Earlier this week I checked out a great 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 with some Designo touches that hit all the right buttons for me. Today, we have another Mercedes-Benz convertible with some Designo treatment, but this one is a little bit different. What we are looking at is a 2003 CLK430 finished in Designo Mocca Black paint with Designo light brown leather interior. I think the thing about the W208 is that it wasn’t really great at anything. It had the enormous task of replacing the W124 Cabriolet that was and still is an outstanding car in more ways than one, but the first-generation CLK Cabriolet was strange mash-up of W202 and W210 parts. Yes, it looked fresh at the time and had a lot of modern updates for its era, but at the end of the day you could really feel that the quality just wasn’t there like the W124. That doesn’t mean it is a bad car, but rather one that you knew from the beginning what you going to get out of it: an average experience.
Ever check out a car and think ”How can they possibly make it better?” Well, this is what we have today in the 2003 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG Brabus 6.1. What started life as a CLK55 AMG – already a really good platform – was transformed by German tuner Brabus into something much more unique and much more powerful. The beauty of these creations is that while almost every piece of this car was tweaked and the dial turned up, you’d be hard pressed to find any faults in them. The unity of the package retained the understated but aggressive nature of the stock example. The craftsmanship and quality are just as good if not better than what comes out of the Mercedes factory and the livability is retained just as you were driving a totally stock car. But all the little details are what makes this car so special. Scratch that – the big details are pretty special, too! This one up for sale in Dallas is no different.
I have always felt like the W208 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG was missing something. In fact, I know what it was missing: a few things. The W208 CLK-Class was based on the W202 C-Class but styled after the W210 E-Class. But if you didn’t know this you looked at a CLK and thought it was just basically an E-Class coupe. So when Mercedes decided to make a CLK55 AMG it was pretty much going to be an E55 AMG coupe, right? Not so fast.
Model: CLK55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 58,000 miles
Silver/Charcoal – ID# WDBLJ74GX1F179106 – 58k miles – California car.
Sold new on 2-2-01 from Rusnak Mercedes-Benz in Pasadena, CA
Charcoal leather – Birdseye Maple wood – Rear sunshade
Full handbooks – Original tool roll – Original unused spare
Full history via MB Master Vehicle Inquiry (VMI)
342 HP 24 valve V8 – AMG brakes – Price new: $68,045
Nicely preserved California car from new – Lovely paint and coachwork
No alterations – Supple leather – Minor wear driver’s side seat bolster
Excellent wood – Excellent headliner and package panel – excellent dash
Just serviced – New front rotors/pads – New tires – Restored alloys.
Non-smoker – Quick and agile – An emerging Young Classic AMG model
In my opinion, the CLK55 AMG is about 8/10ths of a E55 AMG. I may be a little biased since I own a W210 E55, but the equipment and stats don’t lie. First on the outside, the E55 got 18 inch Monoblocks while the CLK55 had to settle for 17 inch. Also a section of the taillights are smoked on the E55 but clear on CLK55. Inside, the big difference is that the E55 had different seats that were only found on the E55 and no other W210 or W208.…
Back in September I featured the ultra rare and ultra expensive CLK-DTM that was for sale in Florida. To my surprise, another CLK-DTM popped up on eBay and of course it is my duty to report this information to everyone. Seeing as there is a handful of these cars in the United States I figured this had to be the same car. The problem was is that the original ad literally had one sentence of information. The only thing I could go on was the mileage and location. So as I compared the numbers, 2,936 miles on the car back in September while today’s car has 2,948 miles and both are in Florida. Bingo. I mentioned this to the eBay seller and to his surprise had no idea this car was listed on Hemmings back in September. His digging found that a broker was using his cars to make their own listings in order to sell this car. He also found out that the Hemmings seller also used a SLS AMG Black Series and Carrera GT of his without his knowledge either. Needless to say he wasn’t pleased and will be making some phone calls to said broker.
Now back to this car, it’s still for sale in Miami with an asking price of $425,000. I predicted that this was would be listed at over $400,000 and hit it pretty square. I don’t know if collectors are licking their lips for a 11 year-old CLK at almost a half a million dollars but then again I don’t run in the same circles of people that spend four bedroom home prices on cars either. Do I think prices will ever fall on these cars? Probably not. Is this a blue chip stock that you can sell for a million dollars in 10 years?…
Move over Black Series, your body work is out classed here. A little over 11 years ago Mercedes took their normally tame CLK and went insane. Modeled after the 2003 CLK which won the DTM championship that year, the road-going CLK-DTM was much more than the typical AMG offerings that simply added on to the standard car that came from Mercedes. This car was totally rethought and the majority of it was re-engineered. That’s what makes this car so different from a CLK55 both inside and out. Even more special is that they only produced 100 coupes and 80 convertibles, with none of them being sold in the U.S.. But today we have this 1 of 100 car for sale in West Palm Beach, Florida. So let’s take a closer look at this DTM monster for the streets.
