1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 17, 2012
The FIA GT1 Championship in the late 1990s netted supercar fans some amazing machines. But instead of basing their race cars on road-going models, constructors were building race cars and then hastily re-arranging things so that they could be driven on the street. The result were some very rare, very outrageous road cars. This is one of them.
The CLK GTR, while it shares its name with the CLK-Class, was created from scratch by AMG, Mercedes’ performance tuning arm. With the 1997 season ready to go, AMG had built one road car (a good faith sign that the required 25 homologation models were on their way, and the minimum they had to do to get the race version legally on the track). For 1998 Mercedes used an altered version of the GTR called the CLK LM. And for 1999 it was scrapped altogether in favor of the spectacularly doomed CLR.
The FIA GT1 Championship was shelved for 1999 due to lack of constructor interest. There had been enough demand by ultra-rich customers that Mercedes decided to fulfill its homologation obligation and built 25 road-going versions of the CLK GTR. This was number one. Twenty were coupes and there were at least five roadsters (an additional roadster may have been built, bumping it to 26 road-going cars). The engine was a 6.9-liter V12 making 604 horsepower. At the time of its release, the car held the world record for the World’s Most Expensive “Production” Car, with a price tag of over $1 million in 1998.
Enter H.W.A., which was founded in 1998 as an offshoot of AMG. The company now runs the Mercedes-Benz DTM effort but one of the first things it did in its existence was modify two CLK GTRs to “SuperSport” specification. Gone was the 6.9-liter V12. In its place was a 720 horsepower 7.3-liter V12, making this the ultimate Mercedes-Benz supercar of all time, bar none.
Update: Sold $1,100,000.