Magnus Walker steps back in time as the Porsche guru finds himself onboard AMG’s ‘Silver Pig’ reliving his life as the determined underdog in the 1971 Spa 24-hour race.
You’ll normally find the casual straight-talking British designing ‘Urban Outlaw’ behind the wheel of one of his iconic chronological neunelfer classics sporting their distinctive Turbo badging but today is different – in a good way.
AMG geeks often wax lyrical about this German powerhouse brought about by Hans Werner Aulfrecht and Erhard Melcher (‘A’ and the ‘M’), with many describing the ‘Red Pig’ as the most iconic vehicle the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz ever produced and they weren’t far wrong. It was the bizarre proportions and unapologetic red overcoat which led to the nickname following the car that convincingly proved itself in the crucible of motorsport.
Unexpected and against all odds, the mighty German successfully defeated those challenging for honours, winning its class and eventually finishing a remarkable second place overall in the 1971 Spa Francorchamps 24 hours (having started a modest 5th on the grid). Unfortunately, years later the illustrious ‘Red Pig’ was sold to an airline company and ultimately destroyed, never to be seen again.
What I love about this thing is its a monumental piece of history. Yes it’s fast, yes it’s loud but the reason its been recreated is less to do with sheer performance and more to do with what it represents… success against all odds
Fast forward to 2017 and the skilful tech guys at Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA created the ‘Silber-Sau’ which, if you’ve not seen before, is a one-of-one homage to its unheard of, yet monumental ancestor.
The Silver Pig takes its obvious cues from the Red Pig’s ‘barge like’ 300 SEL body… proudly flaunting its perfectly reimagined ‘dismantled’ front end, identical stickers, sparse interior, obligatory cage and bonus non-existent seating (to keep the weight below 3,300 pounds). The pilot is constantly reminded of what he’s behind the wheel of by a subtle ‘300 SEL’ moniker strategically placed on the wooden dashboard below the perfectly formed Mercedes classic stopwatch pairing.
Enough of those retro stickers and lift the bonnet… This is a loud machine that makes no apologies for its insatiable desire for speed with a 6.3L stroked out to a whopping 6.8-litre V-8 producing a deafeningly powerful 430 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque through a precision touch six-speed manual transmission with four downdraft Weber carburettors gasping for every last breath of air in place of the Bosch fuel injection setup.
The Spirit of AMG: The Silber-Sau
Never before apprehended on video, Walker’s latest automotive film adventure, ‘The Spirit of AMG: The Silber-Sau‘, perfectly captures the Silver Pig’s symphonic roar and unheard-of story in a series of well-edited short cuts.
Brandishing his instantly recognisable dreadlocks, tattoos and jeans with more rips than Bondi Beach, Walker powers his way along Angels Crest Highway in the ‘Silber-Sau’ with some fascinating archival footage (provided by AMG Germany) intercut with mixed-medium footage while paying direct homage to the Red Pig, as the Silver Pig lives to carry on its legacy.
The short clip shot just outside of Los Angeles, features slick gear changing alongside even slicker camera work by 22-year-old film director, Cameron Thuman who’s also known for Walker’s films 45 Years of Boost and Ascension.
They’re great editors and they’re great shooters. These kids are the new generation, on their way up. They’re inspiring to be around. So for me, that’s part of the charm of collaborating with them
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Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 ‘Red Pig’ Re-creation