Any car guy worth his beans is familiar with the AMG Hammer, which used the big W124 chassis to build a $170k super-sedan that put sports cars to shame. However, AMG also mixed their secret sauce into the W201 Mercedes-Benz 190 platform and created something known as the Baby Hammer. Find this 1987 Mercedes Benz 190e AMG 3.2 Liter offered for $11,500 in Fair Oaks, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The Baby Hammer started out as a Mercedes-Benz 190E with a simple 2.6 liter SOHC inline-6 that is good for 158 horsepower and provides basic needs to cruising around town. Hit the track and your little Merc will get eaten alive by all manner of cheaper automobiles, so AMG offered a Hammer-light approach to the C-class predecessor.
By the magic of displacement, the new 3.2 liter AMG tuned inline-6 puts out 234 horsepower through 12-valves and pushes the 190E to a top speed of 162 mph -- a class in itself back in 1987. It certainly doesn't seem like much power today, but it was Corvette territory when new.
The seller mentions that this exactly car was a magazine car when new, featured on the cover of Autoweek, but the asking price is very reasonable. You can see some high resolution pictures and more details over at Petrolicious or read a PDF of compiled magazine scans via benzworld.
See a cooler 27 year old classic for cheap? firstname.lastname@example.org