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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I so miss this place. It was the ultimate w126 customization place, and the closest a West Coast'er could have gotten to Affterlbach.

I frequented the Laguna Seca Historics in the 80's (beginning in '81, '82, '84, '85, and '88), and always frequented their booth there. Even had a SL go-kart with a gas engine and a working clutch/2 spd trans and reverse!

Now, how did this all get into Barry Taylor's hands??


Someone mentioned from the Alfa BB:

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apologize that this is a little late to your conversation but I just happened across your forum this evening and thought my years at BHMA ('84-'93) might shed a little light on the subject.

BHMA covers were manufactured by Covercraft Industries. What set them apart was they were 100% cotton vs. the poly cotton blends used by other companies (including Covercraft's own brand). In the 90s, California Car Covers was using 100% cotton (in gray instead of the BHMA signature blue).

Polycotton covers tend to last longer than 100% cotton but the poly fibers *could* scratch a very delicate finish. If you have a good wax job, you probably aren't going to hurt the paint.

I'd look for any Covercraft custom fit (not their universal fit) cover, and decide which fabric means your needs. Covercraft patterns are the best fitting around.

For the curious and history buffs -

Jim DeFrank (California Car Cover) left to start CCC a number of years prior to the change of ownership of BHMA.

Andy Cohen eventually sold BHMA to an investment group and started a new business, Beverly Hills Classic Cars, an exotic car sales company.

BHCC is located at 209 S. Robertson in the old BHMA AMG showroom which locals will remember was across the street from the BHMA retail store. BHMA was the west coast distributor for customized Mercedes AMGs before MBZ bought AMG and folded AMG into their line.

The "new" BHMA struggled on for a couple of years as a catalog and website before finally going under.

Thanks for sending me down memory lane, lol. My years at BHMA were some of the best of times and Andy Cohen was like having an extra big brother.

Here's pics of cars purportedly out of BHMA (including my very own 300CE!)
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I understand that the metal-only ducktail conversions were Westmont-exclusive items, even in collobration with BHMA. Seems that only one guy knew how to do the job.

Also that after 1986, the 3-piece requirement for AMG badges went "out the door" and anything was for sale then.

I KNOW someone here had a full PDF scan of the BHMA catalog (1984 or 85) care to post it here?
 

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Mercedes
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David... here's the link to the Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories catalog from 1984 (I think) that Cascade and Justinwrock scanned and posted.
Click here for linkl
 

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I understand that the metal-only ducktail conversions were Westmont-exclusive items, even in collobration with BHMA. Seems that only one guy knew how to do the job.
Is that the ducktail which is sort of integrated in/on the W124's trunk? Doesn't look like a spoiler, just a different model trunk right? I've only seen it on two cars I think, a red and a silver W124 300E 6.0 and I see your CE has it too. Nice!
 

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Depends on the day!
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My Hammer has the smoothed in Ducktail. POS's 300E 3.2 AMG had it as well. They were both done @ Westmont.

Trunk lids are stock as are the rear fenders..you can see where the bits are spot welded etc...

Jonathan
 

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1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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These are photos of the welds on my old 300E 3.2 AMG:



 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
POS, I've been looking for pics of that car for awhile now, but never could seem to find any live due to expired photobucket accounts.

Yes the CE's ducktail is all-metal. It has an m103 out of a TE wagon, yet has a LSD, so had to have something exotic. The car came originally out of L.A. for Chip Ganassi (Target F1 team owner), as his personal ride back in 1989 - thats how the car got its BHMA provenance. The thing is, Westmont/BHMA co-peration on cars (i.e. Westmont does the ducktail, but who does the rear fenders? BHMA or Westmont, too?)

The front spoiler bugs me as it is not correct for a '89 though. Unless they used off the shelf parts (earlier version).

BTW, no need to mention - the ///AMG is coming off for a painted period-correct AMG emblem on the left side :)

(btw thats cascade at the wheel...someone HAD to be the one to take the pictures! :) )

 

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1986 560SEC TT KS,1988 300CE,1990 560SEC 2nd GEN.KS.1990 560SEL AMG,1985 W126 [parts]
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Your car is super nice.
My 300 CE took me down to the KS road.
A dream to have one, one day!
 

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R.I.P. Never Forgotten
1983-2007 MB's
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sadly, no.

The ASR speedo throws it off (92+) yet the body kit is "about" right, yet w/ pimp parts tossed in.

I think it is just that, a kitted car. evidence-wise.
 

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Mercedes
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Sadly, no.

The ASR speedo throws it off (92+) yet the body kit is "about" right, yet w/ pimp parts tossed in.

