Before AMG was brought under the wing of the three-pointed star, it started out as an independent tuning house. Created by former Mercedes engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in 1967, it specialized in hotting-up some of Merc’s most popular models.
But with motorsports very much the zenith for any performance car outfit, plans were made for AMG to make their race debut. Rather than tread carefully, they decided to jump in at the deep end and compete in the 24 Hours of Spa. The famed racetrack is notoriously unforgiving, and the competition was not only miles ahead in terms of experience, but they also held the edge in terms of car choice.
Despite the heavy tuning that AMG had breathed over the large saloon, which included reworking the 6.3-liter V8 engine to 6.8-liters, the “Rote Sau,” or Red Pig, as it was affectionately known, was regarded as an underdog. Indeed, the heavy weight and large engine meant that the 428 hp race car was harsher on its tires, and gulped lots of fuel, necessitating more pit stops.
Despite this, the Red Pig overcame the odds, winning its class and finishing second overall. You may expect this legendary and storied car to be on a plinth in a museum, but alas, AMG wasn’t the powerhouse that they are today. The sale of a racecar would have been an appealing option at the time. Thus, the original was sold to an aircraft company — being the only car available that could match the takeoff (and landing) speeds of fighter jets, it was modified to test landing gear.
The final resting place of the original Red Pig is still unknown, which is why recreations are all we have left to remember its legacy. Here, famed tuner and out-and-out petrol head Magnus Walker introduces us to the “Silber Sau,” a recreation commissioned by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California. Walker, along with director Cameron Thuman, takes us on a cinematic journey remembering the spirit in which the original car was created and just what it means to win against the odds.