300 SEL 6.3, 300 CE 5.6 Hammer, C 36, SL55
Press Release35 years of Mercedes-Benz
high-performance vehicles and production-car track success
- 1967 to 2002: from a three-man band to a workforce of around 580
- 35 years of high-tech engineering for Mercedes-Benz vehicles
- A pioneer in adapting cars to individual customer specifications
- Victories across the board in international motorsport
From its beginnings 35 years ago as a specialist motorsport and tuning firm, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has grown into a supplier of exclusive high-performance cars with some 580 employees, an extensive model range now comprising 17 different AMG cars, customers across the world and a brand name which has gained a high level of recognition. The company was founded back in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and his partner Eberhard Melcher (M), whilst Aufrecht's birthplace of GroÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¸aspach (G) sup-plied the third letter in the company name. They officially described them-selves as "engineering, construction and testing specialists in the development of racing engines". The firm was based in an old mill in Burgstall (near Affalterbach).
The breakthrough in 1971 with class victory in the 24 Hours of Spa
In its early years, AMG concentrated on building racing cars based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE and competing in European touring car races. And the company didn't have to wait long to taste success, their first real breakthrough arriving in 1971. A Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 modified by AMG took a surprise class victory in the 24-hour race at Spa in Belgium, finishing in second place overall. Sharing the driving duties in the racing saloon that day was the partnership of Hans Heyer and Clemes Schickendanz.
The 1971 success proved to be the springboard for a enviable record on the track which has continued to the present day :
- 1980: An AMG Mercedes 450 SLC takes first place in the European Touring Car Championship grand-prix race at the NÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼rburgring.
- 1986: An AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 records two victories in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).
- 1988: The AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 takes four wins in the German Touring Car Championship, Mercedes-Benz and AMG strike up an of-ficial partnership in motorsport.
- 1989: AMG is the most successful team in the DTM, with Klaus Ludwig and Johnny Cecotto notching up seven race wins at the wheel of the AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution I.
- 1990: Premiere of the more powerful 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.
- 1991: AMG Mercedes finishes top of the team standings and Klaus Ludwig is the most successful driver. Mercedes-Benz takes the con-structors' title. The DTM is at the peak of its powers, with the races at-tracting an audience of over 153 million.
- 1992: AMG Mercedes again takes the team honours and Mercedes-Benz the constructors' crown. Klaus Ludwig is the DTM champion driving an AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Ellen Lohr becomes the fist woman to win a round of the DTM - at the wheel of an AMG Mercedes - whilst former Formula 1 World Champion Keke Rosberg also drives for the team.
- 1993: Roland Asch finishes runner-up in the DTM in an AMG Mercedes. This proves to be the farewell season for the AMG Mercedes 190 E, the winner of 50 races.
- 1994: The new AMG Mercedes C-Class lines up on the starting grid, powered by a six-cylinder engine. Klaus Ludwig wastes no time in taking the DTM crown once again.
- 1995: AMG wins the DTM championship for the third time, as well as the international ITC series in its debut year. The drivers' champion on each occasion is Bernd Schneider.
- 1996: Bernd Schneider drives an AMG Mercedes to second place in the ITC.
- 1997: The new Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, constructed by AMG in only 128 days, takes Bernd Schneider to the inaugural FIA GT Championship title.
- 1998: AMG Mercedes dominates the FIA-GT series, with Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta winning all eleven races and the drivers' championship in the CLK-GTR. AMG Mercedes cruises to the constructors' title.
- 2000: In the first year of the new DTM (German Touring Car Masters) series, AMG clinches the championship title with Bernd Schneider at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM.
- 2001: A repeat of the previous year with Bernd Schneider driving his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM to the drivers' championship crown and AMG taking the team title.
- 2002: The excitement of the DTM continues with the new CLK-DTM. Ex-Formula 1 star Jean Alesi makes the switch to Team AMG Mercedes after 201 Grand Prix races.