A visit to the Affalterbach mothership
Photo Essay | When Good Isn’t Enough: 45 Years of AMG
Childbirth is a painful thing. Mother screams, child cries, various fluids splash onto the cold floor of a sterile hospital room. Yet, through this (un)natural sequence of events, life and beauty spring forth. Mother heals, child grows strong and healthy, and the once separate genetics of a loving couple are combined into a new generation.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of a different, but equally compelling birth — the inception of AMG, which today operates as the performance arm of Mercedes-Benz, specializing in outfitting select models with more aggressive looks, higher performance, better handling/stability, and copious amounts of carbon fiber. The genetics in this story stem from Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher – two motorsport visionaries with an unbroken entrepreneurial spirit and a dream to define the future of racing.
Recently, we had the great fortune of visiting the humble home of the all-grown-up family of AMGs in Affalterbach, Germany to meet some of the newest family members including a sneak peak at the A45 AMG, and watch the unveiling of the AMG SLS GT.
Read how this 45th Anniversary played out and peruse our photo essay after the jump.
The trip started off with a tour from our guide Wolfgang (is that German enough for you?) at the Mercedez-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany. This Guggenheim meets Walt Disney Concert Hall styled building houses enough one-of-a-kind relics to be likened to a purely Mercedes-Benz enthusiast’s Smithsonian.
Although many consider themselves die hard auto lovers, most have never considered how Mercedes, the Spanish word for grace, made its way into one of the most prestigious automobile brands in the world. According to our guide, Emil Jellinek, the gentlemen in charge of sales at the time, received one of the very first production cars and fondly named the car Mercedes, after his 11-year old daughter. Stories of the founding coupled with the various auto-paraphernalia and vehicles dating back to the humble beginnings in 1886 set the backdrop and inspiration for the following day’s events.
The main event took place in Affalterbach, the famed home and headquarters of AMG, where today, the company’s automotive resume has expanded to high performance coupes, sedans, racing machines, and the highly touted SLS AMG E-Cell supercar. During the day journalists of every medium and audience participated in a company overview and outlook presented by Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
After the pep rally of a presentation, in which founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht was in attendance, the journalists watched the unveiling of the AMG SLS GT. The unveiling was sandwiched between a morning and afternoon driving frenzy of classic and current AMG models, the oldest of which was a Euro-spec 1995 C36 AMG Sedan and included newer models such as the 2013 SL, ML, C, and SLK AMGs. During our time in Affalterbach, we were also introduced to the new CLS Shooting Brake, the A45, and the A45 AMG, but we were sadly stripped bare of any photo snapping capabilities (including our sneaky iPhones).
Although many consider themselves die hard auto lovers, most have never considered how Mercedes, the Spanish word for grace, made its way into one of the most prestigious automobile brands in the world. According to our guide, Emil Jellinek, the gentlemen in charge of sales at the time, received one of the very first production cars and fondly named the car Mercedes, after his 11-year old daughter.
So it comes down to this. With 45 years in the rear-view mirror, the Mercedes-Benz and AMG marriage has proven fruitful for all involved. Every little brick in the road has led them to this point, and with the same passion and drive, they’re sure to see another 45.
Learn More: Here
45 Years of AMG Slideshow
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