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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.
The introduction of the W208 Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class was a little bit of a shock if you were coming from a W124 E-Class coupe. Suddenly everything that was square was now round, and the interior felt….well, a little less quality. I’m sure Mercedes had some kind of spin about how it was modernizing it for the new millennium, but there was no mistaking the difference. You also were swapping a smooth inline-six for a squared-off V6, which I’m sure buyers didn’t really notice the difference of – as long as it started every morning. I think time gave us the answer as really nice E320 Coupes sell for strong money, while the best CLK320 examples, like the one we have today, won’t even sell for half that value.
It seems that in my region of America that the seasons went summer straight into winter judging by one day it was 82 degrees and the next it was 44 degrees. That of course means that convertible season is over just like that unless you are a logical person that lives in an area where the weather doesn’t keep you glued to your bed when your alarm goes off in the morning. If that is the case, I might have a cabriolet that probably isn’t the first model that pops into your head when someone says ”Mercedes convertible”, but that doesn’t make it’s not a worthy example. This 2001 CLK320 Cabriolet up for sale in Connecticut is probably one of the better C208s I’ve run across in a while and even though that the temperatures are freezing outside, I thought it deserved a closer look. It’s worth it if only just to look at these outstanding photos.
Although I am not big fan of the first generation Mercedes-Benz CLK, I do have a soft spot for the CLK55 AMG. I’ve done a deep dive into them before and my stance on them hasn’t changed. Despite being equipped with the same 5.4 liter M113 from AMG, the CLK55 is about 80% of what the brother W210 E55 is. Mercedes probably has their reasons, but it always felt like the CLK55 was cheaped-out on and the spec sheet backs that up. Still, I think at the end of the day these are cool cars that will have some kind of collectibility in the future. Today, I wanted to check out a low mileage 2001 with the Designo interior up for sale in Pennsylvania. The best part about it is that it probably can be had for a pretty decent price.