Auction of the Day: Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
All photos from Jameslist
Some of the most revered roadgoing automobiles of all time are thinly disguised race cars created to meet homologation standards set by different racing series. The Lancia Stratos, Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 Evolution, BMW M3 (E30), and Audi Quattro were all born to satisfy requirements that cars in rallying and DTM be based on existing production cars. Many manufacturers built the smallest number of street-legal cars possible to qualify, and some have since become legendary for their performance and racing success. Today’s Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was found on Jameslist, just like last week’s Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Spider, but it is not recommended for anything close to daily driving.
Since DTM had folded in the mid-’90s, Mercedes needed to find a suitable replacement to compete in against its contemporaries, and they located such a successor in the FIA GT Championship series. 25 civilian examples were required to be sold to qualify, and Mercedes selected the CLK (E-Class coupe) as the car’s design basis. 20 coupes and 6 roadsters were delivered at a cost of more than $1.5 million each. A 6.9L V12 produced 600hp, good to rocket the 1.5-ton barely-legal car from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds, all the way up to a top speed of just under 200mph.
The car here is listed for a reasonable $1.49 million, much less than the original list price when inflation is considered. If the coupe is too common, however, one of the six roadsters is also available on eBay for a few Benjamins shy of $2 million.