Tag Archives: AMG

Change is in the Air…..


There’s change afoot here at TTS. No, neither of us has gone transgender, and yes, it will include some more frequent posting.  This once-a-quarter pattern isn’t really working for us, although traffic has remained remarkably substantial. The internet is a fascinating place. First off, if you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, please do! You’ll find more frequent tidbits through those outlets than on the official blog, although this remains our home of homes. But all that’s not what I’m really here to talk about, either.  This is first and foremost a car blog, and as such the interesting content is about cars. So brace yourselves, folks, as there are changes coming to the TTS fleet!

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2001 Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG: Who Says SUVs Can’t Be Fun?

2001 ML55 AMG - 1

SUVs aren’t going away. It’s a fact that has progressively become all too clear over my last twenty-odd years of suburban and urban commuting. For decades I sat in traffic behind these rolling billboards advertising the driver’s overcompensation for something they were lacking, something that was too small, or perhaps something that just doesn’t work any more. Last year I finally gave in. The fact is I like to see ahead of the car in front of me. It’s partly a control thing, and partly a defensive driving thing. Yes folks, after years of decrying them as the spawn of de debbil himself, I drank the Kool-Aid.

It’s worse than that: I’ve actually bought two of them in the past year. My current daily commuting appliance is a very nice, ordinary, blends-in-with-the-scenery Toyota Highlander, bought specifically 1) so I could see in traffic, 2) so I could carry up to 7 people since the kids have outgrown the backwards seat in my wife’s wagon, and 3) because it’s a hybrid and I have one of Northern Virginia’s grandfathered plates that lets me drive in the carpool lane by myself – thus shaving about 30 minutes off my commute each way. But I only bought that after I’d dipped my toes in the SUV water with a 1999 Mercedes ML320, which is ten times the truck that the Toyota is, but was also as finicky as one would expect from a 14 year-old rusty German truck built in America. Now, as capable as the 320 was, the hot ticket in the original ML-Class was the monster-motored AMG ML55 just like this one available in Merritt Island, Florida. What’s more, at an astoundingly low $6,500, this could very well represent the cheapest path to ownership of a fully functional, non-train-wreck AMG Mercedes.
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2005 Mercedes-Benz AMG E55: Too Cheap to Ignore

2005 E55 -1

We’ve all heard it: twenty grand just doesn’t go as far as it used to. Well, I beg to differ. While it may only cover about two-thirds of a fully loaded Kia Optima Hybrid (ask me how I know), it will also buy you a supercharged V8 packing 469hp, 512 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 in well under 5 seconds, and a three-pointed star on the hood. Unless, that is, the previous owner – like this one – decided for some inexplicable reason to remove it. Nonetheless, Wrap that powertrain in the sleek W211 Mercedes E-class body, and what you have is a supercar in German taxicab clothing. Find this one here on CraigsList in Fairfax, VA for a relative pittance.

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1997 BMW E36 M3 Coupe: Clean as they Come

The original BMW M3, based on the now cult favorite E30 3-series,was built as a homologation special aimed at taking-on the likes of cars like the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 and Ford Sierra Cosworths which dominated German Touring Car Championship racing in the late-1980s. Not only did it take them on, but from a sheer racing and driving standpoint, it trounced them. As an owner of a Mercedes Cosworth I can say that. I still maintain that the Merc is a better daily driver, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

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It’s Just a Big 5000S, Right?

You don’t see a lot of hot-rodding once you arrive at the c-suite level of cars. Sure, over the years Alpina and Hartge have rubbed on some BMW 7-series, and AMG has certainly wafted their magic wands over the occasional Mercedes-Benz S-class, much to the joy of every Miami drug dealer in the 1980s. But what about those overdressed Volkswagens from Ingolstadt, better known as Audi? Continue reading

Bang for your Buck: 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

Mercedes-Benz has a long and storied history of building super-fast sedans going back to the 300SEL 6.3 of the late 1960s, wherein rogue engineer Erich Waxenberger took the monstrous 6.3 liter M100 V8 from the 600-series limos and dropped it into the mid-sized W109 300SEL – a car that previously had seen nothing larger than a 2.8 liter inline-6. The result was a brick of a car that performed extraordinarily well even by today’s standards with 0-60 times below 7 seconds and a top speed nearing 140mph. Famed tuners AMG (for Aufrecht and Melcher, the founders, and Großaspach, Aufrecht’s birthplace) took the 6.3 and built a bored-out killer widebody version and campaigned it throughout the late-sixites and early 1970s with great success.

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