If the regular CLK63 AMG just wasn’t bonkers enough for you, then AMG offered the “Black Series” – the entire car turned up another notch. But for some, the Black just isn’t bad enough, and this one particular CLK63 AMG Black Series was taken to DTM-race ready levels. Tired of hearing about your neighbor’s M3 or Cayman R lap times? The solution is here. We saw this car in September 2014 with an astounding asking price of $160,000. It’s back at a much more budget-friendly $75,000 today. The best part? This car has a switch labeled “violence”. It’s totally unnecessary, and totally awesome…
The below post originally appeared on our site September 9, 2014:
Well, I hope this will stir some interest, as I think this is a bit of an interesting comparison. What level of performance can you buy for $10,000 (give or take) these days? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options – and those options vary pretty seriously in their execution and packages; there’s a wagon and a sports car, two sedan-based coupes and a hatchback. Engines range from a 2 liter turbo to a V8, with a bit of everything in between. Yet, what appears to be a very strange comparison linked only by price is revealed to be much closer when you look at performance figures:
E36 M3: 240 hp, 0-60 6.0 seconds, 3,200 lbs
944 Turbo: 220 hp, 0-60 5.9 seconds, 2,900 lbs
CLK500: 302 hp, 0-60 5.7 seconds, 3,800 lbs
S4 Avant: 250 hp, 0-60 5.6 seconds, 3,700 lbs
GTi: 200 hp, 0-60 6.6 seconds, 3,200 lbs
The range is much closer than you’d expect – especially when you consider that these figures could easily be equaled in margin of error, driver skill and reaction time. In the twisties, the lower powered cars like the GTi catch up to the higher power CLK and S4. All are, in one way or another, practical choices. Some are destined (or already) classics, while others will likely fade away. So what would be your choice? Let’s start with an M3 we’ve already seen:
What on earth is this?
Well, it is a Mercedes CLK GTR that was created for the FIA GT Championship series in 1997. This is no grocery getter, it is a race car that is only made in road trim in order to meet homologation standards.
This one is number 17 or 25 cars produced. This is not the sissy 6.9 liter V12 motor that produces 604 horsepower and has a top speed of 199 mph. This Supersport has a 7.3 liter V12 and will go 234 mph.
From the seller –
“2000 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK GTR SUPERSPORT
# 17 of 25 Clk GTRs made in the world, and it is 1 of
5 CLK GTR Super Sport built. USA street legal, federalized
on a Florida title. Mercedes-Benz-AMG 7.3 liter V12, 720
HP, 0-60 in 3.0 seconds, 0-100 in 5.2 seconds with a top
speed of 234 mph. Only 1,492 miles.”
Amazing car, speed costs money. This car is plenty fast so if the $1 million dollar starting bid seems high, the reserve in the $1.7 million range may not be for you.
For that kind of money you could get a Carrera GT and a SLR and have money to spare. But those cars are a dime a dozen compared to this race car. I am not sure eBay is the audience the seller is looking for but I appreciate this dealer for bringing this car to light.
From the Mercedes 230CE we featured a few days ago, let’s move on to a later, distantly related model: the CLK coupe. Here’s an example of one not often seen, the final year CLK350 Grand Edition.
Those that know me are aware of my penchant for Mercedes-Benzes. I’ve owned two C class sedans and between my mother, father and I, we’ve owned seven models from the marque. However, over the past 15 years, I’ve been less and less enamored with the styling direction on new models. Specifically, the E class coupe which replaced the CLK coupe in 2010. I was disappointed to see that it wasn’t a true pillarless coupe, as it has a small fixed window at the rear side corner. Also, a lot of new Mercedes-Benzes have a lot of chrome and LED lighting all over the place which makes them look a bit flash. Maybe this is attractive to some, but I prefer the more conservative days, such as when the W124 E class coupe roamed the showrooms.
I was, however, a fan of the CLK. My favorite was the Grand Edition coupe, a package offered only in 2009. For the coupe version, the sole color on offer was Palladium Silver with Tobacco leather and white stitching. I saw a new one in person at the dealership in 2009 and the color combination was striking. Nothing was excessive about the styling and it’s not an overtly large vehicle. Everything about this car just clicked for me. Unfortunately, the $57,000 entry price was too steep for me, even if the dealer had the car sit on their lot for several months and eventually marked it down to $44,000. Sadly, the car disappeared shortly after the markdown. I would love to own one of these someday, and here is a nice, low mileage example for sale.…