Auction of the Day: Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

CLK GTR Front

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.

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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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