1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster Will Be Auctioned In June
Mercedes-Benz only built 26 road-going CLK GTRs, and of those, just six were roadsters. Now, one of these open-top homologation specials will be auctioned in June at the Bonhams event at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it could sell for as much as $2.8 million — a steep price for a very rare, very fast car.
De Telegraaf Autovisie reports that this 1999 CLK GTR Roadster has never been driven on the road and, amazingly, has just six kilometers on the odometer. Its current owner, an anonymous Dutch collector, purchased it as an investment and is apparently ready to cash in. It’s the only black CLK GTR ever built and is one of five left-hand-drive examples. The only right-hand-drive CLK GTR Roadster was built for the Sultan of Brunei. Obviously.
The CLK GTR was designed as a race car first and a road car second, with little mind paid to driver comfort and road-going behavior. With a mid-mounted 6.9-liter V-12 producing around 612 horsepower and cursory styling cues borrowed from the mass-production CLKcoupe, it was devastatingly effecting, winning the FIA GT Championship in 1998 and 1999. It was so dominant that it drove every other manufacturer out of the GT1 class and nearly killed the series.
Following the on-track success, Mercedes fulfilled the FIA’s homologation requirement by tasking AMG with the construction of the 26 road cars. Only 25 were required, but Mercedes wanted to keep one for itself. The six roadsters featured a redesigned engine cover and integrated roll bars. The fixed rear wing more closely resembled the one on the race car, instead of the stylized curved wing from the hardtop.
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Why it matters
Every CLK GTR is precious thing (arguably even more so than its on-track rival, the McLaren F1), but with its incredibly low mileage, this one is probably the most precious of them all. Taking into account that this is basically a new car, Bonham’s estimate of between $2.2 million and $2.8 million seems about right. CLK GTR values have recently hovered around $2 million (original sticker price was about $1.5 million), but given its condition and provenance, this one will likely sell for much more.
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