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AMG Owners Crusade Against Fake Badges

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author photo by Tyler Hoover December 2016

AMG enthusiasts are a fun bunch. They're the approachable group at the Cars and Coffee, full of self-deprecation, devoid of superiority complexes and more mature than homicidal Mustang drivers. If Cars and Coffee took place in a high-school lunchroom, AMG owners would be the cool-kids table. Only one thing rattles their cages, and that's an AMG poser.

Seeing an AMG badge on a non-AMG car is their equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. Many are so incensed by the posers that they've begun a crusade against them -- and what started out as an innocent name-and-shame campaign is escalating to crazy levels.

Initially, the AMG-poser crusade started with some lighthearted Internet shaming. AMG enthusiasts would post photos of offending vehicles, and the group would collectively point and laugh. Instagrammer @FakeAMGbusta has posted hundreds of examples -- and these are some of the worst offenders:

Fake AMGs

A 6.3-liter V6 CDI diesel Black Series. Huh? Brace yourself, there's more where that came from.

Fake AMGs

That 3.5-liter high-output badge came off a Dodge Charger. Why? Here's more nonsense.

Fake AMGs

A Porsche Turbo, E350 AMG Special Edition. Bonus points for the badges on the rear quarter panel.

Shaming these cars on the internet has become a fun pastime for AMG fans, but recently, enthusiasts have been taking their crusade to the next level.

Fake AMGs

An easily removable sticky note. I'm OK with this. It sends a message with no real harm done.

Fake AMGs

Yikes, a shoe polish pen. That will take a lot more effort to remove. Let's not get too out of hand, here.

Fake AMGs

Yeah, that's vandalism.

My cooler-headed friends at the AMG SoCal Lounge -- a fun group of AMG enthusiasts in Southern California -- would never stoop to anything criminal. Rather, they printed this professional-looking business card to place under the windshield of a poser. On the back of the card is a YouTube link to a cartoon character pointing and laughing at them.

Fake AMGs

When I noticed this poser-AMG campaign escalating, I asked members of the AMG SoCal Lounge why these impostors bothered them so much.

After all, most AMG posers are clueless to their crimes. It's common practice for a used-car dealer to slap an AMG badge on a sport-model Mercedes to make it look more expensive. Other hapless owners think the AMG badge is a fashion accessory, totally oblivious to their performance credentials. But it's posers who know their fraud that really grind the gears of AMG owners.

ASL member Bryan Van Suchtelen writes, "I understand that people love AMG, but they shouldn't misrepresent the brand by badging a non-AMG as genuine. It's like wearing a fake Rolex or Breitling and thinking people can't tell the difference. Why do it? It would be much better if they just debadge their car rather than pass it off as a fake."

Fellow member Sony Nguyen -- who is my personal hero for wrapping his AMG GT-S in smurf blue -- agrees with Suchtelen. He writes, "Exactly! Owners that rock fake badges try to deceive the rest of the world and deserve to be called out when caught."

Much like putting a fake AMG badge on a regular Mercedes, it's deceptive. And as an AMG owner, I think it should stop.

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AMG Owners Crusade Against Fake Badges - Autotrader