It is hard to believe the C208 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class was the first Mercedes-Benz “E-Class” coupe to be offered with a V8. It is by name and appearance only though, as it was based on the less expensive C-Class W202 platform. Still, it fooled literally almost everyone in the world except those who write internet blogs about 20-year-old Mercedes-Benz models a few times a week. The CLK430 brought the goods without spending S-Class money for the V8 or king-of-the-hill M120 V12, and did it rather well. I personally think the M113 V8 is one of Mercedes-Benz’s finest engines ever in terms of reliability, efficiency, and power output. It only got better when that 4.3-liter went to a 5.4-liter displacement, but from the outside, they look totally similar.
Today, we have a very interesting CLK430 Convertible up for sale in Miami of course, and boy does it have some extra goodies on it both factory and aftermarket. Also, just under 27,000 miles.
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.