Passion, dedication and determination
A very well-run and completely legal fun run decorated the South Super Highway recently as CATS Motors Philippines and its clients, friends and fellow enthusiasts celebrated 50 years of independent individual passion turned professional.
AMG, the three letters put together by a couple of engineers who couldn’t stop racing, and that later became an official part of the Mercedes-Benz family, celebrates five decades of seriousness and speed this year, and the petrol heads of CATS chose to honor it on the road.
On display at the Manila Polo Club were examples of the cars that many remember from the motorsports history books—the big 6-cylinder sedans and coupés named Hammers.
On the road were the more modern vehicles, including collectibles such as the gullwing SLS, the new platforms of stable sportscar speed that are the AMG GTs, and a slew of the latest highly technical and highly tuned offerings, the AMG 43 and 63 powered models.
Those who arrived at the Manila Polo Club early one Sunday morning were greeted by some serious, and seriously historic, metal.
A colorful array of eye-catching hammers. A 1987 AMG C124 was the oldest of the trio, and an example of the first coupe model they produced. Six-liters and complete with hand-made AMG DOHC cylinder heads. Beside it, a 1992 AMG C 126 and a 1995 C36 AMG, which was the first model that was displayed and sold through the Mercedes-Benz dealership network. Historic pieces, all.
AMG began when Daimler-Benz made the decision to stop racing. Two of their engineers didn’t. Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher were working on a special 300 SE racing engine at the time, so they took their work and their spare time home to Grossaspach, Germany.
Then they went to the track, which eventually resulted in the creation of a company that bore the initials of their last names and the town in which they worked.
Their formula of putting massive tuned engines into road car platforms managed to embarrass some purpose-built and very svelte-looking racecars.
The AMG cars were nicknamed hammers, as they were considered big blunt instruments that had enough power to make it to the podium first.
They made such an impact that, eventually, they came under the umbrella of the Mercedes-Benz family.
As enthusiasts and owners in their more modern technological machines drove up, they went face to face with history.
The gullwing AMG SLS and the seriously-slicing AMG GT and other very quick models of the line paid homage to their ancestors, then went on to see the latest and greatest members of the family.
An E 63 S 4Matic got everyone’s attention, with a 4-liter V8n that will take the luxury sedan to 100 kph in 3.4 seconds. It was the perfect modern example of the Hammer heritage with the added bonus of far better handling.
Also on hand were the lighter, tighter models—a C 43 Coupé 4Matic with a V6 that strikes wonderful balance on both road and track.
A crowd favorite was, as they always are, a Benz wagon—a C 43 Estate 4Matic.
Drivers and fans were poring over and pouring into cars, taking photos of vehicles that very rarely get seen together.
They were also photographed themselves, as Leica Philippines was on hand to document the event.
This wasn’t all that easy as the cars began to move rather quickly out the gates and out towards the highway.
A quick run (honestly, at fully legal speeds and in full respect of their fellow road-goers who were smiling, waving and taking pictures) brought the group to the Eton exit of the South Luzon Expressway, then a run back for breakfast and a chat.
AMG representatives thanked the crowds, and explained a bit about the history of the company and the cars.
Guests were called upon to explain some of the more interesting things you could do with the cars if you were on a racetrack or the Autobahn, but always noting that these cars were above all the comfortable and reliable modes of transport everyone has come to expect from the three pointed star.
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