke wheel circa 1984
  • Recaro seats
  • External chrome parts could be painted to the car's body color (or black)
  • AMG steering wheel with a smaller diameter than the standard
  • Lowered and stiffened suspension
  • Aerodynamic AMG front air dam and spoiler kit
  • Modified cams
  • Custom exhaust to increase horsepower, and in some rare cases a 5 speed manual transmission.

If you have any additional advice, please leave your thoughts below. Thanks.

Note: The photograph is a circa 1984 AMG 16×8 5-spoke Penta type 1 aluminum alloy wheel manufactured by ATS. Designed by H.W. Aufrecht in 1979, it is the first aluminum alloy wheel marketed by AMG when it was still an independent tuning company.


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