Is this ‘Red Pig’ a Cool Tribute or an AMG Wannabe?

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1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S AMG Red Pig tribute

Would you drive a Red Pig replica with only a straight-six?

Today, AMG is a performance powerhouse. They’re a group of mad scientists tasked with turning virtually every new Mercedes-Benz model into brutally fast beasts. Plus, they’ve got Mercedes footing the bill for everything. It’s a pretty ideal setup.

But it wasn’t always this way. Before AMG became Mercedes’ in-house tuner, and before it built ’80s-tastic supercar slayers like The Hammer, it was an upstart performance company operating out of a barn in Germany. And its first car, the “Roten Sau,” or “Red Pig” took Europe by storm.

In 1971, AMG started with a full-size 300SEL, completely redesigned its suspension, crammed Mercedes’ massive 6.8 liter V8 under the hood, and took it racing. The Pig was a sensation. It dominated against smaller, more agile cars at the 1971 24 Hours of Spa. What’s more, it was the fastest sedan in the world. Almost overnight, AMG became the go-to tuner for well-heeled Mercedes owners.

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280S AMG Red Pig tribute

Now, via classiccars.com, you can own a Red Pig for a bargain $49,987. But there are a few catches. For one, this isn’t a real AMG, it’s a convincing replica. Also, there’s some assembly required if you want to turn it into something that’s closer to the real deal.

For starters, this Ft. Lauderdale-based car began life as a 280S, not a 300 SEL. And… well, it’s still a 280S. Instead of the AMG’s mammoth 6.8-liter V8 and ZF five-speed manual, it has a 2.5-liter straight-six mated to a four-speed slushbox. From the looks of things (info and photographs are somewhat lacking in the ad), its stock interior also looks and sounds to be still intact, with working AC and everything. It also looks like it’s still sitting at its stock ride height.

So, would you pull the trigger on this Pig for a hair less than $50,000? Is this wannabe AMG a good starting point for a more faithful Red Pig reproduction, or is it just an expensive pretender? Let us know in the comments below.

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James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

Sapienza can be reached at [email protected]

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