Mercedes-AMG celebrates 50th anniversary of the Red Pig with exclusive GT3 cars

By Colin Wood
Jul 29, 2021 | Mercedes-AMG, Red Pig, Spa 24 Hours

Photograph Courtesy Mercedes-AMG

Fifty years ago, at the 1971 Spa 24 Hours, a bright-red Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL rolled up to the start line, surrounded by a field of smaller and lighter race machines from Alfa Romeo, BMW and Ford.

Despite its ungainly appearance, three letters on that red car would soon become synonymous with producing some of the fastest road-going and racing cars ever made: AMG.

Affectionately called the “Red Pig,” the AMG-prepared 300 SEL would go on to finish second overall at that ’71 race at Spa, cementing the brand’s ability to build competitive race cars.

Fast forward to today, and Mercedes-AMG is celebrating that early success (the brand was founded only two years earlier in 1969) with three limited edition “50 Years Legend of Spa” GT3 race cars.

The collection–consisting of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, a previous-gen (2016) Mercedes-AMG GT3, and a current-gen (2020) Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo–are offered as “ready-to-race one-offs with special characteristics and unique features.”

[Rate It: Was This Rare Mitsubishi Galant the Only Japanese Car To Be Tuned by AMG?]

Yes, we mean “offered” as in “for sale”: The SLS is available for 650,000 Euros (about $772,416), the ’16 GT3 for 500,000 Euros (about $594,170) and the 2020 GT3 for 575,000 Euros (about $683,416). The press release does mention that each car is one-of-one, and are delivered “without FIA homologation.”

Besides the Red Pig-inspired livery, each car comes equipped with a number of exclusive features like “optimized engine performance,” matte Graphite Metallic chassis paint, a performance exhaust system without a silencer and “50 Years Legend of Spa – One of One” badging.

If given the option, which of the three special edition track machines would you pick?

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View comments on the GRM forums
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/29/21 12:27 p.m.

Still pretty cool, but feels a bit like they missed the mark by not doing this to an E63 or an S-Class or something.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
7/29/21 1:06 p.m.

In reply to BA5 :

I didn't even consider that. AMG could have charged crazy money for a hyped-up S-Class with that livery, or even just a normal S-Class with the throw-back colors.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/29/21 1:19 p.m.

To me, the red Pig kicked off one of my favorite car genres, high-powered Q-ships. Would we have the BMW M5 or the  Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio or heck, the Chevy SS without it? I actually love the look of it, the imposing grille and lights menacing in your rear view.

red_stapler SuperDork
7/29/21 1:22 p.m.
BA5 said:

Still pretty cool, but feels a bit like they missed the mark by not doing this to an E63 or an S-Class or something.

I don't think either of those cars are homologated for GT3 racing though.

buzzboy Dork
7/29/21 1:26 p.m.

Love the look of my alltime favorite racecar but I agree with BA5. There isn't an AMG  version of the current W223 Sonderklasse. Do a limited run of a new AMG S-Klasse with a Rot Sau livery!

STM317 UberDork
7/29/21 1:29 p.m.

The fact they're doing this with some old chassis seems weird to me, as if they had a handful of unused old chassis shoved in a corner and they just used the livery and some badges to try and make a little more off of them than they otherwise would've made by selling them as body in white or whatever.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
7/29/21 1:39 p.m.

In reply to STM317 :

I was wondering that too when I was writing this piece. I saw the headline from AMG, then looked at the first image in the press release and thought "isn't that an SLS? Why would someone want to buy that in 2021?"

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