Only 25 of these ultra-rare Mercs were ever produced and here’s your chance to get your hands on one, provided you’ve got deep pocketsby Khris Bharath, on
If you’ve ever wanted to own a road-legal race car, well here is your chance, provided you’ve got some deep pockets that is. Real deep. The CLK GTR is a road-going race car that Mercedes-Benz produced in the late 90s to comply with racing regulations that required them to make a set number of road-going variants. Only 25 were built, with 20 being coupes and 5 being roadsters. This particular example was number nine of those 25. Also, aside from the name, the CLK GTR had nothing in common with the CLK of the time.
Hermann-Dieter Eschmann of Germany purchased the car new in 1997. The car was owned by Eschmann until 2005 when it was sold multiple times. The CLK GTR was not permitted in North America when it was new, thus it was eventually brought to the United States in 2017 under the exhibition and display exemption statute. To this day, chassis number nine is completely original and has only 896 miles on the clock. The car will be auctioned on the 13th and 14th of August by Gooding & Company.
The origins of the AMG CLK GTR
This Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Strassenversion, which translates to "road version" in German, was built to satisfy FIA GT1 class requirements and was developed by AMG. The intent? To compete with the McLaren F1 GTR and the Porsche GT1 993.
However, for homologation purposes, the automaker, like Porsche and McLaren, required a minimum number of cars to be assembled not just for the track, but also for the road. When Mercedes-Benz announced its intention to compete in the GT1 racing series, AMG had a tight deadline of only four months to build the car, from the tires to the roof. Not only did they have to build the car from the ground up, but they also had to run all of the performance tests.
Their efforts resulted in 25 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTRs, with 20 coupes like the one shown here going to auction and five, even rarer roadsters. After the 1998 season, the rules for the GT1 class changed, and Mercedes was no longer required to sell road-going copies of its race car. As a result, the CLR was introduced by the manufacturer in 1999. That year, the car had a catastrophic outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with aerodynamic issues, resulting in numerous high-speed rollovers.
AMG chose a 6.9-liter V-12 engine for the CLK GTR. The engine produces 604 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 572 foot-pounds of torque, and power is routed to the rear wheels via a six-speed paddle-shift Xtrac sequential transmission. 0 to 60 miles per hour takes just 3.8 seconds. Surprisingly, a high-performance SUV like the GLC 63 S today also takes the same amount of time to reach 60 mph. However, it comes as no surprise that the GTR’s top speed is considerably higher, at 213 miles per hour.
|Power||604 HP @ 6,800 RPM|
|Transmission||six-speed paddle-shift Xtrac sequential|
|0 to 60 mph||3.8 seconds|
|Top speed||213 mph|
It goes without saying that these ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz’s will be extremely valuable, but the roadsters clearly have a significant sales advantage. When it was new in 1998, the CLK GTR cost around US$1.5 million. The value of this specific 98 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR appears to have more than doubled in the last three years. Today, auctioneer Gooding & Company claims that the car will fetch between $8.5 and $10 million when it ends up going under the hammer.
You can find more details about this amazing CLK GTR here.