Settle for nothing less than AMG — secondhand from Japan
For some car aficionados, a Mercedes-Benz isn’t enough because they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s something even better. Mercedes-AMG.
The passion to own a Mercedes-AMG only intensifies when headlines proclaim the launch of a new model like the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+. But the price tag keeps many dreaming of winning the lottery or befriending a millionaire eager to bequeath his ride.
The new Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ is tantalizing with its attractive SUV body, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter engine and fine-tuned suspension. It looks a lot like the standard GLE, but can be visually distinguished by 15 vertical strips on the radiator grille (versus two horizontal strips on the standard model). Of course, what really sets it apart is an AMG performance boost that leaves the standard GLE far behind. 320 kW of horsepower and 520 Nm of torque accelerate the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4MATIC+ from 0 to 60 in about 5.3 seconds. Not bad for an SUV.
Fortunately, there’s a satisfying alternative to taking out a second mortgage for the latest, greatest Mercedes-AMG. It’s called shopping for an affordable secondhand model in such good condition that you’ll never regret the decision.
At Japan Car Direct, we recommend doing your homework first by learning about popular used AMG models from the past; deciding which models excite you the most (perhaps even more than new models); shopping around the net to see what those models are going for in good condition in your market, then contacting Japan Car Direct and comparing.
You’re going to be surprised because Japan always has an incredible range of used cars on the market and your dream Mercedes-AMG is probably available at a much lower price and in better condition in Japan.
If you’re ready to begin your homework, the following is our primer:
AMG has been making Mercedes-Benzes better since 1965.
AMG was originally an independent firm producing racing engines, but it currently produces top-end models for Mercedes-Benz as the carmaker’s performance division.
The name AMG came from the names of founders Aufrecht and Melcher, plus Aufrecht’s hometown Großaspach. The pair first made news in 1965 by tuning the 300 SE racing engine that powered Manfred Schiek to 10 victories at the German Touring Car Championship. Thereafter, AMG performed aftermarket conversions on standard Mercedes-Benzes, revamped Mercedes-Benz engines for private racing teams and collaborated with Mercedes-Benz to build highly successful FIA homologated vehicles.
1986 Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer
Probably the most famous AMG conversion from the 1980s was a Mercedes-Benz W124 nicknamed “The Hammer” because of its huge 6.0-liter V8 engine and AMG-developed independent 4-valve cylinder head. This converted Mercedes-Benz W124 (E-class) hammered the competition into submission with its fast acceleration and 190 mph top speed, thus earning a global reputation as the fastest passenger sedan in the world.
Despite being over 30 years old, this model’s performance is still impressive and its conservative styling still looks great in most driveways. The same can be said of pretty much all used AMG converted Mercedes-Benzes from the late 1980s onward.
Even AMG models from the late 1980s are worthy of consideration.
The superior workmanship of AMG combined with the indisputable quality of Mercedes-Benz ensures that pre-merger models perform reliably for decades. Many of these models can still be purchased in Japan at a fraction of their original price, making them an extremely attractive option for smart shoppers with a penchant for AMG.
At Japan Car Direct, we continue to export pre-merger AMG-converted Mercedes-Benzes from the late 1980s onward because owners in Japan take exceptionally good care of high-status models and we find they offer exceptional reliability, performance and comfort even after all these years.
1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE 3.2 (AMG)
We exported this 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE 3.2 (AMG), for example, to a happy customer abroad who appreciated the exhilarating response of its 3.2-liter straight-six engine that generates around 230 hp. Driving pleasure is further heightened by an aggressive exhaust note, tinted VIP windows, thick black leather seats, wooden garnishes and a sporty red carpet.
Mercedes-Benz officially partnered with AMG in 1990.
The above model was produced two years before Mercedes-Benz officially partnered with AMG in 1990 and is a good example of the remarkable AMG performance and craftsmanship that so impressed Mercedes-Benz and inspired millions of car lovers. With the 1990 agreement, Mercedes-Benz started offering AMG options and cars in its showrooms.
