1997 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR GT1

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | March 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is, ostensibly, the racing variant of Mercedes’ C208 CLK-Class. Except that the true racing variant of the C208 was the CLK DTM. The GTR was an entirely different animal, sharing just the “CLK” name and a loose interpretation of the front grille and headlights. The CLK GTR was so extreme that it had to be homologated as its own thing, of which 20 road-going coupes and six roadsters were built. They were the most expensive new cars in the world when they were sold in the late ’90s/early ’00s.

The racing versions were pretty special as well. Initially campaigned in the 1997 FIA GT Championship, the cars proved somewhat successful and were replaced by the CLK LM by the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans and later by the doomed CLR for 1999.

Power is provided by a 6.0-liter V12 that made 600 horsepower, and the competition history for this chassis (004) includes:

  • 1997 FIA GT 4 Hours of Nurburgring – 1st (with Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig)
  • 1997 FIA GT 4 Hours of Spa – 2nd (with Schneider and Alexander Wurz)
  • 1997 FIA GT 1000km Suzuka – 7th (with Schneider, Wurz, and Aguri Suzuki)
  • 1997 FIA GT 3 Hours of Sebring – 1st (with Schneider and Ludwig)

It was sold by Mercedes-Benz to its current and only private owner in 2015. It’s a pretty big deal from a golden era of GT racing – this car competed against McLaren F1 GTRs and Porsche 911 GT1s, etc. The action closes on this one in two days. Find out more here.

CLK GTR Roadster

2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster

Offered by RKMCCA | Charlotte, North Carolina | November 1-2, 2013

2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster

The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR is one of the most outlandish road cars ever built. It was a byproduct of the FIA GT1 class homologation rules of the late-1990s that stated any car competing in the class must be available for purchase on the street. The class was cancelled for 1999, but Mercedes decided to build some road cars anyway.

Between 1998 and 1999, 26 road cars were built (25 were promised by Mercedes with regards to the rules). This car is titled as a 2002, but was likely built in 1999 (at the time of construction, these were the most expensive cars in the world and moving them was no small feat). The cars use a 6.9-liter V-12 making 604 horsepower and could hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds on their way to a top speed of 199 mph.

The final six cars were built sans roof. This is the third roadster constructed (and the one most often seen for sale). A solid million dollars isn’t out of the question by any means for this ultra-limited edition supercar. You can read more here and check out the rest of RKMCCA’s auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $1,300,000.

Mercedes CLK GTR

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.

The pre-sale estimate is $1,250,000-$1,500,000. For more information and the complete lot description, click here. And for more from RM in Monterey, click here.

Update: Sold $1,100,000.