Mercedes tuning of the 80s: Rétromobile auction 2023

Several tuning Mercedes from the 80s will go under the hammer on February 4th, 2023 during the Rétromobile in Paris: a 500 SEC Gullwing from SGS, a 500 SEL from Koenig and a 560 SEC AMG Widebody.

Anyone who wanted more Cedes in the 80s brought their 124 or 126 to the tuner. Aufrecht and Melcher from Großaspach, Willy König in Munich or Chris Hahn from SGS in Pinneberg near Hamburg willingly helped further, built 500 SEC wider, 500 SEL longer and coupés into gullwings with televisions. AMG supplied more powerful V8 engines with displacements of up to six liters and specially developed four-valve cylinder heads for the venerable M117. In addition, there were more or less discreet spoiler packages and wide tires on light metal three-pieces, in body color according to the fashion. Chrome-plated add-on parts were matted black or painted to match the car. It didn't always have to be 199 Blue Black Metallic. During the Rétromobile classic car fair in Paris on Saturday, February 4, 2023, the French auction house Artcurial will be auctioning off two tuned S-Class coupés and one 500 SEL sedan, which are prime examples of 80s tuning.

Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC SGS

The paintwork in contemporary manganese brown, color code 480, is not the most striking thing about this 500 SEC. Chris Hahn's styling garage converted the coupé into a gullwing. Including the necessary changes and reinforcements to the body, this was so complex that the conversion cost practically the same as the base car; around 200,000 marks came together. As a new car, the SGS Gullwing was delivered new in Beverly Hills. According to Hahn, it is one of 57 Gullwing conversions. The interior is lined with cognac-colored leather. The add-on parts and wheels come from AMG. The estimated price is between 400,000 and 600,000 euros.

Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL Koenig

The racing driver Willy König founded the car tuner Koenig-Specials in Munich in 1977. His specialty was wide bodies based on Mercedes, an example of this is this 500 SEL in the Batman look. From the coupé bonnet with integrated black Mercedes star to the cross-spoke wheels with drop center under the dynamically modulated add-on parts to the rear spoiler, this limousine stands for tuning of the 80s.

Instead of staying within shouting distance behind fashion, as Mercedes cautiously put it, tuners went into the fast lane. At least visually, because nothing is known about a technical conversion of the five-liter V8. That is conceivable, because at least the speedometer with Koenig lettering and a 300 km/h scale suggests more power. After all, the Munich tuner offered compressor conversions for the M117. The interior is completely covered with burl wood, red leather and carpet. An equalizer is housed on the instrument panel. Artcurial estimates the value of the car at 80,000 to 140,000 euros.

Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG Widebody

Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher started working on Mercedes in 1967 in a double garage in Großaspach. They became known in 1971 with the class victory of their 300 SEL 6.8 at the 24-hour race in Spa. In the 1980s, AMG made Mercedes wider and stronger. An example from this period is the 560 SEC widebody that Artcurial is auctioning off during Rétromobile. The angular, widened wheel arches create space for black Pentastar wheels. Trim strips and star are black, as is the paintwork and interior. The seats can be adjusted in many ways and the engine is slightly more powerful than in the series: the 5.5-liter V8 sends 324 hp and 498 Newton meters to the four-speed automatic transmission. Estimated price? 200,000 to 300,000 euros.


It's a matter of taste what AMG, Koenig or SGS made of the 126 series Mercedes. In any case, the converted limousines and coupés are contemporary witnesses on wheels. In this case, by the way, the originals are not only more popular, but also significantly cheaper. So it doesn't just take a special taste or a bit of courage to own a Koenig, SGS or AMG, but also a fat piggy bank.


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