A as in Aufrecht, M as in Melcher and G as in Großaspach – the names behind these three letters are the starting point of the rapid development from a two-man operation to a global brand. The story starts in the 1960s: The two engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher were working on the 300 SE racing engine in the Daimler-Benz Development department – until the company discontinued all motorsports activities.
Yet the hearts of Aufrecht and Melcher beat unabated for motorsports. In Aufrecht’s house in Grossaspach, they spent their spare time further honing the performance of the engine. In 1965, Manfred Schiek, a colleague at Daimler, went to the start in the German Touring Car Championship with the 300 SE engine that had been developed by Aufrecht and Melcher – and won ten times! Schiek’s triumph was based on the reputation of Aufrecht and Melcher as experts for sustaining and optimizing the performance of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
However, a reputation was not enough for Aufrecht: his vision was to offer road vehicles modeled after the successful racing car. In late 1966, he left Mercedes-Benz and persuaded Melcher to venture into a shared business with him. In 1967, they founded the “Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach Ingenieurbüro, Konstruktion und Versuch zur Entwicklung von Rennmotoren” (“Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach engineering firm, design and testing for the development of racing engines"). The headquarters were a former mill in the next town over, Burgstall. Very quickly, the engines that were revamped there became a must for private racing teams.
The first milestone in terms of racing was in 1971 during the 24 Hours of Spa, which went down in the annals of the company: the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 was the champion in its class and won second place overall. A heavy luxury sedan pulling a fast one on the competing lighter race cars – this caused a sensation, and the name AMG spread throughout the world.