I think it is just that, a kitted car. evidence-wise.
The speedo could be off another car. The car is a 6-cylinder and I have not seen any 6-cylinder cars with the ASR option. The cluster does not show an ASD or ASR light either... so there's a good chance the cluster and mileage are not correct.

Bondavi... it would be better if you find the same front spoiler as the ebay car for your CE. I find that style to look much better IMO. BTW, I am still not 100% sure if your rear apron is the same as the ebay car, too. Have the part # thats written on the apron? I could check to see if its the same.

Throw in a manual transmission with a 5.6 M117 and you'd be set!:thumbsup:
 

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Did someone mention a smoothed in ducktail ?

Here's one done on my 560 SEC by my bodyshop folk in Neasden, known to me as West London AMG !!!!!
 

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99-C43, 05-G55K, 71-280SL, 94-E320 CAB
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99-C43, 05-G55K, 71-280SL, 94-E320 CAB
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POS, I've been looking for pics of that car for awhile now, but never could seem to find any live due to expired photobucket accounts.

Yes the CE's ducktail is all-metal. It has an m103 out of a TE wagon, yet has a LSD, so had to have something exotic. The car came originally out of L.A. for Chip Ganassi (Target F1 team owner), as his personal ride back in 1989 - thats how the car got its BHMA provenance. The thing is, Westmont/BHMA co-peration on cars (i.e. Westmont does the ducktail, but who does the rear fenders? BHMA or Westmont, too?)
Interesting ..the CLK63 AMG Black Series that I picked up while looking for a C126 AMG was also Chip Ganassi's personal car..Titled to his home outside of Pittsburgh PA.

The front spoiler bugs me as it is not correct for a '89 though. Unless they used off the shelf parts (earlier version).
Your spoiler appears to be a 86-87 GEN I...
I believe that they had at least three front spoilers pre face lift that were GEN I.
A young guy on another forum just picked one up, but the light openings are not rectangular.
The outer edge is slightly angled from bottom to top...!!!

Ed A.
 

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The speedo could be off another car. The car is a 6-cylinder and I have not seen any 6-cylinder cars with the ASR option. The cluster does not show an ASD or ASR light either... so there's a good chance the cluster and mileage are not correct.

Bondavi... it would be better if you find the same front spoiler as the ebay car for your CE. I find that style to look much better IMO. BTW, I am still not 100% sure if your rear apron is the same as the ebay car, too. Have the part # thats written on the apron? I could check to see if its the same.
The AMG GEN I rear apron had two variants...straight bottom edge or notched for exhaust tips. The variants for whatever reason tended to carry the same part number !! Front= HWA-124-880-05-40, Rear = HWA-124-880-03-40
 

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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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here's a interesting read:

1988 Mercedes Benz AMG Hammer 6.0L Wagon For Sale

I was the AMG west coast distributor as Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories when the Hammers were built and I think I sold half of them. ALL of the U.S. Hammers were built at AMG in Chicago
which was owned by Richard Buxbaum, a good friend at the time and still is, although he is not in the car business anymore. They were also all built from brand new U.S. version cars, and the vin numbers were never changed. By the time the Hammers were built the gray market was over and it was virtually inpossible to import European cars, which is why all the cars were built here from U.S. cars. So EVERY U.S. built Hammer had a U.S. vin # .Hartmut Feyhl who owns Renntech
was an AMG employee in Germany, and he moved from Germany to work at AMG in Chicago. He built ALL of the U.S. Hammers. All of the parts were sent from Germany including the 4 vallve engines and Hartmut built all those cars himself. After AMG Chicago was disolved Hartmut moved to Florida and opened Renntech. He was and is a GREAT technician. The red car was sent to me to use as a demo for a while and was reviewed by a bunch of magazines based in California. for sure there was only ONE Hammer wagon done, and the rest were coupes and four doors. So any other wagon claiming to be a genuine Hammer wagon is a fake for sure. This blue wagon one was built for a wealthy Canadian named Paul Fingold, who has since passed away. It was bought years ago along with a coupe dark gray and a four door black Hammer that was built for Stuart Hayim who currently owns Ferrari of Long Island and Fort Lauderdale, by a gentleman names Aaron Hochman from Connecticut. Aaron had all three cars for a long time and he had them stored at a former employee of mine’s shop. His name was Aaron Ruskin, and he sold them all a year or so ago-I think at Barrett Jackson. The place called AMG West in Northern California was never an official AMG anything. The guy who owned it was named Barry something and he bought parts and put together cars, but never was connected to AMG in any way whatsoever ever.
Some other AMG trivia:
Ever Hammer was a 300E based car, either four door(most common) or coupe or the one wagon. No 126 body styles were ever Hammers. There were a handful of SEC’s and SEL’s with four valve motors built by AMG in Chicago, but they were not known as Hammers;they were just 126 cars with the four value motor. We even bought a 560SEL with just a few hundred miles on it from Phil Hill and AMG Chicago shipped us a 4 valve motor and Hartmut flew out to California and installed the engine and transmission and other pieces in the SEL and I sold it to a local client. There were also a handful of wide body SEC’s built in Chicago with four valve motors, and Stallone’s girlfriend Bridget Nielson had a black one in Beverly Hills that we serviced. About 15 years ago I sold Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories to Paul Fingold who had the blue Hammer wagon!
 

