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There’s never a bad time to taste some old-school performance, but is anything from the 1990s old enough to be retro cool, yet?

That’s the question we explore here, looking back at a 1996 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG – right alongside today’s hero, the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S.

And no doubt, the ’90s was a decade to remember. In this car’s case, its appearance on the scene marked an important moment for the AMG badge. It was the first of the tuning house’s offerings you could buy direct from a Mercedes showroom, and that collaboration started the two down a path that saw AMG become a wholly-owned part of the family proper in 2005.

Whatever else it might have going for it, the C36 is at least a reminder of a time when the numbers on the back actually meant something. Power was provided by a 3.6-litre inline six, bringing (officially) 206kW of power and 385Nm in torque to the party.

Ironically, at least in the here-and-now, the C36 was followed by the C43 – a badge which now rests on the rump of AMG’s entry-level offering in the C-Class line.

Above it, we have the thoroughly modern Mercedes-AMG C63 S now covered extensively by CarAdvice, in solo reviews and comparisons both.

With 375kW and 700Nm at its disposal, the new C63 comfortably shades its bizarro-numbered ancestor – but, then, this isn’t a battle in the conventional sense. More a family reunion, like most of our ‘old v new’ stories.

Enjoy our video above, and browse more photos by Tom Fraser right here.

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