1990 AMG-Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II
Japan Car Direct exported this race-bred 1990 AMG-Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II homologation special to an ecstatic owner abroad. The Evo II is still famous for its battles with BMW at the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). Its engine wailed like a banshee when we tapped the pedal, and the 201 build number on the gearshift reminded us that this rare beauty is one of only 502 ever made. Talk about exclusive!
1991 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL 6.0 AMG
Released soon after Mercedes-Benz signed its collaborative agreement with AMG, this 1991 560 SEL AMG 6.0 originally marketed in Japan was in great condition with a mere 70,000 km on the meter. We affordably purchased it through a used car auction in Japan before exporting it abroad to a very thankful customer. AMG highlights include aerodynamic bodywork and a 6-liter V-8 engine that produces about 390 horsepower.
2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
Our team recently exported this stunning 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG for a fraction of its original sticker price. Much more powerful than the standard SL500, it features a 5.5-liter V8 engine that’s supercharged instead of naturally aspirated and 0.5 liters larger in displacement. These enhancements result in 494 hp and 520 pound-feet of torque (versus 302 hp and 340 pound-feet of torque in the standard model) for zero to 60 mph acceleration in 4.6 seconds versus 5.8 seconds in the SL500.
2005 marked the full merger of AMG and Mercedes-Benz.
By 2005, AMG had made such a positive contribution to Mercedes-Benz sales and prestige that the company fully acquired AMG without the least hesitation. The many fantastic Mercedes-AMG models produced since 2005 are proof that it was a marriage made in heaven.
Smart shoppers find there is little to gain from purchasing a new Mercedes-AMG when so many great used models from the past are available at such lower prices in Japan. This is not just wishful thinking. Our conversations with satisfied customers confirm that big savings on Mercedes-AMGs bring big, lasting smiles.
2007 Mercedes-Benz CL550 AMG Sports
This luxurious, high-performance 2007 Mercedes-Benz CL550 AMG Sports we exported from Japan is known as the CL500 in most countries. Featuring 5-spoke alloy wheels, aerodynamic bodywork and the AMG Sport-Package, it was meticulously cared for by a devoted enthusiast in Japan. The 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque generated by its 5.5-liter V8 powerplant propels the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in a solid 5.4 seconds.
2009 Mercedes-Benz E350 AMG
We also exported this very fine example of a 2009 Mercedes-Benz E350 AMG to a customer in Europe and feel it embodies the value that used AMGs from the Japanese market offer customers abroad.
Used Mercedes-AMG prices are currently very attractive in Japan.
The used Mercedes-AMG models above that we exported abroad are just a small taste of what is available in Japan. We’ve been receiving a rising number of requests for used Mercedes-AMG models and suspect that smart shoppers around the world have come to realize what we’ve known for years at Japan Car Direct. Namely, that there’s no need to spend an arm and a leg on a new Mercedes-AMG when such an unparalleled combination of performance, prestige, craftsmanship and value are available through used AMGs in the Japanese used car market.
While “cheap” isn’t a word usually associated with Mercedes-AMG, many used AMGs in Japan are currently available at surprisingly low prices that seem cheap when compared with prices abroad. Our staff members have been keeping up with the rising demand and working overtime to maintain our renowned standards of service.
Japan Car Direct knows Mercedes-AMG.
Enjoy hallmark AMG performance and driving dynamics for less by importing a used Mercedes-AMG from Japan with expert help from Japan Car Direct. Our vast experience with these models gives us an edge in finding just the right model for your needs from used car auctions, dealers and individual sellers in Japan. Whether you seek a Mercedes-AMG model with left or right-hand drive from the 80s, 90s or from the 21st century, we can help make the search, purchase and import process a breeze.
I can't recommend JCD enough. Mathew was a fantastic person to work with. As a newbie to the Japanese auctions, I was quite naïve and had far too many questions. Mathew was kind, knowledgeable, and patient through the entire process. My Minicab arrived last week and I am quite pleased. I would not hesitate to work with Japan Car Direct again in the future. Thank you Mathew!! Jay A.