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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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cont.

Some further AMG comments:
AMG North America was owned by Richard Buxbaum and was in Westmont, Ill and was the, and the only official AMG facility for building AMG cars, and specifically AMG Hammers in the U.S.
My Beverly Hills Motoring business was the West Coast agent for AMG North America, but I did not build cars: all of the Hammers and SEC’s that I sold were built in Chicago with the exception of the Phil Hill 560SEC that we built here in Beverly Hills, but we exported Hartmut from Chicago to Beverly Hills for a few weeks to do the job.
By the way Hartmut is a delightful guy who has the most extensive AMG knowledge of anyone in the U.S. And since there is no AMG facility in the U.S. Renntech would be the place to go to get any AMG work done.
All of the 4 valve engines that they installed were built at AMG in Affalterbach, West Germany at the AMG plant, and they came complete and were installed at that facility by Hartmut. Hartmut worked at AMG in Germany before he moved here to work at AMG North America, so it really was like Germany being here in the U.S. with this setup.

Again as far as I remember there were only about 10 U.S. Hammers built and for sure only ONE station wagon. The Hammer’s required so many extensive modifications to accomodate the big engine in the car that only came with a 6 cylinder motor from the factory, that as far as I know there were
NO other cars built with the 4 valve motor by AMG North America because it would not be safe to do so without all of those extensive frame, brake, suspension, rear end, etc. modifications.
The Hammers were basically a 300E body with all W126 components installed to be able to handle the power of the engine and also be able to handle and stop properly.

126 cars were different as it was pretty much a bolt in modification to put a 4 valve motor in a SEC or SEL.

The reason the Hammers were built in North America
was that by that time you could not import a Hammer from
Europe due to anti gray market regulations, so the decision was made to build the cars at AMG North America with virtually all of the parts that were used in Germany, with the same craftsman, Hartmut Feyhl, so A US Hammer was identical to a German built one except for the U.S. vin #.

The Hammers were all made from BRAND NEW 300E’s bought from Mercedes dealers in the Chicago area. So in my mind it is doubtful that this other wagon was built at AMG North America.

The cars were very expensive when new at $175,000,but they were so much faster than anything else at the time that there were a handful of people that boought them, and all were ecstatic with their purchases.

As far as 6 speed cars go, I do not remember any 6 speed cars being built at AMG in Chicago. I know there were a few 500SL’s
built at AMG in Germany in the early 80′s
before AMG of North America was formed with manual transmissions and were imported to the U.S. when Gray market cars were allowed. I remember one white with tan and one black with tan, but there were not many more.

In 1985 I decided I wanted a manual transmission 500SL with a four valve motor. So on a business trip to AMG I asked Mr Aufrecht, owner of AMG, if they could put a 4 valve motor in the car, and they said they would try, so I ordered a brand new European 500SL triple black from a Mercedes dealer in Israel and sent it to AMG.

Mr Aufrecht asked Hartmut, who was still working in Affalterbach as this was before AMG of North America, to try to install the 4 vslve motor in the W107 for me, but the engine bay was just not wide enough to accomodate the width of the four valve heads, and the car would have required major butchering, so Hartmut built me a 5.4 liter 2 valve motor for it, and they used the Gertrag 5 speed manual transmission. It arrived in Beverly Hills a few months later, and it was my everyday driver from 1985 until 1993, when I sold it to a client who still owns it! It had the 5.4 motor with manual transmission, AMG body kit, Suspension, limited slip differential, factory back seat, AMG steering wheel, and an AMG stereo system. It was a fun car and really fast for its time.

One more thing, was that EVERY AMG engine built at the time was put on an engine dyno at AMG,and run at redline for a long time and then checked again before being put in the car. That is why there were minimal engine problems when these cars were new
 

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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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It arrived in Beverly Hills a few months later, and it was my everyday driver from 1985 until 1993, when I sold it to a client who still owns it! It had the 5.4 motor with manual transmission, AMG body kit, Suspension, limited slip differential, factory back seat, AMG steering wheel, and an AMG stereo system. It was a fun car and really fast for its time.
and that would be this roadster:
 

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wow what amazing history.

Sounds accurate, is it? If so, its Nice to see that all the rumors and suppositions are cleared up. I always knew Barry Taylor was a hack.
 
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