A bit off topic today, but I’ve had several readers email me about coordinating travel to Europe to take advantage of “European Delivery” of a vehicle. In short, what “European Delivery” means is you arrange with your local Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc. dealer to have them build a car for you that you can take possession of in Europe. You then fly to Europe and tour around the continent a bit, drop it off at an export center and the car is then shipped to your local dealer a few weeks later and ultimately delivered to you.

Doing it this way saves you some money on the car that you can then parlay into the trip. Most European car companies have specific programs set up where they will arrange all the details for you, including things like air travel, trip planning in Europe as well as taking care of all the necessary paperwork such as registration and insurance while you are driving throughout Europe in your new car.

Mercedes Benz will be adding quite the exclamation point this summer for anyone who is ordering an AMG version of one of their vehicles. AMG is their high performance division that takes regular coupes and sedans, and modifies the engine, transmission, suspension, etc. to high performance / race ready standards. Trust me from personal experience when I say there is a difference!!

AMG prides itself on the fact that each engine is hand built by one technician from start to finish in their surgically clean facility in Affalterbach, Germany. These engines usually account for approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the vehicle’s purchase price. But trust me, it is worth it! Mercedes has such high regard for this program, that each technician who builds an engine puts his personal nameplate on the engine, just as an author would sign his name to a book. Mercedes also holds these technicians accountable if their engines do not perform to expectations or have ongoing trouble. Technicians have lost their jobs when too many times their engines cause a car to come to a dealer for unscheduled service. But I digress…..

Mercede’s AMG division will now allow buyers of these ultra-high performance automobiles to come to Affalterbach and assist a technician in building the very engine that will be installed in their vehicle. Now don’t expect that you will be allowed to install the camshafts, pistons and valves yourself like some kind of backyard gearhead. You may only be allowed to only hand over a wrench or wipe the sweat off the brow of your engine’s builder, but nevertheless this is an experience that is worth having if you are thinking about buying this type of vehicle.

You can do this in tandem with the European Delivery program, but your car may still be several days away from being ready. However, you can order your car for regular delivery and just take a trip to Europe to observe the engine build and come home and wait for your “baby” to arrive. Initially, Mercedes AMG will have this available for the 8-cylinder engine models this summer. The 12 cylinder engines will be added later to this program.