This year marks the 50th anniversary of AMG, the high performance division of Mercedes-Benz, and to mark the occasion, the company has released a video that provides a quick history lesson of the company.

It all began in the 1960s, when Mercedes engineers – Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher – worked on the 300 SE racing engine in the Daimler-Benz Development department. Unfortunately, the company decided to discontinue all motorsports activities soon after, but that didn’t stop Aufrecht and Melcher from continuing their work.

Working out of Aufrecht’s house in Grossaspach, they spent their spare time fine tuning the performance of the engine. In 1965, Manfred Shiek, a colleague at Daimler, started in the German Touring Car Championship with the 300 SE engine, and went on to win ten times.

Despite the success and reputation that came with the 300 SE engine, Aufrecht ultimately wanted to offer road vehicles that were modelled after the successful racing car. Therefore, he left Mercedes-Benz in late 1966, and founded AMG in 1967 with Melcher, with A standing for Aufrecht, M for Melcher and G for Grossaspach (Aufrecht’s birth village).

The engineering firm as it was known then, was headquartered in a former mill in the next town over, Burgstall. A few years after its foundation, AMG’s first breakthrough in racing came in 1971 during the 24 Hours of Spa, where the Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8, or the “Red Pig,” was the champion in its class and won second place overall. This was in spite of the production sedan’s nearly 2-tonne weight, which bested a field of lightweight, purpose-built race cars.

It was only in 1976 that the company shifted its operations to Affalterbach, with the town’s coat of arms being featured on the company’s rondel, which also includes a camshaft, valve, and valve spring enclosed within it. In 1990, AMG formalised an agreement with Mercedes-Benz whereby AMG upgrades were available to customers, and serviceable through certain Mercedes-Benz dealers worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Mercedes and AMG agreed to jointly develop factory production versions of high performance cars. The first car to emerge from the deal was the C36 AMG sedan, which looked to take on the BMW M3 of the time. Later on, Daimler AG, purchased the controlling share of AMG and made them part Mercedes-Benz in 1999, now known as Mercedes-AMG. Despite the numerous AMG models that have come since, the company had always retained its dedication to motorsport.

AMG has enjoyed massive success in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) championship, beginning with the W201 190 E 2.3-16, as well as in Formula One, with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team securing its third constructors’ championship in 2016. Elsewhere, the company’s customer sports programme has been very encouraging, with the retired SLS AMG GT3 being one of its most successful models before being replaced by the AMG GT3.