”The champ is here!”
This is it. The big one. One of the craziest road legal Mercedes-Benz ever produced and a car we probably won’t see anything like ever again. The CLK GTR. The result of a homologation requirement from the 1997 FIA GT Championship, this CLK GTR, along with the Porsche 911 GT1, literally took grand touring cars and made them road legal. Only 35 CLK GTRs were ever produced by Mercedes and AMG. 26 of them being production cars, seven racing cars for the GT Championship and two prototypes. Out of those 26 production cars, six were roadsters that looked even wilder. All of them were powered by the M120 V12 borrowed from the W140/R129 chassis with 21 cars being 6.9 liter variants that made 604 horsepower and the five other cars, called CLK GTR Super Sport, using a 7.3 liter making 655 horsepower. All of these CLK GTRs used a 6-speed sequential manual gearbox with gears that were so loud that the radio was hopeless in trying to drown out the noise. How much did these cost when new? $1,547,620. If you are wondering, yes, that was the most expensive price for any production car at the time. Just to put that into perspective, that is $3,255,285 in July 2018 money, which is right where a new Bugatti Chiron is priced.
Now that we have all that out-of-the-way, let’s get to why we are here. This 1998 CLK GTR is car number nine of 25 that was originally sold in Germany before being shipped to Hong Kong for a while before moving again to the US where it will go up for auction next month. It has just under 900 miles so it is safe to say this one didn’t get out much but that just means potential buyers will likely have another reason to send the bid into another league. How much is it projected to sell for? Well, you can cancel your order for your Chiron and still need to head down to the bank to withdraw a few more million from your checking account.
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.
While we suspect this might be just a touch outside the market of the majority of our faithful readers, why not at least dream.
This is number 17 of 25. With just under 1,500 miles, you wouldn’t exactly call this a daily driver. I suspect every outing you make in this car will become an experience if not for the nearly 700 horsepower, then for the throngs of people you will have surrounding you every where you go. This is the price you pay for sharing tastes with the Sultan of Brunei. Find some open road and all gawkers can be left far behind. The 7 liter V-12 on these sounds awesome and will either scare people away or draw more gear heads to your car. This is despite two mufflers that look like 50 gallon barrels.
At this point, with technology from the late 90s, the car is dated, but really who cares? To me the exterior is still fantastic. When these first hit the track I couldn’t look away and it still ranks as perhaps the number one modern classic on my list of most desirable cars. More exclusive than a Mclaren F1, more brutal than a Porsche GT1.
There can’t be more than a handful of these stateside. Any takers?