The Eighties Gullwing
Now this is a car we’d wager you haven’t seen before. What you’re looking at is a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500 SGS Gullwing, and it’s truly something special, being one of only 57 cars ever built by Styling Garage (SGS). Based on the 500 SEC, the 500 SGS Gullwing obviously pays tribute to the legendary 300 SL of the 1950s, and features strengthening in the roof and sills to allow for those dramatic doors. Of course, all that razzle dazzle comes at a cost, and the conversion reportedly matched the price of a new 500 SEC.
This example is one of the few cars supplied new through SGS' Californian showroom in Beverly Hills equipped with an original AMG bodykit and wheels, setting it apart from an already extremely exclusive crowd. If you want the ultimate Mercedes of the 1980s, you could hardly do better, but as you’ll see, there’s plenty more to appreciate from Artcurial’s Retromobile sale.
1000 Percent Luxury
Carat Duchatelet rarely gets the recognition it deserves, but that could change after this 1984 Mercedes 1000 SEC Carat Duchatelet breaks cover at Retromobile. As the epitome of 1980s excess, this 1000 SEC is packed to the fenders with exclusive options such as a fridge, a bar with two crystal carafes and matching flutes and glass, a colour TV and VCR, and a Pioneer radio/cassette player connected to a hi-fi system with an equaliser. The cherry on top, however, is the sumptuous leather interior and luxurious wood trim that Carat Duchatelet are known for. So, if you want to make your local Rolls Royce owners feel a bit impoverished, there’s only one car for the job.
The King of the Autobahn
Koenig-Specials is the type of tuner that almost borders on caricature, but take one look at this 1985 Mercedes 500 SEL by Koenig-Specials and your inner eight year old will be begging you to add one to your collection. The 500 SEL was already a very large, very imposing car, but when equipped with this Testarossa-inspired bodykit, it adds new meaning to the word überholprestige. Of course, the interior is just as spectacular as that menacing exterior, boasting a sea of red leather that doubt added several tombstones to Koenig-Special’s local cow graveyard at the time. If you’re a family man who’s worst nightmare is getting stuck behind a slowpoke in the fast lane, then there’s no better car than this.
As the proud owner of a C124 E320 Coupe, I’m naturally in love with this 1988 Mercedes 300 CE 3.2L AMG, especially as it’s the very first one they ever built. Delivered new to France two weeks before the Paris Motor Show, this C124 boasts an AMG identification plate to confirm its claim to fame, as well as the body-coloured grille, AMG bumpers, rims, steering wheel, and the all-important speedometer that reads up to 300 km/h! Considering that this is one of just 60 examples made, and that it’s the very show car used to introduce the 300 CE 3.2L AMG to the world, this is one AMG that you won’t want to miss out on.
Wide Body Bruiser
The range-topping, 300hp 560 SEC should have offered more than enough luxury and power for any customer in the 1980s, but that didn’t stop AMG from doing what they do best. This 1989 Mercedes 560 SEC 5.6 AMG ‘Wide Body’ is one of the meanest looking Mercs of its era. In fact, this dechromed, wide body coupe looks so sinister that it was given the nickname “Black Demon” in Germany. Equipped with the legendary Penta 5 spoke wheels, there isn’t a thing we’d change about this AMG, and with just 56,750 km on the clock today, this looks to be as good an example as you’ll find anywhere in the world.
If you're lusting for a long-body design icon, these incredible cars are set to go under the hammer at the upcoming Artcurial Motorcars at Rétromobile 2023 sale on the 3rd and 4th of February 2023.