I purchased a suzuki carry from here.. They made the whole process so easy..fantastic communication,and I got what I wanted.. highly recommend using this company for your next purchase. 5 stars
IF YOU ARE OVERLY CAUTIOUS READ THIS I am over the top and I am aware of it. Matthew probably should get an award for dealing with me. I dig into everything and am used to fighting for fairness at auto auctions here in the USA - we own a small dealership. Early into my fist purchase (of many) Matthew earned my trust. He’s a rare breed: a true professional and exceptional at what he does. The world NEEDS more like him in every industry. Matthew is one of our most valued partners now, as we strive to bring JDM to Rochester and the Great Lakes. I’m a tough case, I openly admit, but he worked through my caution and I’m now very happy to purchase through him. Call me if you want, I’ll recommend Matthew to anyone. Drew
IF YOU ARE OVERLY CAUTIOUS READ THIS I am over the top and I am aware of it. Matthew probably should get an award for dealing with me. I dig into everything and am used to fighting not to get taken at local auctions (I own a dealership and believe strongly in integrity). Early into my fist purchase (of many) Matthew earned my trust. He’s a rare breed: a true professional and exceptional at what he does. The world NEEDS more like him in every industry. Matthew is one of our most valued partners now, as we strive to bring JDM to Rochester and the Great Lakes. I’m a tough case, I openly admit. Find me and call me if you want, I’ll recommend Matthew to anyone. Drew
I always wanted a Land Cruiser ! Mathew helped me find 2 beautiful trucks from the Japanese auction. Had them delivered to Freeport, TX last week. He was amazing to work with. Fast response time on bids, super easy to work with, he has a lot of experience and answered all questions promptly. Will be working with JCD more in the future to purchase more vehicles !
Very pleased with my experience with JCD. Mat helped me with my purchase of a Honda Beat and its shipping to the port of Baltimore. Everything was seamless and I would (and already have) recommended this company to several friends.
Thanks to JapanCarDirect for the opportunity, Yoshi took well care of my requests with a incomparable patience and fast follow up. Will definitely pass the word around !!! 👌🇨🇦🇯🇵
Fantastic service, helped me through the process of importing my JZX100 to the UK, Everything was clear and fees were low, worth every penny though, fantastic and couldn't have asked for more!
I just picked up my dream campervan from port and have to say that Japan car direct was with me the entire way. I felt so supported all my questions were answered and I could not imagine doing something like this without them. I highly recommend the whole team, trust them and would encourage anyone to use there services.
Mathew and all stuff JCD are best. I ordered 4 cars to UA. Support was 24H. The team did its best to solve my problems. They are really good. Now I can recommend them. Unique condition of the car. P.S. sorry but the photo was taken immediately upon arrival. Thank you again!
I just wanna thank Matthew and the whole team at Japan Car Direct, they always went above and beyond in making sure their clients are always happy and informed about the vehicles they are purchasing. I am still in the buying process but so far 5/5 definitely. I’ll keep everyone posted when I do find a car!
Do yourself a favor, call Mathew at Japan Car Direct. Let him take the worry about doing business over seas off your plate. Not knowing anything about importing vehicles from Japan, I spent countless hours studying and trying to figure it all out. The headaches were too much! After Mathew walked me through the process it was a piece of cake. We've already bought a couple and are now buying more with complete confidence. Thanks guys, much much appreciated.
Can not recommend these guys enough. I dealt with Matt, who was extremely helpful and patient with all of my stupid questions. The way they have the whole process is so convenient, especially with the live video translations of the auction sheets. I will absolutely be returning to them in the future.
Trustworthy group here! They made it easy from point a to b. So glad this was the first group I tried as I have heard horror stories about the import process. Highly recommended.
Yoshi and team were patient in helping me find the right car (green 2016 Prius 4WD) and get me through the process. Flawless service, prompt response to communications, on delivery the car was better than expected, very close to new looking. Their recommended partners for shipping and entry into NZ were on the ball too. Highly recommended! Pro tip: don't mess around; decide exactly what you want, then bid to win.