Monterey 2017: Mercedes-Benz Classic Center

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Monterey 2017
Mercedes Classic Center

My plan for Saturdays during Monterey Car Week over the years has been to head up to the polo field area to look over the delicious offerings at Gooding & Co and then have a leisurely lunch on the patio in front of the Del Monte Lodge overlooking the 18th green. There’s quite a buzz in the air as the grounds crews scurry around setting up the awards ramp and precisely place flowers, bushes and decorations for Sunday’s Pebble Beach Concours.

Wagener’s Blue Beast

After lunch its a short stroll over to the Beach and Tennis club were Mercedes-Benz Classic’s massive pavilion has been erected. My timing this year could not have been better because as my brother Tony and I rounded the corner of the matte black AMG liveried enclosure the jaws of an enclosed single car carrier were slowly opening to reveal MB’s newest show stopper, their Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 Cabriolet. What luck!

“The arc of AMG’s 50 year evolution was illustrated brilliantly by two themes, the venerated AMG 300SEL 6.8 competition car and the running gear of the (now released) AMG Project One hypercar. Well done AMG!”

As it rolled silently out of the container, every cell phone in the immediate area was raised to capture MB design chief Gorden Wagener’s stunning deep blue creation. And I mean stunning! Six meters of sensual automotive indulgence. Daimler had leaked some images to news outlets over the prior 24 hours to generate some buzz. And here it was in the flesh. What a nice prelude to the gems inside the pavilion.

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AMG Heritage

Inside and outside of the pavilion it was essentially 100% AMG, a mixture of new models and AMG classics spanning 30 years. The 3 vintage SLs – a 280SL,230SL and 560SL – sitting on ramps behind the enclosure looked quaint compared to the new cars with their bulging fenders barely concealing enormous wheels/tires and various massive wings.

The arc of AMG’s 50 year evolution was illustrated brilliantly by two themes, the venerated AMG 300SEL 6.8 competition car and the running gear of the (now released) AMG Project One hypercar. Well done AMG!

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roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage.com
photography/mercedesheritage.com

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Gallery

  • Happy 50th AMG!
  • AMG massaged GLC, GLE, GLA on display.
  • 1996 E60 sneaks by the Classic Center's Pavilion.
  • AMG GT R sneaks a look at the proceedings.
  • AMG GT S in looking superb in matte black.
  • AMG GT competion car.
  • Quaint group of old/youngtimer SLs.
  • Low mileage Garnet/Creme 560SL.
  • Restored 230SL was 'price upon request'.
  • Jaw dropping Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet oozes style and unrestrained opulence.
  • Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet redefines the notion of an ultra-premium open motor car.
  • Wagener's clean design invites the eye to smoothly flow from the prominent waterfall grille back over an impossibly long hood.
  • Nautical theme obvious in the Vision's interior. Pure fantasy here.
  • Marketing mission accomplished: the Vision's arrival was instantly propelled across the globe via social media.
  • How about a CLK GTR street car?
  • AMG GT R.
  • CLK 63 Black Editon track car.
  • Old Red: The recreation of the 300SEL 6.8.
  • AMG SLS Black Series?
  • AMG CLK GTR street version.
  • Ultra-rare CLK 6.3 DTM style cabriolet street car.
  • CLK 6.3 DTM style cabriolet street car interior. Note carbon fiber door panels/center console and alcantara seat trim.
  • Clever slot car display featured Laguna Seca (aka Mazda Raceway) track layout and F1 car in the 'infield' for inspiration.
  • AMG SEC.
  • AMG: 50 years on and so strong.
  • AMG Project One F! derived power train.
  • F1 engine technology harness for the street.
  • Note the Project ONE's rocker actuated damping layout.
  • And one of the rare Hammer wagons.

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